Haul the mod cons
VALUE Ford’s mid-size front-wheel drive Mondeo appeals to discerning buyers thanks to its technology, fuel efficiency and so-called Euro feel. Sedans and wagons are available with 2.0-litre turbo petrol or diesel engines and sixspeed transmissions, a conventional auto and, in the diesel, a dual clutch. Our test Titanium wagon at $49,340 plus on-roads packs in features that would make a more expensive prestige German car look inadequate. Build quality on the car driven was as good as anything from Europe, if a little over the top in the dash department with too many buttons. Titanium spec gets leather, premium audio, the sometimes confusing Sync2 connectivity with voice control, touchscreen media hub, adaptive suspension and auto tailgate. Capped servicing for three years is $1225 and warranty is three years/100,000km. COMFORT The wagon is quite big, which in the cabin means comfy seating for five and a large load space. Headroom isn’t an issue even with the unnecessary sunroof. Some engine noise intrudes at low speeds but otherwise it’s quiet. Audio quality is high and there is just about every luxury feature in the Ford inventory. Of note are the 10-way electrically adjustable and heated front seats, electrically adjustable steering wheel, dualzone climate control aircon and drive mode settings of sport, normal and eco. Too many controls? Maybe. SAFETY Ford goes over the top here with a focus on advanced driver assist technology. The Titanium gets forward collision warning, blind spot warning, reverse camera, programmable ignition key that allows speed restrictions, precollision alert, pedestrian detection, active city brake and adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and fatigue monitoring. There are nine airbags including seat belt bags for rear occupants. Then there are adaptive LED headlights, automatic wipers and headlights. ANCAP’s rating is five stars. DRIVING The turbo diesel (132kW/ 400Nm) delivers strong performance across the board for the heavy (1789kg) Titanium wagon. Sport is the preferred drive mode. The engine is quiet most of the time and super economical given the weight it has to haul, abetted by the twinclutch — paddle-shifters help to stir things along. Expect 1000km of cruising on one tank. Adaptive dampers cover most contingencies, endowing the hauler with a high comfort rating and surprisingly sporty dynamics. Even the brakes prove well up to the task. Steering response is quick and well damped, even on rough roads, though the turning circle is a tad large at nearly 12 metres. It is rated to tow 1600kg. ALTERNATIVES Direct competitors are
wagon at the same money, diesel wagon at $42,990,
diesel wagon at $49,490. The Mondeo wagon stacks up well against these on all scores. VERDICT It’s superior on all fronts to previous Mondeos. A classy wagon, it delivers excellent performance and economy and the features list has everything short of the kitchen sink.