LX, Wagon, Zetec, Titanium, XR5 Turbo

WE LIKE THE MONDEO, at all times have. Can’t work out why such an honest drive and decent-looking medium contender has not accomplished higher within the Australian market.

Like, check out final month’s VFACTS gross sales figures for the Mondeo and examine them with the Mazda6 and the Accord Euro. Mazda bought 672 of its seemly 6, Honda bought 385 Euros, whereas Ford bought 259 Mondeos.

The Mondeo is best than that. So what’s the story? Is it too near the Falcon, can that be it? Or is it simply that Ford hasn’t but labored out get the Mondeo onto the radar for Australian consumers?

Perhaps consumers simply neglect to test it out.

However maybe the brand new MB Mondeo will change issues. With a brand new Wagon, plus a hatch with each the LX specification and a ‘Titanium’ premium badge added to the combination, Ford might now have the proper mannequin unfold for the Mondeo to lastly make its presence felt within the section.

We received behind the wheel of every of the brand new fashions, and, over a spread of various roads and surfaces, had an opportunity to see the place Ford has tweaked the brand new MB vary.

Whereas an extended take a look at will inform the story, on this primary drive, the information – just about – is all good.

Each the Wagon and the LX hatch mannequin are all-new entries to the vary (the LX was beforehand solely obtainable as a sedan).

The LX hatch – now up-specced with the addition of Bluetooth hands-free with Voice Management system, cruise management and leather-based steering wheel, at no improve to the $31,990 record worth – might be a welcome addition for a lot of consumers.

The Wagon, which is probably of most curiosity, comes on the expense of the slow-selling sedan, which Ford Australia has dropped from showrooms.

Mechanical package

Proper now, the LX and Wagon can be found with the two.3 litre petrol engine solely. The trendy and well-balanced MB Wagon will surely profit from the diesel possibility.

There’s nothing mistaken although with the sleek and surprisingly tractable 2.3 litre Duratec 16-valve petrol engine. With 118kW @ 6500rpm and 208 Nm @ 4200rpm, and a willingness to spin effortlessly, it’s no gasping slouch and strikes the Mondeo in hatch or wagon kind alongside fairly properly.

The diesel possibility for the Zetec and Titanium hatch is the potent and acquainted TDCi Duratorq diesel with 103kW @ 4000rpm and 320Nm obtainable from 1750rpm.

Every powerplant is mated to Ford’s glorious six-speed automated auto. These six nicely-spaced ratios present sturdy efficiency for each fashions.

The diesel – which is a cracker – has the sting as soon as issues are rolling. It is extremely sturdy within the mid-speeds, from 80-100km/h, and effortlessly holds momentum on the street.

The diesel is the selection, particularly in case you’re often loaded up. This latter level would make it a ‘monty’ for the Wagon.

That mentioned, the peakier petrol, due to its willingness to maintain spinning, is quicker in a bolt off the road. However, with fewer Newton-metres to name on, you end up making extra use of the six-speed field to take care of momentum by way of corners and hills.

The drive

There are two issues that shock with the Wagon. The primary is its measurement.

This can be a huge wagon; it’s received extra load house than Holden’s Sportwagon, nevertheless it doesn’t look bulbous nor does it really feel it on the wheel. Within the metallic, it appears to be like sharp with a pleasant entrance to rear stability, clear strains, a rising hipline and a deep trendy crease operating nostril to tail.

On street, it feels little totally different to every other well-sorted medium-hatch. However with the split-fold (60:40) seats tipped ahead, you would get a forty-four gallon drum into the cargo house.

Importantly, it doesn’t flip all ‘arsy’ and high heavy when giving it a push by way of the bends. Positive, you’re conscious there’s some weight again there, however the Mondeo Wagon’s dealing with is first-class.

The second shock is the refinement. Although we traversed quite a lot of roads together with some coarse blue-metal bitumen, the Wagon is all-but freed from typical wagon resonance and ‘increase’.

Wind-noise, as with the Fiesta and Focus, is commendably banished. There’s a little tyre shearing, however solely on the coarsest surfaces. The rear suspension is properly remoted, regardless of the big hole house above it, and NVH is especially low.

In reality, the MB Mondeo Wagon performs higher for NVH in our view than the tremendously improved (over the previous mannequin) Mazda6 wagon as an example: a tick there to Ford’s acoustic engineers.

There’s nothing notably subtle with the underpinnings, with MacPherson strut entrance and impartial control-blade multi-link rear. However the Mondeo is properly damped – though the Wagon wallows slightly greater than the hatch – and with good suspension journey.

On this primary drive, it appeared to have not one of the nervousness on the wheel nor the tough rebound on damaged surfaces that we’ve come to anticipate from a number of the Mondeo’s Euro-designed opponents.

