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Ford Mondeo Titanium Ecoboost

 

Look familiar? It should: the current Ford Mondeo is the longest-running car in its segment. It no longer wows with technology, but it’s still a contender.

Base price: $53,340.

Powertrain and performance: 2.0-litre turbo petrol four, 176kW/340Nm, 6-speed automated dual-clutch manual, rear-drive, Combined economy 7.7 litres per 100km.

Vital statistics: 4784mm long, 1500mm high, luggage capacity 816-1919 litres, fuel tank 70 litres, 18-inch alloy wheels on 235/45 tyres.

We like: Smooth powertrain, interior space, active safety equipment.

We don’t like: Looks and feels dated, no sat-nav or reversing camera.

How it rates: 6/10

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW? It’s proving to be a long time between Mondeo models. The current model was launched way back in 2007 and will soldier on until the second half of this year.

The model that will replace it is already quite familiar: the American version, called Fusion, has been on sale since last year and the local incarnation was unveiled by Ford Australia some months ago, as the company tried to paint to bright future following the announcement that local manufacturing of Falcon and Territory would cease in 2016.

That makes life hard for the current car. Especially the flagship Titanium version, which was a marvel of high-tech equipment when it was launched back in 2011, but now looks merely competitive against much newer rivals.

So Mondeo is no longer an early adopters’ delight. But is it still an impressive enough package in other ways to hold station until the next generation arrives?

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? The Mondeo has not stood still in nine years, of course. The major development for the 2011 facelift model was the addition of Ford’s latest-generation EcoBoost engine technology. This was available initially in 2.0-litre 149kW/300Nm guise, although an upgrade in late-2013 increased outputs to an impressive 176kW/340Nm.

This is the engine that will see the Titanium through to the next-generation model and it’s still a superb powerplant – which is not unexpected, as EcoBoost is the technology that Ford is using for all of its new models. In that respect, the smooth-performing Mondeo is bang up to date.

The same goes for the Powershift six-speed transmission, which is a dual-clutch unit. It doesn’t quite have the quick-shifting capability of Volkswagen’s technologically similar Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), but it’s a bit smoother in urban driving and low-speed manoeuvres. Powershift sacrifices some sportiness for a more unobtrusive character and that’s not a bad thing.

The Mondeo is no longer the handling champion of the medium segment – not with cutting-edge machines like the Mazda6 around – but it’s still a car capable of pleasing the enthusiast.

Performance and chassis-wise, this outgoing Mondeo is still a contender.

IS IT EASY TO LIVE WITH? There’s a certain level of practicality that comes with size: the Mondeo might be regarded as a mid-sizer, but you can safely consider it a large car in terms of dimensions. The wheelbase is longer than that of the Falcon and it’s a five-door hatchback, so it offers generous interior space and a massive cargo area.

Fit and finish is also impressive: plenty of soft-touch plastic and flashes of silver trim, which may not be to everybody’s taste, but do add a touch of character.

Back in 2011, the Mondeo Titanium’s unique selling proposition was its cutting-edge active safety equipment: cornering headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and blind-spot warning.

It’s all still desirable equipment, but against more modern models you do notice the absence of some features that you’d expect in 2014. The headlights are halogen rather than gas-discharge. There’s no satellite navigation. No reversing camera, either. No touch-screen interface.

It just feels a bit dated, despite a strong showing on active safety equipment.

SHOULD I BUY ONE? It’s hard to recommend the Mondeo Titanium because it’s a car on the way out: Ford has been very public about the impending arrival of the all-new model, and the delay in getting that car here (there have been production problems to deal with, as Ford closes up the Belgian plant that produced previous Mondeo models) serves as a further reminder about the age of this outgoing car.

That’s a shame. Because the current (it is still current, after all) Mondeo Titanium is still an impressive machine in many respects. Just not a class-leading one.

EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST

  • Air conditioning: Dual climate
  • Audio: CD, iPod compatible
  • Automatic lights/wipers: Yes/yes
  • Blind spot warning: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Cruise control: Adaptive
  • Driver footrest: Yes
  • Head-up display: No
  • Heated/ventilated seats: Yes/No
  • Keyless entry/start: Yes/Yes
  • Lane guidance: Yes
  • Leather upholstery: Yes
  • Parking radar: Yes
  • Power boot or tailgate: No
  • Power seat adjustment/memory: Height/No
  • Remote audio controls: Yes
  • Satellite navigation: No
  • Seat height adjustment: Yes
  • Self-parking technology: No
  • Split/folding rear seats: 60/40
  • Steering reach adjustment: Yes
  • Stop-start: No
  • Trip computer: Yes

Find Ford Mondeos for sale HERE.


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