Ford Mondeo 1.6

Business Edition

Ford Mondeo side
Ford Mondeo front moving
Ford Mondeo rear
Ford Mondeo rear
Ford Mondeo wheel

FORD has trodden a familiar path with a model that's nearing the end of its life; pile on the goodies and keep the price down.

That works with cars well past their sell by date, so imagine what it does for a car that still drives as well as anything in its class.

Unveiled in 2007, the current Mondeo has been a solid seller, mostly to company car buyers and has had its production life extended to this autumn, when a completely new car will debut.

That news might make a potential owner pause, faced with the prospect of many months in a car that's no longer current. Well, it shouldn't. The Mondeo is a cracking drive.

It's all huge inside, with a boot big enough for a party, and very well equipped, no doubt to tempt the waiverers into at least picking up a brochure.

They won't be disappointed. The car driven here is called a Business Edition and it's easy to see why. It's cut out nicely for a life in the outside lane, with a fine satellite navigation system making sure you reach your appointment on time.

Cruise control will help you keep marginally the right side of the law, while the trip computer will induce a glow of satisfaction as you better 50mpg again.

Likely long distances at the wheel should hold no terrors, with a very comfortable driver's (electric height adjustment is standard) displaying so much adjustable lumbar support it ought to be offered in osteopathy clinics. The front seat passenger, unusually, has the same adjustment available at the twirl of a wheel.

So far, so good, but hardly surprising in a car packed with goodies to keep people interested. You have to look a little deeper to see why this late-in-life Mondeo is still a contender.

Even people who reckon they don't care what a car feels like to drive will enjoy putting miles under the Mondeo's alloy wheels. With a sharp steering response and lack of wallow in the corners, it remains a fine car to spend time in.

The car had optional (at no extra cost) larger alloy wheels fitted, which would have helped it feel sharp but also brought out a lack of poise on bumpy motorway Tarmac. A small price to pay for all the fun, I'd suggest.

Practical touches abound, with a mini spare wheel hiding beneath the boot floor; a far better solution to a puncture (pardon the pun) than a bottle of sealant gloop that won't help with a sidewall tear.

Then there's a heated windscreen, which showed its worth an hour before these words were written by clearing frost from the view ahead in a couple of stationary minutes. A neighbour drove past in his big Audi, wipers trying to scrape off the ice, as I watched.

The fit and finish inside the car are well up to 2014 standards but the dashboard is looking a bit dated, with complex graphics and a mildly messy layout. No quibbles with the simple, logical way the switches and controls work, though.

A gentle reminder on the dash prompts early upshifts in theĀ  six-speed gearbox to help economy. Even so, you'd never guess there's a modest 1.6-litre diesel doing the work, and staying so quiet in the process the built-in adjustable speed limiter could be a licence points saver.

FAST FACTS

Ford Mondeo 1.6 Business Edition

Price: £21,495

Mechanical:113bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 11.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 17

Insurance Group:65.7

C02 emissions: 114g/km

Bik rating: 14%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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