Mondeo is a good car that’s often overlooked because it lives in the shadow of Falcon in Ford’s range. Built in Belgium, it’s marketed as Ford’s medium size car even though its interior is not much smaller than Falcon’s.
The MC model was introduced in 2010 but it wasn’t until mid-2011 that we saw the full range, which includes five-door hatchback and station-wagon versions in three equipment levels – LX, Zetec and Titanium. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is available across the range but the two petrol engines are variant-specific. The basic 2.3-litre petrol engine is found in LX versions, and was in the Zetec hatch for a short time but not in the Titanium wagon. From July 2011, the sophisticated EcoBoost 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine was fitted to the Zetec and Titanium hatches.
All the petrol models use a conventional six-speed automatic while the diesel has a six-speed dual-clutch auto.
Love the driving experience
Most owners we spoke to love the driving experience, roomy family-friendly practicality and five-star safety. Despite occasional mechanical problems, reliability is good. Diesel owners raved about the fuel consumption and the engine’s mid-range torque, although there can be just a slight lag down low. The 2.3-litre petrol version is no performer but still does the job most people would expect from the car. A touch more grunt for hills or easier passing would be appreciated and it’s a lot thirstier than the diesel. The EcoBoost engine is a better performer and it consumes a lot less petrol without being as frugal overall as the diesel.
Enjoyable driver’s car
Our review found that Mondeo is a more involving and enjoyable driver’s car than most of its peers. Good chassis dynamics, accurate steering and well-balanced handling are complemented by a firm yet comfortably compliant ride. Rearward vision from the hatch is not great
With the demise of Falcon wagon and Commodore’s move to the less load- oriented Sportwagon, Mondeo wagon is a good alternative for those who don’t want to step up to a large SUV. The LX diesel is the most popular version but if the budget will stretch a little further the Titanium EcoBoost hatch is a better drive and offers plenty of extra comfort and safety features. It is disappointing Ford did not offer this option in a wagon.
Check automatic transmission
When test-driving a Mondeo, check the automatic transmission thoroughly as there have been a few issues that can result in an expensive repair bill. The transmission is scheduled for servicing every 60,000km, and neglecting this can lead to serious problems.
As with many European cars, brake disc rotors are prone to wear and may need replacing when the brake pads are changed. When buying a used car, look for uneven tyre wear that may indicate suspension wear or that a wheel alignment is required. Otherwise, it is just a matter of checking all the usual items such as an up-to-date service history and looking for signs of poor quality repairs. On high-kilometre examples you may find a few oil leaks.
Mondeo is packed with gear, particularly high-spec versions, so make sure the equipment all works correctly.
Report: Greg Hill
LX hatch-p (2010-15) $10,400-$22,100
LX wagon-d (2010-15) $12,400-$26,200
Zetec wagon-p (2010-15) $12,500-$26,500
Zetec hatch-d (2010-15) $13,200-$27,900
Titanium hatch-p (2011-15) $17,700-$31,700
Titanium wagon-d (2010-15) $16,100-$34,100
Approximate Glass’s Guide prices for a MC series model.
Fuel consumption. Diesel: 6.5-8.0L/100km. Petrol: (2.0L) 8.0-11.0L/100km; (2.3L) 9.5-14.0L/100km.
Safety. Five-star ANCAP rating.
Towing. 1600kg maximum with a 160kg towball load limit.
The competition. Toyota Camry, Mazda6, Subaru Liberty. A European option is Skoda Octavia that, like Mazda6, has a diesel option.