Traditionally, the Mondeo has been the sharpest-handling car in the class. However, Ford engineers took a slightly different approach this time around, focusing on comfort and refinement instead.
Buyers are rather spoiled for choice when it comes to picking an engine for the Mondeo. Three diesels, three petrols and and a hybrid are on offer, and there isn’t really a bad choice among them – all pull smoothly, perform adequately and rarely feel harsh or noisy.
Aside from the CVT-equipped Hybrid, buyers can choose between a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission with the same number of gears. While both feel more than up to the task, consider carefully whether you need an auto: it adds £1,485 to the asking price and blunts both straight-line speed and fuel efficiency. The manual, meanwhile, has a slick, well-engineered shift action. Offering the best of both worlds is Ford’s PowerShit twin-clutch auto, but it’s not an option on basic models.
The cheapest Mondeo comes equipped with a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder unit. A small engine in a large car tends to have a detrimental effect on performance and that’s apparent in the Mondeo, which strolls from 0-62mph in 12 seconds. In return, though, it’s capable of 55mpg fuel economy and emits just 119g/km of CO2. Both are impressive for a large petrol-powered family car.
The slightly more powerful 1.5-litre engine is the critic’s favourite combining reasonable go (0-62mph takes 9.2 seconds) with decent fuel economy of 46mpg combined.
The larger 2.0-litre with 240hp is thirsty and not much faster than the more economical top-of-the-range diesel, making it hard to recommend.
The hybrid technology used in the Mondeo feels outdated and the CVT gearbox makes the car very noisy, while the added weight of the batteries, coupled with its low-grip eco tyres make it the least rewarding model to drive.
The 2.0-litre diesel pulls strong and suits the Mondeo well
Although the 2.0-litre diesel is powerful it never feels fast. We would advise going for the super-efficient 1.5-litre instead. Its fuel economy of 70.6mpg means fewer visits to the pumps and very low CO2 emissions.
If you are looking for a quick Mondeo then the twin-turbocharged top-of-the-range diesel is the model to go for. With 210hp it can get from 0-62mph in a speedy 8.1 seconds, its huge wave of torque makes overtaking a breeze and it’s very refined. Despite this, it returns fuel economy of 54.3mpg. By comparison, the fast petrol model (the 2.0-litre EcoBoost) returns fuel economy of less than 40mpg and is just a tenth of a second quicker to 62mph.
The ride quality is silky smooth, there’s less road noise and suspension thump is better contained than in many more premium German rivals.
The handling isn’t lacklustre by any stretch – for its size the Mondeo still feels agile and grips well – it is just that it feels slightly more disconnected than before.