El­e­gance and re­li­a­bil­ity

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By GARRY SCHUT

THE Ford Mon­deo ini­tially re­placed the Ford Sierra (a ‘‘cooler’’ name for a car I be­lieve) in the early nineties, 1993 if I re­call cor­rectly.

I also clearly re­mem­ber many years ago, when I plied my trade in Europe, a col­league who pur­chased the lat­ter.

The rea­son I re­mem­ber him so dis­tinctly is that we used to mock him, point in his gen­eral di­rec­tion and laugh; con­ver­sa­tions would sud­denly stop when he en­tered the room. What was he think­ing? With the mul­ti­tude of qual­ity Ger­man-made ve­hi­cles around, why on earth a Ford?

Fast for­ward al­most 25 years to the present day and good­ness, how things have changed and let me tell you, for the bet­ter.

Mon­deo may not sound as ‘‘cool’’ as its pre­de­ces­sor but this is a bloody nice car that man­ages to tick all of the boxes.

First thing you notice on ap­proach are the lines, the pro­file is sleek, thor­oughly mod­ern yet time­less, this ve­hi­cle will still look good in 10 to 15 years — it’s a strik­ing car.

It is also jam-packed with a daz­zling ar­ray of fea­tures, al­most too many to take in.

At my age I’m not that

tech savvy, but the pho­tog­ra­pher as­signed to the ‘‘shoot’’, a much younger per­son I has­ten to add, within min­utes of be­ing in the car had hooked up his iPhone to the Hands Free Blue­tooth func­tion and be­fore we knew it we were lis­ten­ing to his mu­sic li­brary and the dul­cet, psy­che­delic tones of a band called the Brian Jon­estown Mas­sacre (an­other splen­did name, but I di­gress).

Ev­ery­thing in, on and around the dash is de­signed with the fu­ture in mind.

This ve­hi­cle makes driv­ing easy and most plea­sur­able; thanks to the in­sanely com­fort­able Al­can­tara leather trim seats, which are heated by the way— not that you’ll need that fea­ture up here.

One fea­ture I was par­tic­u­larly en­am­oured with was BLIS (Blind Spot In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem) which in essence is a prox­im­ity sen­sor, radar if you like that mon­i­tors the ve­hi­cle’s sur­rounds FORD MON­DEO TI­TA­NIUM TDCi BODY: 4 door hatch POWER: 103kW/320Nm ENGINE: 2.0-litre tur­bocharged four-cylin­der diesel SAFETY RAT­ING: Five-star ANCAP WEIGHT: 1638kg TRANS­MIS­SION: 6-speed se­quen­tial au­to­matic ECON­OMY: 7.3l/100km and when it de­tects an ob­ject in your blind spot, alerts you by way of the soft orange glow of a small un­ob­tru­sive light, that mag­i­cally ap­pears on your side mir­rors — a nifty, handy lit­tle fea­ture that is most ef­fec­tive, to say the least. I found my­self pur­posely slow­ing down a few times, on dual car­riage ways just so I could see it work.

There is also LDW (Lane De­par­ture Warn­ing), as well as dy­namic head­lights that swivel 15 de­grees to il­lu­mi­nate the road ahead when turn­ing a cor­ner and a whole host of other acronyms that de­servedly give this car its ANCAP rat­ing.

The cab en­sconces one in al­most to­tal si­lence; al­most like be­ing in a co­coon, you can eas­ily hold a de­cent con­ver­sa­tion with­out ever hav­ing to raise your voice, even at speed, trav­el­ling down the ‘‘Track’’.

Heaps of legroom and boot space make this a car that will eas­ily ri­val the cur­rent Fal­con.

Neg­a­tives — one mi­nor bug bear for me was the fact that the in­di­ca­tor stalk was on the left hand side — so con­se­quently the first few times, while ne­go­ti­at­ing a turn and once dur­ing a fairly abrupt lane change, I in­ad­ver­tently switched on the wipers to great comic ef­fect. Hav­ing said that, their po­si­tion­ing to the left of the steer­ing col­umn, doesn’t take that much time get­ting used to. Three words to sum­marise: Unique, re­li­able and el­e­gant.

Things aren’t go­ing well for Ford, par­tic­u­larly in Europe, with thou­sands of

five-star jobs and plant clo­sures slated for the com­ing weeks— a bleak Christ­mas looms for many on the con­ti­nent and in the UK.

I re­ally don’t get it, as the qual­ity of the ve­hi­cles in no way re­flects how the rest of the busi­ness is con­ducted.

The Mon­deo is Ger­man en­gi­neered, ex­tremely eco­nom­i­cal and safe: in sum­ma­tion, they’re mak­ing damn fine cars again.

Time for the mar­ket­ing depart­ment at Ford to pull their fin­gers out, so to speak and start pro­mot­ing these qual­ity ve­hi­cles prop­erly, me-thinks.

Hid­den Val­ley Ford cur­rently have the Mon­deo Zetec Eco Boost (four­cylin­der 2-litre turbo) on spe­cial at just $33,990 drive­away — a real bar­gain — see the boys in Ber­rimah for fur­ther specs and in­for­ma­tion on it.

The ve­hi­cle I road tested is the im­pres­sive 2-litre Turbo Diesel Auto TDCi Ti­ta­nium ver­sion and is avail­able for $51,554 drive­away.

Pic­tures: DANIEL HART­LEY-ALLEN

The Ford Mon­deo Ti­ta­nium TDCi com­bines a strik­ing ap­pear­ance with a daz­zling ar­ray of fea­tures

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