The exhausting wait for the direct rival Passat has finally come to an end. Ford Mondeo is back! The fourth generation of this attractive car has proudly set foot on European soil, and we have made the first kilometers in this quality middle-class car in the vicinity of the Greek fashionable resort of Nafplio. Here are our first impressions:
The third generation Ford Mondeo has been on the market since 2006, which is quite a long time. The car simply could no longer hide its age, despite mild “plastic surgery”. That is why the fourth generation has arrived in his place, which aims to return the Mondeo to where it belongs – to the elite.
The “clone” of the new Mondeo, the Fusion model, has been on sale in the North American market for two years. Wondering why he arrives in Europe later? According to Ford, this happened due to the closure of the factory in Genk, Belgium, and the relocation of production to Valencia, Spain. In any case, the new Mondeo arrived on European soil, and we were most interested in whether it is able to compete directly with new generations of models such as VW Passat , Mazda 6 , Opel Insignia … This question was especially interesting, because we recently driven its main competitors. Learn more about Golf 5.
Just to clarify, like the Volkswagen Passat B8, the new Ford Mondeo (MK4) is a brand new car. Along with the aforementioned Fusion, the new Mondeo is the first car of this brand, mounted on the new global CD3 platform. One of the goals was to reduce the weight (although some tried to challenge it with different measurement standards), so the tailgate was made of magnesium, and steel of different strengths was used to make the body skeleton.
In terms of design, the Mondeo is an eye magnet, as evidenced by the views of people on the streets, drivers in cars (even on the highway!). The Mondeo was simply the center of attention. Undoubtedly, the most impressive is the front part of the car, which is completely new. Narrow front light clusters, equipped with LED technology, perfectly match the massive grille and form a strong visual identity of the new Mondeo.
The rear of the car has not undergone major changes and represents the evolution of its predecessor. At least that’s how it seems at first glance. The brand new Mondeo is very powerful, not only visually, but also in the language of numbers. It measures 4,871 mm long, 1,852 mm wide and 1,482 mm high. The wheelbase is 2,850 mm, which is more than the wheelbase of the new Mazda6.
The first-generation Ford Mondeo also had excellent suspension. Even at a time when the Passat had to settle for a simple rear “torsion axle”, the Mondeo had a kinematically more advanced Multilink suspension from the start. The above-mentioned competitor had to wait for that until its sixth generation, ie until 2005, if we do not count the versions with all-wheel drive. This may surprise you, but the rear Multilink axle of the current Passat and Golf is very similar in construction to the rear axle of the previous generation Mondeo and Focus. One of the reasons is that Ford engineers have just gone to Wolfsburg to “look for new challenges”.
That’s why the latest Mondeo has got a completely new support called Integral link . One of the goals of the development of the new suspension was to minimize driving noise or the so-called Noise Vibration Harshness factor. Ahead is an improved McPherson solution, but the novelty is an electromechanical amplifier, similar to the one we tested in the modernized Focus, but also in the Golf and Passat.
For European customers, Ford has prepared several attractive engines. Gasolines are “represented” by a small but powerful 1.0 EcoBoost (125 hp), then 1.5 EcoBoost (160 hp), 2.0 EcoBoost, which develops a maximum power of 203 hp and the most powerful 2.0 EcoBoost engine with 240 hp. Turbodiesel engines will certainly be more interesting for our market – 1.6 TDCi (115 hp), then 2.0 TDCi (150 hp), 2.0 TDCi with a maximum power of 180 hp and the most powerful turbodiesel 2.0 TDCI BiTurbo, which develops a maximum power of 210 hp. For the first time, the Mondeo also offers a hybrid version, powered by an atmospheric 4-cylinder 2.0 iVCT engine paired with an 88 kW electric motor. The Mondeo with the 1.5 TDCi turbodiesel will also hit the market, which we had the opportunity to test in the Focus (which we will write about soon).
In Greece, we had the opportunity to drive a Mondeo powered by a 2.0 TDCi turbodiesel with a maximum power of 180 hp at 3,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 400 Nm, available in the range of 2,000 to 2,500 rpm. The engine is perfectly paired with a six-speed manual transmission. It is cultivated and excellently insulated, so that passengers in the interior enjoy perfect silence. The gearbox is excellently adjusted, the lever is in the optimal position, and the strokes are short and precise. The engine is resilient, reacting almost instantly to throttle command, although below 1,800 rpm it rumbles.
As it is understood that grandmother’s cakes are the best in the world, so the agility and excellent behavior of the car that comes from the company that was the world champion in the rally, is never questioned. Do you agree? The reliance on the diesel version is a bit stiffer, which in Ford does not mean that it is hard tuned. The car provides a very high level of driving comfort, we can freely say that it is among the best in the middle class. The steering is filigree and precise, and the support responds perfectly to all changes, which gives drivers a complete sense of control.
Immediately after settling into the seat of the new Mondeo, you will realize that this is a big car. There is enough space in all directions, and the seats are well profiled and provide good support for the body. The instrument panel combines classic graphics and digital hands, and well-designed colors provide good contrast and clarity. The steering wheel has a slightly larger diameter and is thinner than expected. As far as ergonomics are concerned, everything is in place in the car and getting used to it is almost not necessary. Everything is where we expect it to be. The parking brake is electronic and the number of controls on the center console is minimized, as most car functions can be controlled via a centrally located large display and Sync 2 system.. The materials are of excellent quality, and we must praise the finish. When it comes to the interior, we can not fail to mention one interesting safety detail – seat belts on the rear seats are equipped with an airbag, which reduces the risk of chest injuries in an accident. The Mondeo is the first middle-class car and the second on the market in general with this safety system.
We asked Mr. Walter to reveal the profile of the owner of the new Mondeo.
“The new Mondeo is for everyone who wants a beautiful, dynamic, sporty designed car, but at the same time a spacious and comfortable family car. This car looks elegant and sporty at the same time, and provides a lot of fun and driving pleasure.” – said Dieter Walter .
The boot volume of the 5-door version (four-door version and station wagon is available) is 541 liters, which is more than what the Opel Insignia provides, but less than the trunk of the new Passat.