£22,200 - £31,945 Price range
37 - 57 MPG
The Ford Mondeo Estate is a medium-size family car, that is praised on its improved interior quality and efficiency over the previous model. The Volkswagen Passat Estate and the Mazda 6 Estate are its closest rivals, but many buyers also consider the BMW 3 Series Touring and the Audi A4 Avant.
The Mondeo Estate is very close to the class leader Passat in terms of interior space and many buyers will find the boot capacity enough for just about anything. The comfortable driving position is really appreciated on longer journeys, which we think most Mondeo Estates are used for. The interior quality has been greatly improved and the dashboard now has fewer buttons.
The Mondeo Estate is not as fun to drive as the previous model, but as a trade off some reviewers say it has a better ride than some German rivals. The steering is still well-weighed and the car grips well, but it’s no longer the best in class to drive.
There is a huge line-up of engines to choose from for the Mondeo Estate. Each one of them is modern and fuel efficient, but the 1.5-litre petrol and diesel models are the most interesting as they blend performance and low running costs to an almost perfect balance.
The base Zetec trim is well equipped with a touch-screen infotainment system and climate control among many other things. The Titanium trim has every creature comfort that you can think of and the Titanium X trim adds a sporty bodykit and chrome exhaust pipes.
Despite what appears to be rather plain styling in the cabin, it’s immediately apparent that the quality of the materials used in the Mondeo is the biggest draw. One tester notes that some of the plastics could still be better but, overall, the interior is a massive leap forward from Mondeos of old. Buttons for the heating system may take some getting used to but the eight-inch touchscreen helps keep the overall design tidy.
Ford Mondeo Estate passenger space
There’s a generous amount of space for passengers in the front and back, and the wide rear bench seats three in comfort. A comfortable driver’s seat offers all the adjustment you’d ever need, making for a car that’s very easy to settle in to. The pedals and steering wheel line up nicely, so there’s none of the subtle twisting that can make longer journeys tiresome in some rivals.
Ford Mondeo Estate boot space
Although the Passat can claim a larger boot with the rear seats up or down (650/1,780 litres versus 500/1,605 in the Ford) it is unlikely that many buyers will grumble at what the Mondeo offers.
Save for the design of the front suspension, nearly everything else chassis-wise has been completely overhauled from the previous Mondeo. An electric power steering system replaces the old hydraulic set up, and a redesigned rear suspension system aims to reduce the number of bumps and noises transmitted into the cabin.
Critics say the improvements to refinement are tangible. Even on the largest alloy wheels, the ride quality is well above average, while the more sturdy rear suspension components with uprated damping materials play their part, too.
To the dismay of some critics, this softening-up of the Mondeo has come at the expense of outright handling involvement. It still feels commendably stable yet surprisingly agile for such a large car, but the overly light electric power steering – although accurate – removes most of the feel through the wheel. Given then that majority of Mondeo owners probably prioritise comfort over driving fun, this doesn’t seem a bad compromise.
In 2015 it got an optional four-wheel-drive system that makes the Mondeo the cheapest 4WD car in it’s class. For comparison a Passat 4×4 costs around £10,000 more. This is the second time the Mondeo is offered with an all-wheel-drive system since the first Mondeo back in 1992. The 2015 Mondeo 4×4 doesn’t get any exterior badges or interior clues to differentiate it from the rest of the range, but the infotainment system screen can display where the power is going at any given time. Testers say that in normal driving conditions, both dry and wet, there is virtually no way to tell the difference between a 4×4 Mondeo and a regular front-wheel-drive one. Only in snow and ice the added traction can be beneficial but the overwhelming opinion is that a set of good winter tires provide the same traction. The 4WD does add about 75kgs to the weight of the car and according to testers that can be felt and as a result a Mazda 6 Tourer feels more planted.
The Mondeo’s engine range is hard to fault, with something for everyone. Company car users will be kept happy by the 1.5-litre turbo diesel, while private buyers looking for some towing capability will be interested in the 180hp 2.0-litre turbodiesel or the rapid 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol.
Regardless of which engine sits under the bonnet, everything feels calm and relaxing from the cabin. Improved sound-deadening materials mean that on light throttle loads, very little rumble intrudes into the cabin.
A choice of manual or automatic gearboxes are offered. Both are six-speeders, and both are pleasant enough to use. The auto is expensive though.
Euro NCAP awarded the Mondeo a five-star safety rating for occupant and pedestrian safety, so there should be no qualms about making this the vehicle of choice for family transport. Seven airbags are equipped as standard, with the option of seat belt airbags for rear passengers – a first for the class.
If we were to be critical, some of the more modern safety tech – for example the blind spot warning system, adaptive cruise control and emergency city braking – could be equipped as standard on at least some of the models. It’s a shame that they are optional extras even on the top-spec Titanium X variants.
Ford’s large dealer network will make servicing easy. The economical engines will keep costs down while everything is running smoothly, too.
Whichever trim level you choose, the Mondeo isn’t short on tech. An eight-inch touchscreen takes care of all of the infotainment functions, and is standard across the range.
A Skoda Superb with a 2.0-litre turbo diesel starts from £1,180 less than the identically-powerful 2.0 TDCi Mondeo, and the Passat will hold its value better, so private buyers may need to take these facts into consideration when trying to decide which represents the best value.
Overall, the Mondeo Estate has a long list of pros and very few cons. It’s practical, economical, refined, comfortable and its stylish looks will surely appeal to many, too. However, it could be argued that for outright value the Skoda Superb edges it, and for build quality the Passat might just be the better bet.
Both factors are so marginal that if you head to one of carwow’s Ford dealerships, you’d still be making a fine decision.
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