The Titanium and XR5 Turbo are slightly extra targeted down under, each providing sports activities suspension with a 10mm decrease experience peak.

All throughout the vary include disc brakes entrance and rear, ventilated up entrance, stable rear. Every additionally options anti-lock braking, digital brakeforce distribution, emergency brake help, and stability and traction management.

The inside

Inside and on the wheel the MB Mondeo scores one other tick for Ford. The inside is properly styled and restrained, with interesting tactile surfaces, good match and end and ergonomically ‘proper’.

The entrance and rear seats are comfy and well-shaped, and the materials, even within the LX, seem sturdy and of fine high quality. (Time will inform with materials in fact – nothing just like the addition of some gummy six-year-olds, the household canine and a little bit of projectile vomiting to actually take a look at out an inside.)

Within the Titanium mannequin and XR5 Turbo, the alcantara/leather-based seats back and front are very interesting to the contact, provide good lumbar and lateral assist (when cornering) and are lounge-chair comfy.

Devices and controls are properly laid out, though, being a little bit of a dunce, I struggled slightly finding out the controls of the multi-function steering wheel which is probably not as intuitive as some.

Notably interesting is the clear instrument cluster within the binnacle in entrance of the motive force. It’s a little reminiscent, as my colleague on the drive noticed, of the easy structure of the outdated Cortina 440. (A very good factor by the way.)

Gear and options

For gear and options, even the entry-spec LX comes properly configured.

Bluetooth hands-free with voice management is customary throughout the vary, as is Ford’s capless refuelling system with ‘mis-fuel inhibitor, heated energy mirrors and ‘observe me dwelling’ lighting.

On Zetec, Titanium and XR5 Turbo fashions, the voice management system extends to incorporate audio and local weather management performance – providing you with the possibility to speak to the radio or CD participant for a change (or, in case you’re actually bored, to the air-conditioner).

The LX will get an eight-speaker audio system with CD and aux-in jack for MP3 gamers. The upper-spec fashions get a Sony premium system with six-disc participant, MP3 and USB enter, and full iPod compatibility.

Leather-based-wrapped multi-function steering wheel is customary throughout the vary as is cruise management. Titanium and XR5 Turbo fashions include a really stylish adaptive cruise management (with radar distance-control). The LX will get energy entrance home windows; up-spec fashions get energy home windows entrance and rear.

Zetec, Titanium and XR5 Turbo additionally get rain-sensing wipers, automated headlights, driver’s seat energy peak modify, heated leather-based seats, proximity sensing ‘good key’, ‘energy begin’ button, 18-inch sports activities alloy wheels, dynamic headlights with cornering lamps and energy tilt and slide sunroof.

All throughout the vary include driver and entrance passenger airbags, facet entrance airbags, facet curtain airbags and drivers’ knee airbag.

The decision

Sure, the Mondeo remains to be top-of-the-line drives, and greatest worth, in its section.

With a Wagon and a Titanium mannequin now extending the mannequin vary, and every exceptionally properly configured, there are extra causes to commend the Mondeo.

The LX hatch begins the pricing at $31,990 plus on-roads, the LX Wagon at $32,990 plus on-roads. Zetec petrol variants are priced at $36,990 and $37,990 (plus on-roads) respectively, the Zetec TDCi rattling the until at $39,990 (plus on-roads).

The luxurious Titanium 2.3 litre petrol is $42,990, the TDCi $45,990 (plus on-roads). The XR5 Turbo (with 2.5 litre) sits slightly below the TDCi Titanium at $44,990 (plus on-roads).

We cherished the XR5 Turbo once we checked out it final yr, we nonetheless do; ditto with the TDCi.

Numerous households will just like the Wagon particularly. We’d favor to even have the diesel possibility with the Wagon, however, within the meantime, the two.3 litre petrol variant, whereas not a tear-away, is as much as the duty.

We’ll get the diesel Wagon right here, however Australian consumers have to be slightly affected person. Ford Australia’s Justin Lacy instructed TMR that the “turbo-diesel wagon ought to be a part of the vary later this yr or early subsequent yr”.

“Our precedence was merely to get the wagon right here as quickly as attainable, which on account of manufacturing constraints out of Europe, meant petrol variants arrive first, according to the remainder of the MB Mondeo vary, ” Mr Lacy mentioned.

This primary take a look at drive of the MB Mondeo Wagon and Titanium fashions confirms our view that the Mondeo has the measure of the section and ought to be main in gross sales.

Time will inform if Ford can reach busting the MB Mondeo into the consciousness of consumers. It has the proper automobile in the proper place.

RATING: 4 stars

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