What stands out?
The Ford Mondeo steers very nicely, rides very comfortably, and makes a superbly accomplished touring car. The mid-sized hatchback and wagon have roomy interiors and appealing entertainment features. You can have a powerful , turbocharged, petrol engine or a fuel-saving diesel. A sophisticated active safety suite includes auto braking.
What might bug me?
If you purchase a diesel Mondeo, negotiating stop-start traffic. Mondeo diesels use a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and these cannot match the fluid, elastic take-off from rest that you experience in a conventional or CVT automatic. (Petrol Mondeos have a conventional auto.)
What body styles are there?
Five-door hatchback and five-door wagon. (The hatchback looks like a fastback sedan, but its boot lid hinges from above the rear window, like a hatchback’s. This body style is sometimes described as a liftback.)
Mondeo Trend and Ambiente wagons use load-levelling suspension, which acts to prevent the rear of the car from sinking when you’re carrying a lot of stuff.
The Ford Mondeo drives its front wheels, and it is classed as a medium car, lower priced.
What features do all Mondeos have?
Dual-zone climate control, which lets you set different temperatures for each side of the cabin.
Cruise control, with a speed limiter. Paddle shifters and leather on the steering wheel.
Long-lasting LED tail lights. Front foglights, and daytime running lights.
Ford’s SYNC3 multimedia system, with an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen, a digital radio, satellite navigation, voice control, and Bluetooth for phone calls and audio streaming. Inputs for USB, RCA, and SD cards. Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allow you to display some apps from compatible smartphones on the touchscreen and control them from there.
A reversing camera, and parking sensors front and rear. (The sensors give you an audible indication of how far the bumpers are from obstacles.)
Wheels made from an alloy of aluminium, which are usually lighter and better looking than the traditional steel wheels with plastic covers. A full-sized spare wheel and tyre.
Electronic stability control, which can help you control a skidding car. All new cars must have this feature.
Seven airbags: two directly in front of the driver and front passenger; one alongside each front occupant to protect the upper body; a curtain airbag down each side protecting the heads of front and rear occupants; and a knee protection airbag for the driver.
Every Ford Mondeo carries a three-year, 100,000 kilometre warranty.
Which engine uses least fuel, and why wouldn't I choose it?
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel in TDCi Mondeos uses least fuel, consuming no more than 5.3L/100km on the official test (city and country combined). This engine accelerates the car effortlessly from low speeds.
The diesel uses stop-start technology to save fuel in the city. It shuts down automatically when you stop, and starts again when you press the accelerator to drive away.
One reason you might not choose a diesel is that it is not suited to predominantly short trips around town. Mondeo diesels use an exhaust particulate filter as part of the emissions control system, and they need regular highway runs to keep the filter clean.
Another is that both of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engines feel smoother than the diesel, sound nicer, and cost less. Mondeos with petrol engines also feel nearly as effortless when you first press the accelerator, while sustaining more go than the diesels should you hold your foot down.
Neither petrol engine consumes more than 8.5 litres/100km on the test cycle. The less powerful of them comes with the least costly Mondeo, the Ambiente Hatch, and uses only slightly less. The more powerful powers the Trend and Titanium, and generates about 20 per cent more oomph.
However, in real world use if you enjoy their considerable thrust, the turbo petrols get a bit thirsty. A Mondeo Titanium turbo petrol averaged 11.2 litres/100km over a Wheels magazine comparison test of 10 popular sedans, only marginally less than a Holden Commodore SV6.
Every Ford Mondeo has a six-speed automatic gearbox. The petrol fuelled cars get a conventional auto, while diesels use a dual-clutch auto. (The petrol autos will feel smoother and easier in stop-start traffic, while the dual-clutch autos offer quicker gear shifts).
What key features do I get if I spend more?
Step past the Mondeo Ambiente and spend more for a Trend and you get the more powerful of the petrol engines (or the same diesel). You also get a bunch of extra equipment.
