£25,295 - £27,295 Price range
The Ford Mondeo Hybrid is a petrol-electric mid-size saloon that has great refinement and low running costs. Its main rivals are the Volkswagen Passat GTE, Lexus IS 300h and Volvo S60 Hybrid while the slightly more expensive BMW 340e and Mercedes E350e are also good alternatives.
The Mondeo Hybrid is just as spacious for passengers as the regular one, but boot space suffers because the batteries are housed there.
The near faultless drive of the regular Mondeo is somewhat compromised in the Hybrid, but it’s still far from the worst in class. Noise in the cabin, on the other hand is lower than in any Mondeo.
The combined 190hp produced by a 2.0-litre petrol and two electric motors sounds plenty but it doesn’t feel as fast in reality. A seamless transition between petrol and electric power compensates for the disappointing performance.
Costing slightly more than a 2.0-litre diesel Mondeo, the Hybrid has a generous standard equipment list befitting of the asking price – sport seats, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, sat-nav and traffic sign recognition.
There is very little difference between the Hybrid and the regular Mondeo’s interior. The only thing that appears new at a glance is the redesigned instrument cluster. The speedometer now gets centre stage and, like in all hybrid rivals, there is a readout showing you how much power you are either using or regenerating.
Other than that you get the same centre console with a large infotainment touchscreen and clear graphics, which is a bit less intuitive to use than the latest in rivals such as the VW Passat. The added functionality of the infotainment screen means there are fewer buttons and as a result the dashboard looks neater. The disappointing material quality that was the biggest problem of the old Mondeo has been greatly improved.
Ford Mondeo Hybrid passenger space
The Mondeo has never been short on passenger space and that remains unchanged in the Hybrid as well. Testers describe the driving position as excellent and – thanks to plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment – anyone can make themselves comfortable.
Ford Mondeo Hybrid boot space
One area where the hybrid drivetrain has a negative impact is boot capacity. The normal Mondeo saloon has a 500-litre boot that is about average for the class. However, because the batteries are located in the boot, the Mondeo Hybrid has just 386 litres of space. The VW Passat GTE, on the other hand, manages to fit its batteries under the boot floor, so it retains the 586-litre capacity of the non-hybrid model.
The Ford Mondeo and the Mazda 6 are arguably the best mid-size saloons to drive. However the Mondeo Hybrid falls down a bit because, to help improve fuel economy, Ford has equipped it with low-rolling-resistance tyres. The marginal improvement in fuel consumption is overshadowed by the reduced grip and increased body roll. Overall, testers weren’t impressed by the driving characteristics. This may partly be due to the fact that the regular Mondeo is just so good, or because the focus of the car is not performance driving.
If you judge the Mondeo Hybrid on refinement and ride comfort, then it’s on par with other hybrid rivals. It can travel solely on electric power at speeds of up to 85mph and it’s much quieter inside than a regular Mondeo, while the ride quality, albeit firmer than usual, is much better than in a Toyota Prius.
The Mondeo Hybrid can only be equipped with a CVT automatic transmission. It’s good for smoothly gliding without gear changes, but when you floor it, the characteristic drone of this type of gearboxes can be annoying.
In a time when all rivals use turbocharged engines in their hybrids, the 2.0-litre non-turbocharged petrol in the Mondeo Hybrid seems outgunned. It’s a tried and tested engine with many years of service and is helped by two electric motors. One is used for regenerating energy when braking and the other for aiding propulsion. The combined power of 190hp sounds plenty, but according to reviewers it’s rarely felt on the road. The off-the-mark acceleration is poor when compared to torquier, turbocharged rivals.
0-62mph takes 9.2 seconds and top speed is 112mph but the much more important figures for hybrid buyers are the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. The good news is that the Mondeo Hybrid dips below 99g/km so it’s free to tax, but the combined fuel economy of 67.3mpg is not far from what a diesel powered Mondeo can manage.
Safety-wise, the Mondeo Hybrid is the same as the regular car which was awarded the full five stars by Euro NCAP when it was crash tested in 2014. It comes with seven airbags, two Isofix mounting points, stability control as well as seat-belt reminders and pre-tensioners as standard.
The regular Mondeo is good value for money and to keep up with that trend, the Mondeo Hybrid comes decently equipped from the factory too – 16-inch alloy wheels, start button, DAB digital radio, sat-nav, stylish ambient lighting inside and a TFT digital instrument cluster are all standard.
The downside of the low running costs and free tax is that the Mondeo Hybrid is not exactly cheap to buy. For the same sort of money you can get the marginally more expensive to run, but better to drive and livelier 2.0-litre diesel version in top-spec Titanium trim.
From an enthusiast’s point of view, the Mondeo Hybrid has lost one of the main reasons people prefer a Mondeo over a Passat – the engaging drive. However, if we look at the Mondeo Hybrid for what it is, then it’s a supremely quiet, comfortable and decently cheap to run. It also costs considerably less than a Passat GTE, so if performance and practicality are not high on your list of priorities, then the Mondeo Hybrid is a good choice.
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