FORD MONDEO 2.0 AMBIENTE
Camry rules the medium segment. The Mazda6 and Mondeo have long battled for minor placings.
Despite its sporty European pedigree, Mondeo lived in the shadow of Falcon. In the well-equipped auto, highlights include two-zone climate control aircon, front and rear park sensors and eight-inch touchscreen with satnav, voice activation, Apple carplay/android Auto, digital radio and eight-speaker sound. Warranty is only 3 years/100,000km. Servicing costs $1065 for 3 years/45,000km.
It’s a hatch not a sedan with sharp but conservative looks and cabin trimmed in soft-touch materials. The cloth seats are comfortable, the instrument layout is functional but feels old-school compared to the Mazda. You can customise the display but a digital speedo would’ve been handy. Generous boot fits a full-size 16-inch steel spare.
The 2.0-litre turbo (149kW/345Nm) is hooked up to a six-speed auto with paddle-shifters aiding punchy performance. Petrol variants don’t get auto stop-start. It claims 8.2L/100km, and returned 8.9L over 500km.
Scores highly in crash tests, with five stars and 36.07/37 points. Enhancing the safety story are the rear seat belt airbags. They’re designed to reduce the bruising that normally occurs in an accident. Bad luck if you’re in the middle — only the two outside seats are so fitted. There’s a reverse camera but no auto emergency braking.
Power comes on hot and strong with the boost from the turbo, but at other times the transmission has a habit of slipping into top gear and can be slow to respond. The ride is firm but not harsh, although it can become floaty hustling along back roads. Nevertheless you can push confidently through corners.