Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page


 



First drive: Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.

First drive: Ford Mondeo Hybrid
Does the first ever European-built Ford hybrid, in the form of the all-new Mondeo, impress?

   



<< earlier review     later review >>

Reviews homepage -> Ford reviews

Ford Mondeo Hybrid

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

While it's easy to marvel at the ingenuity of making petrol power and electric propulsion work together so seamlessly, Ford predicts the Mondeo Hybrid will be a minority interest model here in the UK. And rightly so, because - worthy as it is - you can only have it as a four-door saloon and the diesels are more pleasant to drive on a daily basis.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Ford Mondeo Hybrid Titanium saloon
Pricing: Hybrid starts from 24,995
Hybrid system: 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors, plus 35kW lithium-ion battery
Transmission: front-wheel drive, continuously variable automatic transmission
Body style: four-door saloon
CO2 emissions: 99g/km (VED Band A, 0 per year)
Combined economy: 67.3mpg
Top speed: 116mph
0-62mph: 9.2 seconds
Power: 187hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 173Nm at 4,000rpm

What's this?

The Ford Mondeo Hybrid, the first European-built hybrid the Blue Oval is going to punt out and the sort of 'third fuel option' that all manufacturers need in a model range these days if they're going to have any credibility. The Mondeo Hybrid uses a familiar part-electric drivetrain set-up, in this instance utilising a 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine supplemented by an 88kW electric motor for driving the front wheels, another electric motor that supplies regenerative charging only and a lithium-ion battery pack with a maximum output of 35kW and capacity of 1.4kWh, plus a CVT transmission to provide go to the leading axle. In the UK, all Hybrids are saloons, and all saloons are Hybrids, so you'll only ever see this car on the road in four-door guise.

Which is perhaps the least successful look of the three body shells for Mondeo Mk5. It's not exactly ugly, but in the typical, innocent white paint of hybrids, it's perfunctory rather than striking like the hatch and estate Titanium cars. The Hybrid also rolls on 16-inch wheels, which do not improve the aesthetics. Inside, the dials in front of the driver in the cluster have extra battery-related indicators in them, there's a new 'energy flow' screen (which shows if you're using electric power, charging the batteries and so on) for the centre console infotainment stack and in place of a manual gearshift lever is the CVT selector, which has an 'L' setting that increases the recharge effect by keeping the CVT in a 'lower' ratio while boosting the effect of regenerative braking.

All this allows for CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km, which means zero road tax. It has the lowest BIK rates of any new Ford Mondeo, barring the 1.6 Duratorq TDCi 115hp ECOnetic hatchback, and further efficiency measures like Active Grille Shutter, Smart Regenerative Charging and stop-start help keep fuel consumption down. However, if you're looking at its combined economy and thinking 67.3mpg isn't hugely impressive, then you need to consider its urban figure. Unlike for conventional fuels, where urban is the lowest number, extra-urban the highest and combined somewhere between the two, the Mondeo Hybrid returns its best figures in the city, as it can travel around on electric power alone at lower speeds - Ford claims it can achieve 100.9mpg in conurbations.

How does it drive?

It's perfectly acceptable and you could probably live with a hybrid day-to-day. Indeed, it would almost certainly be more impressive on first acquaintance if it weren't for the fact that the petrol and diesel Mondeos drive better. The Hybrid's smaller wheels don't lead to a comfier ride - if anything, the weight of the battery pack and the eco-tyres make it slightly more fidgety than the 18-inch-shod Titanium models with conventional engines - and the CVT is predictably unsatisfying; it's noisy and comes with that strange feeling that's like slipping a clutch when you put your foot down.

You'll also notice that the torque is considerable down on that possessed by the 1.5-litre turbocharged EcoBoost petrol model, which has 240Nm, and this also makes the Hybrid a curiously underwhelming car to accelerate in. However, the fact a vehicle the size and weight of the Mondeo saloon (at 1,579kg) can move silently and emissions-free is remarkable, and if you don't ever ask for full throttle then it remains a reasonably quiet car with linear acceleration. The energy flow diagram is good too, if perhaps a little distracting to the driver at times.

Verdict

In isolation, the Mondeo is another impressive hybrid electric vehicle, but once again it still feels like it is in the fledgling stages of development when compared to the conventional siblings within its own stable. Given that the Hybrid saloon is only 500 cheaper than a Mondeo Titanium Estate with the superb 180hp 2.0-litre TDCi engine, unless you really, really hate paying road tax then it's hard to make a case for the part-electric car over the oil-burner. Especially as the hybrid components make the saloon's already-limited boot space drop from 525- to 383 litres.

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

5 5 5 5 5 Passenger Space

3 3 3 3 3 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 16 Oct 2014



  www.ford.co.uk    - Ford road tests
- Ford news
- Mondeo Hybrid images

2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.

2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.



2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Image by Ford.
 






 

Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Old motor show reports | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2024 ©