The first element of Ford’s passenger car future in Australia has arrived from Valencia, Spain by way of Broadmeadows, Victoria. It’s the all-new Mondeo hatchback and wagon, boasting design input from Ford Australia - as part of the global ‘One Ford’ strategy - and manufactured in Spain.
And the all-new Ford Mondeo is terrific – larger than its predecessor so there’s room for the whole family and their luggage, great to drive and very sharply priced from just $32,790. And the extra good news is the switch to sourcing from Spain means supply restrictions which handicapped sales of the previous made-in-Germany model have been overcome.
As we know, Ford Australia has 20 new models or model updates in the pipeline by 2020. As well as the all-new Mondeo – which becomes Ford’s largest passenger car in Australia when Falcon production ends next year – also launching this year are the all-new Mustang and Everest as well as updated Focus and Ranger.
Ford Mondeo Overview
Over 4.0-million Mondeos (Fusion in North America) have been sold since the model first joined Ford’s global range in 1993. Mondeo is Ford’s pinnacle model in Europe.
Apart from those stylish all-new looks, Ford Mondeo is loaded with technology including world-first inflatable rear seat belts (the airbag-type system inflates in 40 milliseconds and spreads the impact load over an area five times larger than conventional seatbelts hence reducing neck, shoulder and torso injuries especially in children), nine airbags and camera/radar pedestrian protection .
There’s a choice of hatchback or wagon and two turbocharged petrol engines or a turbo-diesel. Sounds expensive but it isn’t with prices ranging from $32,790 to $49,340 ensuring all-new Ford Mondeo is right at the sharp end of the field when it comes to value-for-money.
In fact, when you start comparing features, in this segment the all-new Ford Mondeo really puts the ‘bold’ ’ on value.
Consider the entry-grade Ford Mondeo Ambiente: it boasts satellite navigation, voice control for phone, audio, climate control and navigation, cruise control, driver’s seat lumbar support, leather steering wheel and gear-shifter, Projector headlights, DRLs, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, front and rear parking sensors and load-levelling for the wagon.
Mid-grade Trend models add extras such as 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhausts, puddle lamps, keyless entry, adaptive cruise control, 10-way electric front seats (also heated), rear-view camera, active city stop and pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection.
Range-topping Ford Mondeo Titanium goes the whole enchilada with extras including 18-inch alloy wheels, sports bodykit, adaptive suspension, adaptive LED headlights, unique DRLs, massive panoramic glass roof, leather sports seats, power adjustment for the steering wheel, stylish alloy scuff plates, blind spot information system, lane keeping aid, driver impairment monitor and improved active park assist.
The full lineup is:
Ford Mondeo Engine
All-new Ford Mondeo runs all-new turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. And they’re both powerful and fuel-efficient.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine comes in either 149kW or 177kW versions (both provide peak torque of 345Nm). Ford is quick to point out the 177kW engine is 35 per-cent more powerful than the 135kW 2.5-litre Toyota Camry.
Combined-cycle fuel consumption for the 149kW version is 8.2l/100kms (hatchback) and for the 177kW version it’s 8.2l/100kms (Trend) or 8.5l/100kms (Titanium).
The new 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDCi turbo-diesel is good for 132kW/400Nm and combined-cycle fuel consumption (hatchback) of 5.1l/100kms. Cue the Ford ‘spinsters’ again pointing out that is more fuel-efficient than Hybrid Camry (5.2l/100kms).
All drive through Ford’s latest generation PowerShift six-speed automatic transmission.
Ford Mondeo The Interior
Stiff competition brings out the best and that’s how ‘One Ford’ works. Designers from the Ford world pitch for projects (often the final package signed-off will include elements from several pitches). And that’s how Ford arrived at the final look for the interior of the all-new Mondeo.
The total is contemporary and stylish and we gave it a very high score. But this is a car for families and business fleets so it must also be spacious and practical and, yes, the all-new Ford Mondeo ticks that box as well.
Really there is no common ground with the current generation. For starters the all-new Mondeo switches to an electronic park-brake thus enabling extra space for the centre console which Ford has used cleverly for storage spots and cupholders.
Then there’s the dashboard which is an incredibly stylish blend of curves, straight lines and different materials. Centre-mounted is the eight-inch colour touchscreen for navigation, audio and climate-control.
Rake/reach adjustment for the steering wheel (electronically operated in Titanium grade) and seat height adjustment (electronic in Trend and Titanium models) provided a top-shelf driving position and great view of the stylishly-presented instruments (which differ according to model grades). Of course we did prefer the alloy pedals and sports seats of the Titanium model but really the seats in both Trend and Ambiente are also excellent.
Second row occupants are well looked after with astonishing legroom thanks to Mondeo’s large-sized 2850mm wheelbase. We did find rear seat headroom in the panoramic roof equipped Titanium grade wagon was getting a little tight.
Luggage space is massive. With the rear seat in-place you’re talking 557-litres for the hatchback or 712-litres for the wagon and with the rear seat folded that grows to 1356-litres hatchback and 1585-litres for the wagon.
