Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCI Titanium

The Mondeo

There are some things in life that cheer you up as soon as you see them. Dawn breaking over a still lake on a frosty morning, scrambled egg with a spoon of crème fraiche, a bacon and egg breakfast with sausage and triangles of toast, your Mother calling you for dinner when you’re starving. What cheered me up this cold, grey and wet Friday morning was a Ford Mondeo.  I had a lot of driving to do on Friday; I had a meeting in Dublin city centre, then to the middle of the country, Athlone and now I had the perfect car for that kind of driving.

I was a huge fan of the pre 2007 model of this car; every time I drove one I wondered why anyone drove any other car. Everything was perfect, the handling was sublime, all the engines were great apart from the 1.6ltr petrol, it was sluggish and noisy.

In 2007 the present model came out and after much head scratching the motoring community agreed that it was good, but there was nothing really new. Ford had really pushed the boat out with this car; it was even featured in a James Bond movie. The reason there was nothing new? Ford had no money. At one point Ford was the owner of Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo. It was buying up everything but then the money ran out, it sold Aston shutting 14 plants and getting rid of 30,000 employees. Still today they are in the process of selling Volvo to Geely automotive. What would Henry Ford do now? By the way Henry Ford’s father, William was a Cork man.

The current model is bigger, and even has a new dash but underneath it was basically the same car as the outgoing model. That was no bad thing; the outgoing Mondeo was the benchmark in terms of handling. The 2007 model is a full 5 inches longer, and feels far bigger inside the cabin, it will easily accommodate 5 adults. Boot space is enormous too; with all 5 seats in place it’s 535ltrs, it will swallow anything. The exterior is impressive, especially with the Titanium alloy wheels. Make sure you check those spot lamps for cracks, their position and size means they get hit with every loose stone on the road.

The interior is very pleasant and feels huge. All the textiles and plastics used are high quality; everything is well put together and solid. All the controls are intuitive, there’s a lot of thought went into the placement and position of all necessary driving controls, everything in the cabin feels substantial and hard-wearing. The steering wheel has a few too many buttons on it but you soon learn where the radio controls are and that’s all that matters.

On the main roads the Mondeo is very comfortable, there’s great visibility for a saloon car. The cabin is quiet, just the thrum of the diesel engine and a little wind noise. The days of sounding like a tractor while driving a diesel car are over really, but you need to keep it serviced. It’s when you get onto the back roads that this car should come to life and it’s doesn’t. Because the car is bigger in every respect, this also makes it more sedate on the road; some of the fun is gone. This is much more like a saloon car should behave, still I miss that electric feeling the old model gave when you pushed it.

In the city the Mondeo, even at high rev’s is quiet, the clutch is soft and the gear box is light. There are 6 forward gears to choose from but in Dublin you rarely get beyond 3rd. Parking in a multi-story takes a bit of getting used to, this car is over 6 feet wide not including the door mirrors, class leading space comes at a price.

Once I got out of Dublin and on to the motorways, the car changed into a big comfy cruiser. The 2ltr engine (160ps) pulls very well throughout the rev range; the 6th gear gives a very quiet ride when sitting at the speed limit.

After completing my business in Athlone I drove home on mixed roads, through small towns and back roads, still the Mondeo kept me comfortable and fresh. I covered 295km in my day with no back ache, and only a bit tired.

I can’t fault the Mondeo; it isn’t lacking anything in the equipment department. If this car had one of the German badges we would be killing each other to own one, this car beats everything in its segment of the market on size, drivability, comfort and best of all price. It starts at €26,650 for the basic 1.8TDCI 100ps “style” model. The “Titanium” model I tested starts at €34,605 for the 2.0ltr 160ps with the manual 6 speed box. If you go mad on the options you can easily drive that over the €40,000 mark.

Upgrade Mondeo UK Spec

There is a revision of this car coming to the UK later this year, I’ve included a press picture for you to look at, and it’s a case of spot the difference. The new spot lamps are a welcome change.

There is plenty of these on the used market too, many fine examples coming from the UK market. Just look at you’ll see plenty of Irish and UK registrations. Just make sure there’s a full service history, and all the documentation to back it up.

If you get the chance to have a test drive in one you won’t regret it, you never know if you can get over the blue oval badge you might just buy one.