FORD MONDEO TI­TA­NIUM V SKODA SU­PERB 206 TSI

Roomy and ready for fam­ily and fleet duty, these lift­backs will fill gaps left by the Com­modore and Fal­con

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - MOTORING -

VALUE

The top-spec Ti­ta­nium wants for very lit­tle, ex­cept a five-year war­ranty to match the Skoda. Stan­dard are an eight-inch touch­screen with An­droid/Ap­ple smart­phone mir­ror­ing, du­al­zone air­con, heated seats front and rear and auto lights/wipers. Ser­vic­ing is at 12 months/15,000km in­ter­vals and the first three trips will cost $1095.

DE­SIGN/TECH

A chameleon that blends into the ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment, the Mondeo looks good on the out­side and has an airy cabin. The cen­tre stack is dom­i­nated by the touch­screen but the air­con but­tons un­der it look a bit mun­dane for a car of this cal­i­bre. Cargo space is 557L but the boot isn’t par­tic­u­larly deep, mean­ing bags must be packed flat rather than on their sides. Tow­ing ca­pac­ity for petrol Mon­deos is 1200kg.

EN­GINE

The 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo (177kW/345Nm) turns a sixspeed auto and has enough poke to chirp the front wheels on take-off and give a solid mid-range shove when over­tak­ing. Claimed thirst is 8.5L/100km — ex­pect to see 11L in real world driv­ing, largely as a re­sult of the Mondeo’s hefty 1690kg.

SAFETY

Nine airbags (the out­board rear seats have in­flat­able belts), au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol, blind spot and lane de­par­ture warn­ings and semi-au­to­mated park­ing are in­cluded. AN­CAP rated the car 36.07/37 af­ter it also per­formed strongly in the phys­i­cal crash tests.

DRIV­ING

The Mondeo is a match for most cars on the road in terms of how it drives, let down only by its mass. Adap­tive sus­pen­sion keeps it flat in the cor­ners with­out cre­at­ing a bouncy ride over bumps. Road noise is well sup­pressed, even on the low-pro­file 19-inch rub­ber, and the brakes have re­as­sur­ing bite and pro­gres­sive pedal travel

VALUE

The Su­perb matches the Mondeo’s kit but on a more ex­pan­sive stage, which helps jus­tify the 10 per cent price pre­mium. There’s a 9.2-inch touch­screen with smart­phone mir­ror­ing, three-zone air­con, heated front seats and auto lights/wipers. Ser­vice in­ter­vals are 12 months/15,000km and the first three trips are priced at $1346.

DE­SIGN/TECH

If space is a pri­or­ity, the Su­perb fills the bill. It is the clos­est con­ven­tional al­ter­na­tive to a Fal­con or Com­modore for rear seat room and boot space (an im­pres­sive 625L with the seats up). The in­te­rior is typ­i­cal VW Group black and grey. There are more but­tons on the dash than in the Mondeo but they’re fairly in­tu­itive to op­er­ate. The Su­perb is rated to tow 2200kg.

EN­GINE

Skoda turns up the wick on its 2.0-litre turbo to chan­nel 206kW/350Nm to all four wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic — as fit­ted to the Volk­swa­gen Golf R — and it smokes the Mondeo for per­for­mance and fuel econ­omy. The claimed 7.3L/100km will equate to about 10L in nor­mal driv­ing.

SAFETY

Rear side and cur­tain airbags bring the count to nine. Re­cent up­dates have added blind spot and lane de­par­ture alerts and rear cross traf­fic as­sist to the stan­dard city-speed au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing. AN­CAP awards five-stars, the blem­ishes be­ing a mar­ginal rat­ing for the driver’s chest in the frontal crash test and mar­ginal whiplash pro­tec­tion for those in the rear.

DRIV­ING

The Skoda is a will­ing ac­com­plice on a wind­ing road but its larger size means it doesn’t cor­ner with as much author­ity as the Mondeo. We sus­pect the op­tional adap­tive chas­sis con­trol might ad­dress that. There’s a touch more road and tyre noise in the cabin than the Ford but the brakes are equally ca­pa­ble of haul­ing the Su­perb up in a short space.

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