Seats in a Trend are trimmed partly in leather, and both front seats are heated and power-adjustable – with the adjustment extending to support for your lower back. The driver’s seat also remembers your adjustments (so that you can restore your preferred settings easily after a companion has driven the car).
There is a smart key, which lets you unlock and start the car without removing the key from your bag or pocket. Puddle lamps illuminate the ground under the doors.
Windscreen wipers operate automatically when it rains. Headlights come on automatically when it’s dark, and switch from high to low beam when they sense oncoming traffic.
Wheel diameter grows an inch to 18 inches, and the tyre sidewalls shrink correspondingly. That sharpens steering response marginally and helps the car look faster, an effect augmented by twin exhaust tailpipes.
Adaptive cruise control maintains a safe distance from vehicles ahead of you on the highway.
Active safety aids introduced on the Mondeo Trend include city-speed automatic emergency braking (with pedestrian detection), lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, and a driver fatigue alert. (For more on these systems, please open the Safety section below.)
Spend more again on a Mondeo Titanium and you get, in addition, adaptive suspension, which lets you adjust the way the car rides – from firmly (for best handling) to relatively softly (for best comfort). Wheels are an inch bigger again at 19 inches, and body skirts produce a racier shape. Extra bright, long-lasting LED headlights swivel to illuminate the road when you’re driving around bends.
There is full leather trim, and the front and rear seats are heated. Power adjustment for the driver extends to the height and reach of the steering wheel. There is a sunroof, and the tailgate is power-operated.
A blind spot alert warns when changing lanes that a vehicle is alongside your Mondeo Titanium. Active park assist can steer the car into parking spaces.
Does any upgrade have a down side?
While all Mondeos ride very comfortably, the smoothest ride comes in the least expensive of them, the Mondeo Ambient. Trends and Titaniums are not quite as good at city speeds, although there is not a lot in it. The lower profile tyres on these cars have less rubber and air cushioning the wheels from the road. Titaniums have the lowest tyre profile of the three, but their adaptive suspension compensates to some extent.
In a Mondeo Ambient wagon, you can choose a petrol engine or a diesel. In Trend and Titanium wagons, your only choice is the diesel – which means you also get the dual-clutch transmission.
The front body skirt on Mondeo Titaniums may scrape when entering very steep driveways.
Of eight colours available, only one, Frozen White, comes without extra cost. The others add about $450.
How comfortable is the Mondeo?
The Ford Mondeo is perhaps the most comfortable of all lower-priced medium sedans – indeed, it rides at least as smoothly as many bigger luxury cars. It is also quiet, and makes a supremely accomplished long-distance touring car.
Your driving position is easily tailored – especially in versions with powered seat adjustment – and the front seats are very comfortable for long periods. The rear seat offers excellent space and support.
Above 60km/h, the slight low-speed ride sharpness of the Titanium is no longer perceptible, and its adaptive dampers add an extra layer of polish to the way the car soaks up road imperfections.
The Mondeo’s interior plastics do not reach the very high standard set by the car in most other respects. However, the cabin is nicely designed, with a high level of features. Audio, air-conditioning and other controls are neatly and intuitively arranged.
What about safety in a Ford Mondeo?
Even the least costly Mondeo, the Ambiente, brings you stability control, seven airbags, a reversing camera, and front and rear parking sensors.
All Mondeos also have inflating rear outer seatbelts, said to spread the load from a collision across five-times the body area used by a normal seatbelt.
And all have Ford’s MyKey, which allows you to limit certain car properties – such as top speed and sound-system volume – before lending the car to others. (For example, to your newly licensed teenager.)
Active safety in a Mondeo takes a dramatic step up in the Trend, and a further small step in the Titanium.
Both have automatic emergency braking that works at speeds below 40km/h, under the title Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. It warns you of obstacles in front of the car, and applies the brakes autonomously if you do not react. The obstacle typically will be a slower vehicle, but the radar-and-camera based system also monitors pedestrians on either side of the road.
