Ford’s bid to woo back Mondeo man
Mondeo man is alive and well with a revised range and a new pricing strategy.
Mondeo man may not have proved as pivotal in the recent general election as he was in 1997, but at least he can take solace in the fact that in the 13 years since, he has become better looking, more reliable and more powerful.
He may or may not be so pleased to hear that he's also become more exclusive. In the decade and a bit since New Labour entered power on a ground-swell of support from the Ford Mondeo driving everyman, the rep-segment staple has been overtaken as the vehicle of choice for motorway journeymen by the premium BMW 3 Series, with drivers buoyed by a booming economy and an arguably more even distribution of wealth.
A couple of years on from the hardest-hitting recession of a generation all of that seems a long time ago – and now the Mondeo is gunning to bring some of those premium saloon drivers back into its fold as the age of austerity hits home.
But the Mondeo had become rather expensive as a result of a drop in the value of sterling, while those drivers who have been enjoying the high regard, powerful performance and premium feel that a German marque affords have become somewhat accustomed to the trappings.
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The responses have come two-fold. Ford recently restructured its price plans across its model line-up, offering greater value across its range, including the Mondeo. And now the Mondeo has been revised with the aim of offering more power, more refinement and a more premium feel.
Read any review of the previous generation Mondeo and it will tell you that it's a vehicle that offers a class-leading package. Handsome good looks, a spacious interior, a contemporary cockpit and the crisp handling that's become expected of Ford models were all present.
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It's probably for the best, then, that Ford has concentrated its efforts resulting in a revised model that is at once comfortingly familiar and intriguingly different.
Ford now offers only the five-door hatchback and estate.
From the outside, the changes are subtle – the front end is more in keeping with the Focus and S-Max with a sleeker upper section of the grille and wider lower section. LED running lights are integrated into the fog-lamps and more chrome around the windows of the upper trim level models gives a greater impression of quality.
Inside revisions to details such as the door-panel design give a more upmarket and design conscious feel. The centre console boasts a simple and attractive layout while the instrument binnacle is very impressive, with a clear colour display conveying information in an effortlessly absorbed manner.
Two new engines include a 197bhp 2.2-litre DuraTorq diesel and a 237bhp, 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol, the latter with a six-speed, twin-clutch PowerShift automatic transmission.
It's a slick combination and one that makes the most of the Mondeo's cosseting ride and responsive chassis, with seamless drive and an impressive turn of speed. Importantly, it's as smooth in town at low speed as when cruising.
Interior space is one of the Mondeo's trump cards. It feels hugely accommodating from passenger seats and the boot is generous.
Mondeo man can continue to feel on top of his game for a few more years yet.
Model: Ford Mondeo 2.0 EcoBoost PowerShift from �22,295. Mondeo from �17,295
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol unit developing 237bhp and 250lb/ft
Transmission: Six-speed automatic transmission, driving the front wheels
Performance: 0-62mph 7.5 seconds; top speed 153mph
CO2 Rating: 179g/km