Ford Mondeo Exterior & Styling
Ford presented the initial sketches of the all-new Mondeo from various studios (including Australia) which now date back some six years and they show sleek, coupe-like silhouettes and long sleek lines. They’re also very aggressive, but as Andrew Collinson - a Brit who is Ford’s Melbourne-based exterior design manager for Asia-Pacific - said: “Any designer who sketches cars with small wheels will have a very short career in this industry.”
We’re going as far as saying the all-new Mondeo (particularly the front-end) is the most aggressive car in this segment. The new Ford ‘corporate’ hexagonal grille, body-mounted Ford badge, slim laser-cut headlights and extreme bonnet contours give a purposeful low and wide look.
Side profile follows the same trend with strong horizontal contours and a flowing roofline. We really liked the shaped glass in the four-window profile of the hatchback.
Rear ends too are powerful (in our eyes the wagon a better execution that the hatchback).
All-new Ford Mondeo Ambiente runs 16-inch alloy wheels with French-made 215/60 R16 Bridgestone Turanza tyres, Trend goes to 17-inch alloy wheels with French-made 235/50 R17 Michelin Primacy3 tyres while Titanium adds 18-inch alloy wheels with 235/40 R18 Continental ContiSport Contact tyres.
Ford Mondeo On The Road
Ford stages impressively thorough media launches for new models. So in a full day over varying roads from Canberra we got to drive all three engines and all three grades of the all-new Mondeo in both sedan and hatchback bodies.
Bet you’re wondering about Australian input into the all-new Ford Mondeo. Well first, here’s some background.
Some of the ‘tyre-kickers’ in the engineering fraternity reckon many imported cars need complete suspension retunes to make them suitable for Australian roads. While that may be so for some Asian-sourced vehicles we’ve always felt driving conditions in Europe are pretty much the same as in most parts of Australia.
So the all-new Ford Mondeo has arrived with the same suspension tune as Ford Mondeos sold in Europe and it was right at home on the Aussie roads we tackled. We hold the position that the previous generation Mondeo was the benchmark for ride and handling in this league - perhaps closely matched by the Mazda6 - and in confirming the all-new Mondeo drives even better again gives you some idea of its prowess.
So Australian engineering input? Well there was air-conditioning performance and, after testing in the rigors of Dubai, we have an excellent system which, for example, can drop cabin temperature from 55⁰C to 18⁰C in just 15 minutes.
Then there were aspects relating to trailer towing (sure to be appreciated by caravan towers in Europe too) and indicator stalk position (shifted to the right-hand side of the steering column in our cars).
Bottom line is the all-new Ford Mondeo – like the superseded model – provides a terrific balance between ride comfort and performance in high-speed corners. Naturally the adaptive suspension in the range-topping Titanium grade provided the sportiest dynamic but all models felt planted, balanced, provided good grip and feedback and responded well to mid-turn throttle adjustments.
We missed a couple of navigation instructions but the impressively tight 11.6-metre turning circle aided quick u-turns.
So our pick was the mid-grade Trend with the 177kW EcoBoost petrol engine. Previously we have preferred turbo-diesel Mondeos but that all-new 2.0-litre petrol has swayed us (not that there’s anything wrong with the turbo-diesel…it too is tremendous).
But we do arrive at that conclusion not only from the driving dynamics viewpoint but also value for money. For us, the equipment in the Trend grade makes it the best buy of the Mondeo lineup.
Ford Mondeo Challenges
Not much to complain about after our day sampling the all-new Ford Mondeo. We did find the 16-inch Bridgestone rubber on the entry-level Ambiente model produced a bit more tyre noise on coarse chip roads than the 17-inch Michelins and 18-inch Continentals and when we really pushed the automatic transmission in a series of tight corners we wouldn’t have minded faster ratio changes.
Ford Mondeo Verdict
Yep the all-new Ford Mondeo is a cracking bit of kit. But who’s going to buy it?
Ford says this segment is ‘stable’. That’s in contrast to the large car segment in which the Falcon competes which is dwindling as buyers flock to SUVs.
But, especially for family buyers, the all-new Ford Mondeo ticks many of the SUV boxes. In fact it has more interior space than many SUVs but doesn’t carry the size and fuel consumption issues of vehicles previously known as ‘off-roaders’.
And this is the trend in Europe where cars like the Mondeo are now hot-sellers again.
Style, practicality, driving dynamics, safety and value…Ford has hit the sweet spot with the all-new Mondeo.
Ford Mondeo The Competition
As “driver’s cars” the Mazda6 remains Ford Mondeo’s closest rival. If you don’t like the looks of Mazda6 you probably think ‘Safari Suits’ are still fashionable and there’s no doubt the SkyActiv petrol and diesel engines are pearlers. Mazda6 ranges from $32,540 to $50,920 and it’s splitting hairs when it comes to comparing specifications between ‘Sport’, ‘Touring’, ‘GT’ and ‘Atenza’ with the six Mondeo models…do your homework thoroughly before heading to the dealership.
The European-derived Hyundai i40 has given Hyundai real bite in this league for good reason – it’s a great car. Sedan or wagon, petrol or diesel and priced from $31,990 to $47,590, the Hyundai i40 looks great and has plenty of kit so it too goes on your list and requires extensive research of specific features before you speak to the sales staff.