Cruise con­trol from Mon­deo

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FEATURES - Fred­eric Manby

THIS car, the Ford Mon­deo, is feel­ing the pinch. It no longer fig­ures in the coun­try’s top 10 best sell­ers, though the more ex­pen­sive BMW 3-Se­ries, at which the lat­est Mon­deo tilts, is there. So is the Vaux­hall In­signia, ad­mit­tedly a more re­cent ar­rival. Next up, the daz­zling Peu­geot 508, which I think hits the spot.

Ford gave the Mon­deo a vis­ual over­haul last au­tumn, drop­ping the saloon model in Bri­tain and leav­ing the es­tate and the prac­ti­cal lift­back – as tested here in its pukka Ti­ta­nium X ver­sion.

There was a clutch of new or im­proved en­gines, though one does won­der how much choice we re­ally need.

They in­clude a 197bhp, 2.2litre diesel, the most pow­er­ful oiler so far from Ford, though a tid­dler com­pared with some Euro­pean ri­vals. There are in­ter­est­ing petrol en­gines, too, but Ford it­self says that 90 per cent of sales will be diesel.

Ex­ter­nal changes brought a butcher bon­net pro­file and a sub­tler up­per air in­take, with a sin­gle styling bar car­ry­ing the Ford blue oval badge.

New op­tions, though not fit­ted to the car Ford sub­mit­ted for test, in­clude a drowsi­ness mon­i­tor, au­to­matic head­lamp dip­ping, and a lane-de­par­ture warn­ing.

Three en­gine ver­sions, in­clud­ing the 2-litre diesel demo car, have vari­able in­take vanes in the lower grille. There are 15 lev­els of clo­sure, de­pend­ing on road speed, en­gine fluid tem­per­a­tures, de­mands of the cabin air con­di­tion­ing and so on. At full clo­sure, it achieves a six per cent gain in stream­lin­ing, boost­ing econ­omy and speed.

Some mod­els have brake en­ergy scav­eng­ing to im­prove econ­omy by charg­ing the bat­tery.

A sur­pris­ing ab­sen­tee at the new Mon­deo party is stop-start ig­ni­tion, which is a fa­mil­iar item now on lots of brands.

The ma­jor­ity of new Mon­deos cost more than £20,000. Prices open at £17,695 for the en­try-trim Edge with a 118bhp, 1.6-litre petrol en­gine with five gears, rated at 41.5mpg, 159g/km CO2 and 0-62mph in 12.3 sec­onds.

Diesel mod­els open at £19,095 for the 114bhp, 2-litre Edge six-speed (53mpg, 139g/km and 0-62 in 11.2 sec­onds).

The cheap­est au­to­matic is the 138bhp, 2-litre diesel Edge, at £21,145. The cheap­est petrol au­to­matic is the 200bhp, 2-litre, in Ti­ta­nium X trim, at £24,945. (Add £1,250 for the es­tates).

My test car was the Ti­ta­nium X lift­back with the 160.7bhp, 2-litre diesel, cost­ing £24,545. Other fig­ures are 53.3mpg, 139g/km CO2 and 0-62mph in 8.9 sec­onds. (An au­to­matic gear­box would add £1,500.)

This is a quick car, helped by 251 lb ft of torque. It rides sweetly – usu­ally a Ford qual­ity – and han­dles well enough, un­less you cane it com­ing off tight curves when the trac­tion gets a lit­tle bit con­fused and tru­cu­lent.

The “dark mi­ca­s­tone” paint gave it some ex­tra class for £495, and this lat­est Mon­deo doesn’t look too shabby parked next to its bet­ters.

At Ti­ta­nium X level you get day­time LED lights, to put you on a par with all those Audis and Mercs.

The seats, clad in leather and suedette Al­can­tara, were comfy on a long jour­ney.

Gen­er­ally, I en­joyed a week as Mon­deo Man.

Ver­dict: Main­tain­ing its dig­nity. Ca­pa­ble and roomy long-dis­tance cruiser.

More: 0845 841 1111.

ROOMY CRUISER: Ford’s Mon­deo.

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