Ford Mondeo Vignale review
The Ford Mondeo Vignale may be packed with equipment, good to drive and luxurious inside, but it’s too expensive for what it is
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The Ford Mondeo Vignale is another example of how Ford is trying to shift itself upmarket. So, this range-topping version of the Mondeo is based on the standard model, but it gets a plush interior and a five-star support network to make it appeal to a more discerning buyer.
Trouble is, all that also makes it considerably more expensive. In fact, it costs as much as premium German saloons, like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, although buyers might also consider the Volkswagen Passat and the Skoda Superb as alternatives.
Unlike these models, the Ford Mondeo Vignale is available both as a saloon and as a hatchback. But, the saloon only comes as a petrol-electric hybrid, while the hatchback comes only with diesel engines.
Whichever you choose, the Vignale experience extends well beyond just buying a car with a lot of equipment. It also covers unique customer service from specialised Vignale dealers, access to a 24hr helpline, buyers having their car washed for free and getting it picked up before (and dropped off after) scheduled service work.
At first glance, though, what you’ll notice about the Vignale are its unique looks. Inside, that means high-quality leather, metal trim and chrome surrounds for the main instruments, but there is a problem: this only serves to highlight the deficiencies of the rest of the interior. It’s been lifted straight from the standard Mondeo, so Vignale owners (who have a paid significantly more) have to put up with cheap-feeling plastics and a design that can’t match the polish you’ll find in cars such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class.
On the other hand, there’s no issue with how much room there is inside. Space in the front is excellent and the rear seat can easily accommodate two tall adults, although a six-footer sitting in the middle might find headroom is a little tight in the saloon thanks to its sloping roof.
The Ford Mondeo Vignale also offers a vast array of storage spaces and cupholders, while the boot on this saloon is impressive. Of course, it’s not as practical as a hatchback, but if you’re no fan of the saloon bodystyle, you can always invest in the estate instead.
The Vignale experience doesn’t have to be as good as BMW or Audi, it has to be better if you are to spend 3 Series money on a Mondeo
As you would expect from a car that sits at the top of the Mondeo range, the Vignale is available only with the most powerful engines. That means you can pick from two 2.0-litre diesels or a petrol-electric hybrid, with four-wheel drive also available with the most powerful diesel engine.
The most sensible choice is one of the diesels, as they’re plenty quick enough in everyday use, and have decent running costs. The hybrid is a less appealing package overall, but it may make sense for some company car users. Whatever engine is fitted, the Ford Mondeo Vignale is a car that focuses on comfort, but is still very enjoyable to drive – although the diesel cars are more fun than the hybrid.
On the motorway, the Vignale really comes into its own, as the acoustic glass and active noise cancellation system make this one of the quietest cars in its class.
It’s very comfortable, too. Even on big 18-inch alloy wheels that usually amplify bumps in the road, the Ford Mondeo Vignale remains impressively composed – seemingly gliding over rough surfaces. And, thanks to the light, accurate steering and limited body lean in corners, this is a fun car to drive, too.
More than that, it’s also a safe car – deserving the same five-star Euro NCAP safety rating as the whole Mondeo range – and a well-equipped one. The standard features include items such as an eight-inch sat-nav display, alloy wheels, climate control, heated and electrically adjustable front seats, a DAB digital radio and a rear view camera.
It all looks very impressive on paper, but despite the lavish equipment, the comfortable drive and the promised five-star service, it’s hard to justify the extra the Vignale costs over a standard Mondeo.