Ford Mondeo

New Mondeo continues to set the repmobile benchmark

Mondeo is not a sexy car name. Nor is telling people that you drive one a good way to make girls swoon, casual acquaintances gasp or small nations revere you as a God and plaster your likeness across a range of commemorative postage stamps.

Which is a shame, because ever since the very first Mondeo of 1993, it has been a car that has managed to bring genuine driving joy to an otherwise pretty grey part of car world. It’s never been a car to make you furiously count the pennies as you dream of the day you can afford one, but every time you got the keys to a Mondeo – probably from your fleet manager or a rental desk – it made you remember just how good it was. Ford Mondeo, we salute you as the thinking driver’s rep car.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

This, of course, leaves the new Mondeo with some big, if underrated, shoes to fill. And the first way in which it attempts to fill them is by being, well, big. Bigger in fact than the old Scorpio exec car. Oh dear, you’re thinking, if it’s become so massive, that’ll be the razor-sharp driving pleasure out the window, especially when, in the blurb for this car, talk of dynamics seems to have taken second place to repeated use of the word ‘premium’ to the point where the word becomes meaningless.

The styling, that’s ‘premium’ (actually it’s a bit heavy around the rear three-quarter, although the estate is rather handsome), the cabin is ‘premium’ too (in this case ‘premium’ meaning spacious, pleasant, apparently well made), and the options… here comes the P-word again (the Mondeo is built on a Ford family platform whose kit of bits comes in part from Volvo, hence they can use cool stuff like radar cruise control from the Swedish suite of electronics).

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

On a superficial reading you might be forgiven for assuming that the object of the new Mondeo was to make a big, comfy car. And actually it is just that. But don’t worry, because it’s also simply brilliant to drive. Despite its size it hustles along with agility and poise, flowing down twisting, swirling, crusty mountain roads with an effortless but involving pace that makes equivalent Peugeots, Vauxhalls or Renaults feel leaden.

There’s no great secret, no radical engineering behind this, just careful attention to detail from a team that clearly understands the importance of things like precisely matched control weights. As part of its platter of techy options you can have the Mondeo with switchable dampers, but it’s a tribute to the quality of the ride/handling balance on the sports suspension of this Titanium model that the computerised set-up is frankly unnecessary. Linear steering, massive grip, sturdy brakes – a class act all round.

It’s not just the chassis either, because the turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine is pretty special too, quieter than it is in the Focus ST but no less gutsy. If you want to run it to the red line it’ll play along, but if you’re feeling lazy you can leave it in gear and it’ll torque you along without protest. Put engine and chassis together and you’ve got a brilliantly matched combo of poise and – being ultimately quicker than the old Mondeo ST220 – decent pace.

And will anyone care? Probably not, because yer average disinterested punter will still lust after something German with a posher badge even though this car is almost certainly nicer to drive than pretty much any Audi bar the RS4. Instead the Mondeo will carry on doing what it’s always done, pleasing people who aren’t badge snobs and those who don’t have a choice. In a world of Little Chefs, it’s a secret slice of haute cuisine.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 5-cyl, 2521cc, 20v, turbo
Max power217bhp @ 5000rpm
Max torque236lb ft @ 1500-4800rpm
0-607.5sec (claimed)
Top speed152mph
On saleNow
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/land-rover/discovery-sport/201862/2019-land-rover-discovery-sport-d180-se-review
Land Rover Discovery Sport

2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport D180 SE review

18 Oct 2019
Visit/volkswagen/201859/volkswagen-t-roc-r-review-ever-wish-the-golf-r-was-a-little-bit-taller
Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen T-Roc R review - ever wish the Golf R was a little bit taller?

17 Oct 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201858/all-new-toyota-yaris-revealed-and-hot-gazoo-models-arent-far-behind
Toyota Yaris

All-new Toyota Yaris revealed – and hot Gazoo models aren’t far behind

17 Oct 2019
Visit/hyundai/201854/updated-2020-hyundai-i30-n-spied-before-reveal-early-next-year
Hyundai i30 N

Updated 2020 Hyundai i30 N spied before reveal early next year

16 Oct 2019
Advertisement

More on Mondeo

Visit/ford/mondeo/22158/new-2019-ford-mondeo-new-engine-gearbox-and-updated-looks
Ford Mondeo hatchback

New 2019 Ford Mondeo – new engine, gearbox and updated looks

Ford Mondeo gets much needed update to keep pace with Skoda’s Superb
18 Jan 2019
Visit/ford/mondeo/18500/ford-mondeo-gets-performance-touch-from-steeda-autosports
Ford Mondeo hatchback

Ford Mondeo gets performance touch from Steeda Autosports

Performance and handling improvements for Ford's overlooked repmobile
7 Nov 2016
Visit/ford/mondeo/15001/ford-mondeo-titanium-review-and-pictures
Ford Mondeo hatchback

Ford Mondeo Titanium review and pictures

Ford Europe’s most technologically advanced car mixes tech and practicality with a talented chassis
19 Jan 2015
Visit/ford/mondeo/12810/ford-closes-european-plants
Ford Mondeo hatchback

Ford closes European plants

To stem rising losses in Europe, Ford has announced the closure of its Belgian car factory in Genk, as well as two factories in the UK
25 Oct 2012
Advertisement
Visit/ford/mondeo/12724/2013-ford-mondeo-revealed
Ford Mondeo hatchback

2013 Ford Mondeo revealed

Ford's new mid-sized saloon has been unveiled ahead of its Paris motor show appearance.
6 Sep 2012
Visit/news/evonews/285973/shelby_gt500_debuts_at_goodwood.html
Ford Mondeo hatchback

Shelby GT500 debuts at Goodwood

Ford's new Shelby GT500 Mustang - capable of 200mph - appears at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed
20 Jul 2012
Visit/ford/mondeo/12148/detroit-motor-show-new-ford-mondeo
Ford Mondeo hatchback

Detroit motor show: New Ford Mondeo

Unveiled in Detroit, this is the all-new Mondeo, due in Spring 2013. Full details and pictures
9 Jan 2012
Visit/ford/mondeo/11296/new-ford-mustang-boss-302
Ford Mondeo hatchback

New Ford Mustang Boss 302

Ford reveals its quickest ever official Mustang, the Boss 302 muscle car. 434bhp and new bodykit
17 Aug 2010
Visit/ford/mondeo/10519/ford-mondeo-facelift
Ford Mondeo hatchback

Ford Mondeo Facelift

Crossing the Alps, we stumbled across this prototype of a Ford Mondeo, likely to be introduced next summer
10 Sep 2009
Visit/ford/mondeo/7571/ford-mondeo-st-tdci
Ford Mondeo hatchback

Ford Mondeo ST TDCi

Aren't modern diesels wonderful? I relish long trips in the Mondeo, taking delight in the amount of fuel I'm not using. Recently the average consumpti…
31 Aug 2005
Advertisement
Visit/ford/mondeo/7468/ford-mondeo-st-tdci
Ford Mondeo hatchback

Ford Mondeo ST TDCi

The welcome arrival at the Buckley household of the Mondeo ST has coincided with the arrival of another fine Ford, a 1970 Zodiac MkIV estate - that's …
7 Mar 2005
Visit/ford/mondeo/6280/ford-mondeo
Ford Mondeo hatchback

Ford Mondeo

It's got skip-loads of torque, hits 137mph and looks good, but is the diesel ST genuinely sporty?
6 Dec 2004
Advertisement