A related system warns that you are drifting distractedly into an adjacent lane, and will gently apply corrective steering if you do not respond smartly. A driver impairment monitor alerts you if it detects signs that you are falling asleep.
The Mondeo Titanium adds to this a blind-spot monitor, which flashes a light at one corner of the exterior mirror if another vehicle is out of view alongside you.
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) awarded the Ford Mondeo its maximum five stars for safety, in March 2015.
I like driving - will I enjoy this car?
The Ford Mondeo is a brilliant drive – you will love it. As well as being a comfortable and refined family touring car, the Mondeo is built to please the person behind the wheel.
The Mondeo’s steering is smooth and linear in its response, and gives you a reassuring and rewarding sense of connection with the front wheels and the road.
On a country drive, the Mondeo’s wonderfully well-judged blend of handling with comfort allows it to involve you without being demanding or tiring.
In city driving, precise steering helps it feel smaller than it is.
In its Sport mode, the Mondeo Titanium responds more immediately and precisely to your steering than Trend and Ambiente versions, thanks to lower profile tyres and the adaptive suspension’s superior control of body movement.
Enthusiastic drivers will prefer the petrol engines over the diesel for their extra power, smoother delivery and broader operating range. However, the diesel’s effortless low-speed urge brings you very relaxing (and fuel-efficient) cruising.
There is no manual gearbox option in the Mondeo, but paddle shifters put you in command of gear selection for sporty driving, which adds to the fun.
How is life in the rear seats?
The sculpted rear seat in Mondeos offers excellent support under the thighs and during brisk cornering. The backrest angle is just right, and because the Mondeo is a generously sized, well-packaged medium car, there is ample head, shoulder and foot room. Forward vision is good.
Trend and Titanium versions offer a fold-down centre rear armrest, and dedicated air-conditioning vents for rear passengers.
How is it for carrying stuff?
The Mondeo has a huge cargo area. The hatchback, at 458 litres, has almost as much cargo space as the wagon if you load them to the parcel shelf, although there is a bigger difference when they’re laden to the roof.
A ski port allows long, skinny items to protrude forward from the cargo area, and the backrests split-fold 60-40.
With the rear seats folded flat, the hatchback can swallow 1356 litres of luggage and the wagon 1585 litres.
The wagon has a large and easily loaded tailgate aperture. On Mondeo Titaniums, a power operated tailgate adds convenience.
Mondeo Trend and Ambiente wagons use load-levelling suspension, which acts to preserve the flat stance of a lightly laden car when you are carrying a lot of cargo, or towing.
The hatchback is just as easy to load as the wagon, meaning it is easier than most sedans.
Where does Ford make the Mondeo?
The Ford Mondeo is made in Spain.
What might I miss that similar cars have?
A higher standard of finish inside. The interior trim of Mondeos is okay, but the plastic parts are not as nice as those in a Volkswagen Passat, for example.
A more generous warranty, such as that of the Hyundai Sonata (five years), or the Kia Optima (seven years).
Another car worth considering is the Mazda6, which arguably has a smoother and more satisfying turbo-diesel engine. The Mazda is almost as enjoyable in the corners, and rides nearly as comfortably as the Ford.
Among other medium cars you might consider are the new Holden Commodore, Toyota Camry and the Subaru Liberty.
I like this car, but I can't choose which version. Can you help?
Our reviewers recommend the Mondeo Trend, in either petrol or diesel form. It strikes a terrific balance of value, comfort and safety, and the interior finish is a good fit with the price point.
The petrol engine is a nicer engine than the diesel, but it also uses more fuel. The easy-going diesel is very economical.
Are there plans to update the Mondeo soon?
The current MD series Ford Mondeo arrived in 2015. From about September 2016 Ford’s superior SYNC3 device connectivity suite replaced SYNC2, and brought support for smartphone mirroring via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. About May 2017 Ford increased wheelrim diameters an inch at each trim level (except for the Ambiente wagon, which was already on 17s). Expect a mid-life-update by 2020.