2.0 AM­BI­ENTE

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Head To Head -

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.

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