Long wait for Ford Mondeo pays off
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FORD HAS REVAMPED ITS MID-SIZER IN WAKE OF THE FALCON’S DEMISE
The big problem with waiting a long time for something is that you can start to build up unrealistic expectations. And we have waited a long time for the new Ford Mondeo.
So would our expectations have grown wildly out of control? Would we be expecting more than the new Ford “flagship” could, in reality, deliver?
There are no big surprises here, because after driving the new Mondeo around Canberra for a day at the Australasian launch, we can happily say that our expectations have been met. And then some.
Ford New Zealand has stuck even closer to the status quo by only bringing 2-litre petrol and diesel models into the local market. But they are a mighty impressive pair of engines indeed.
The 2-litre four-cylinder petrol EcoBoost engine is available in two different power outputs — a 149kW/345Nm version in the entry level Ambiente sedan and wagon 2-litre four-cylinder diesel is available in a single 132kW/400Nm guise across the Ambiente and Trend models.
The new Mondeo comes standard with an impressive amount of technology and safety equipment across the range, not the least of which is Ford’s new inflatable rear seatbelt that, in the event of a collision, will deploy a “mini airbag” over an occupant’s torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds. Ford says this spreads the impact forces over five times more area of the body to help reduce pressure on the chest and control head and neck motion for rear seat passengers.
All models also get Ford’s brilliant new SYNC2 infotainment system that includes an 8-inch touchscreen, voice control, 2 USB ports, an SD card port, iPod and audio/video RCA inputs, Bluetooth connectivity and a satellite navigation system.
The Titanium adds a lane keeping assist function that vibrates the steering wheel to warn the driver when they are drifting across a lane and a forward collision warning function that sounds an alert when it senses a reduction in traffic speed ahead and, if the possibility of a collision is detected, audible and visual warnings are activated to alert the driver.
The Titanium also gets a new version of Ford’s Active Park Assist system that will not only find a spot that’s just the right size, but will also steer the car into parking spaces.
The entry level Trend packs an array of equipment that would be considered top of the line not all that long ago, while the range topping Titanium goes beyond pretty much anything else in the segment, bar the equally well-specced refreshed Mazda6. This though is a situation that may well change with the imminent introductions of a new Toyota Camry and VW Passat.
A large part of the Mondeo’s appeal has always been the rock solid certainty that, regardless of the model, it would always be a damn fine steer.
And the new car is no exception to that long-standing rule. The new model is softer than the previous car, but the confident and capable feel of the Mondeo remains intact.
The steering is sharp and accurate — albeit slightly overly light for our tastes — and the car posses an athletic, nimble feel for what is in no way a small car.
While the exterior is handsome, but somewhat familiar, the interior is anything but — a sleek, beautifully designed exercise in restraint and elegance, the ever-so-slightly minimalist interior of the new Mondeo is beautifully made and boasts high quality materials.
A thoroughly impressive (and impressively priced) car, it was definitely worth the wait.