Ford Mondeo Zetec

1.6 TDCI Econetic

Ford Mondeo hatchback, front
Ford Mondeo hatchback, front, action
Ford Mondeo hatchback, side, action
Ford Mondeo hatchback, rear, action
Ford Mondeo hatchback, boot
Ford Mondeo hatchback, rear seats
Ford Mondeo hatchback, interior

THE Ford Modeo has always been something a benchmark car, a model by which other manufacturers measure themselves, and the latest version is no exception.

This all-new model might have been subject to a delayed arrival in Europe following its American launch but for many it will have been worth the wait.

The range includes a hatchback, estate and saloon versions.

The new shape might not be radically different but is appealing nonetheless and the Aston Martin-inspired grille seems more prominent than ever. In some ways it's a simple but elegant touch but there's no doubting it really adds something to the Mondeo's presence and stature.

Other features include an upgraded interior and a new range of engines, that includes petrol, diesel and petrol-electric hybrid options.

Overall Ford seems to have upped its game in a bid to see of familiar competitors like the Skoda Superb, Mazda6 and Volkswagen Passat as well as more premium rivals from the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

As ever, one might speculate as to who is going to opt for the blue oval over established premium marques but given the fact Ford has built an enviable reputation for delivering thoroughly decent drivers' cars in recent years you can't blame them for look upwards.

The new interior certainly has a distinctly upmarket feel and soft-touch plastics abound, along with well designed instrumentation and switchgear.

A roomy cabin is another bonus, with oodles of space throughout for passengers, whether they're travelling on the front or the rear.

Practicality is obviously paramount too and the hatchback model, as well as boasting a coupe-style rounded profile, also has a spacious and user-friendly boot.

With 550-lites of carrying capacity it's capable of coping with the needs of most families - an important consideration given that it now has to compete against the many crossover vehicles that are around, as well as familiar saloons and hatchbacks.

In line with current trends the new engines offer enhanced performance and improved economy, along with lower emissions.

It's difficult to fault the 1.6-litre diesel fitted to this car, which emits just 94g/km of CO2 and has an official combined economy figure of 78mpg.

Petrol engines too offer economy, emissions and performance that will surprise, particularly the one litre three-cylinder turbo-boosted petrol engine, that has to be experienced to be believed.

So, does the Mondeo still measure up as a driver's car?

The answer has to be a resounding yes, though to some degree Ford have tried to make the latest version more of an all-rounder that balances comfort and ride quality with driving dynamics.

It feels good through the bends though, composed, agile and assured, even if the steering does feel a little on the light side at times.

In terms of specifications there's Style, Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X, along with a distinctly upmarket Vignale, though with a price tag of £30,000 you're getting well into BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE territory.


Ford Mondeo Zetec 1.6 TDCI Econetic

Price: £22,095

Mechanical: 115ps, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 119mph

0-62mph: 12.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 78.5

Insurance Group: 17

C02 emissions:94g/km

Bik rating: 14%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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