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Ford Mondeo wagon review

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    Ford's updated Mondeo range is well-featured - particularly from an active safety and infotainment perspective. Photo Gallery

Stuart Martin road tests and reviews the Ford Mondeo at its Australian launch.

A station wagon has finally arrived to fill the Ford Mondeo family in Australia. But it comes at a cost - the Mondeo sedan is gone, leaving the wagon to slide in alongside the hatch in the latest MB Mondeo range - and prices have risen a little.

The cheapest Mondeo is now the LX hatch from $31,990, while the LX wagon is priced from $32,990 and revised and improved upmarket hatches begin with the new Titanium model at $42,90. There is still a diesel hatch, the TDCi, from $39,990.

The new wagon is just what we expected and intended as a serious threat to Holden's Commodore Sportwagon and the hordes of SUVs sold in Australia. It is well equipped and full of space.

There are two wagon models, the LX and Zetec, and both use the existing 2.3-litre cylinder unleaded engine and six-speed automatic gearbox. There is 542 litres of basic boot space - more than the Sportwagon, as Ford staffers point out many times - rising to 1733 litres with the rear seats folded flat. There is extra underfloor storage for some smaller items.

To put the Mondeo into perspective, Holden makes a maximum of 2000 litres with the Sportwagon but Ford still rules thanks to the 2584 litres in the homegrown Falcon wagon.

Space is still a priority in the mid-sized Mondeo class, but Ford's vice-president of sales and marketing says the wagon retains the hatchback's driving qualities. "It drives like a sedan, the customer looks at it as not making a compromise, they just needed more space; the space is a "surprise and delight" thing for them," says Beth Donovan. "We have more cargo space than a Sportwagon, with good fuel economy from the petrol engine, it's got plenty of hi-tech features as well," she says.

Donovan says Ford doesn't see the Mondeo wagon competing with the BF III wagon because they are aimed at different customers. "That (Falcon) is a non-private vehicle that is built to order for company fleet. What we're finding is the Mondeo wagon fits better into the private sector, it's appealing to a different buyer," she says.

The LX wagon has a decent features list for $31,990, with air conditioning, front power windows and an eight-speaker MP3 compatible sound system as well as voice-activated Bluetooth phone link, cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The Zetec is priced from $36,990 and ups that list with 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, a Sony sound system, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers, parking sensors; added to the Zetec spec is a USB input for the sound system (with full iPod integration) and the human-machine interface control system previously only on the XR5.

The hatch-only XR5 sports model starts at $44,990 and now has active cruise control, keyless entry, voice-controlled Bluetooth phone link, a sunroof, 18-inch alloys, bi-xenon headlights with cornering lights and alcantara/leather trim with red stitching.

The MB Mondeo update also introduces the Titanium model, which gives those looking for an XR5 without the clutch pedal something to consider. The Titanium sits on 18-inch alloys and sports suspension, with alcantara/leather trim, heated front seats, a sunroof, the keyless start system, voice-controlled Bluetooth and rear ventilation, as well as the adaptive cruise control with forward alert and dynamic headlights with swivelling low beam headlights and static cornering lights, firsts for a Ford vehicle in Australia.

Driving

The updated Mondeo range is well-featured - particularly from an active safety and infotainment perspective - putting itself ahead of much of its opposition in the segment for features and safety gear as well as remaining a well-balanced machine to drive.

The 118kW/208Nm 2.3-litre petrol engine is smooth and quiet, which is a good thing because it has to work hard to keep the Mondeo rolling along. The uprated 103kW/320Nm diesel is quiet and powerful, and a far better all-rounder. The ride quality on the top-spec models with sports suspension and 18-inch wheel/tyre package isn't exactly supple, but the wagon are a good drive on the open road, despite the extra weight over the rear end.

There is little of the booming noise you sometimes get in wagons through the large loadspace and the car is very smooth and quiet overall, even when working the 2.3-litre engine hard. The LX/Zetec models offer a better ride/handling compromise. If you're looking for loadspace without the desire for an SUV, or the thirst of an SUV or V6-V8 wagon, then the new Mondeo deserves a place on the shopping list.


Ford Mondeo Wagon
Price: LX $32,990; Zetec $37,990
Engine: 2.3-litre 16-valve four-cylinder
Transmission: six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Power: 118kW/6500revs
Torque: 208Nm/4200revs
Fuel consumption: 9.5L/100km
Emissions: 227g/km

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 15 comments

  • We have a new 2011 Ford Mondeo Titanium Wagon, it has been in the garage for repair twice with engine malfunction. At the moment they have no idea what is the problem. If anybody out there has had the same problem please let us know.

    Mary Pepper of Perth Posted on 10 September 2011 1:00pm
  • Not bad at all, but for just a few bucks more, you can get yourself an all-Aussie Ford G6E - much roomier and much more powerful. A superb car.

    John Alexander of Qld. Posted on 03 April 2011 12:51pm
  • Currently have the base model wagon as work down graded our company cars from Holden SV6 Wagon to Mondeo and have to say i am highly disappointed, the performance handling and fuel economy leave much to be desired. As a Rep i must say travelling long distances in this wagon is painful and frustrating.
    I found the Voice Controlled Blue Tooth frusting to use, Engine loud during times of acceleration and lack of rear power windows frustrating.
    I would have to describe the Mondeo Wagon as driving my mums Camry Wagon from 1995.

    Nathan of Cronulla Posted on 25 November 2010 9:37pm
  • I had the Ford Mondeo as a rental vehicle in Germany for a week. Mine came with a Diesel and performed great! The mileage was superb as was the handling and power on the autobahn. The interior was very nice and the wagon looked everybit as sporty as the Audi wagon my father rented. If they made these for the American market, I would consider it for my personal vehicle.

    Mark David Posted on 07 July 2010 11:47pm
  • 2.3L 118kW in a wagon you have got to be kidding yourselves Ford. Add some luggage and the family on a country trip and you may as well get out and push. Economy is poor as the 2.3L needs work so hard.
    Why not use the XR5 2.3L 5cylinder Turbo engine (by Volvo). Then this would be a decent work horse for families.
    This is as bad as a 2.2L old wide body camry wagon that was too weak to pass on country trips. A diesel version would at least provide the torque to carry some passangers. Seems once again Australia gets cars released by bean counters not engineers!

    Walter of Sydney NSW Posted on 13 April 2010 2:21pm
  • No Diesel is the Only reason I don’t own one of these right now. And in the sedan the diesel only comes in Auto….. hate that lag you get when you put your foot down. C’mon Ford, stop catering for lazy people who can’t drive a Manual but still want a decent car.

    Aaron of Melbourne Posted on 04 March 2010 12:06pm
  • why no titanium wagon ? Ford, you could have had a convert from a Calais Sportswagon….

    Cadner of Perth Posted on 19 October 2009 5:21pm
  • Methinks I’ll wait for the diesel wagon.
    But might be able to afford it at this rate - price of the Zetec wagon went up by $1,000 by the time I’d reached the end of the article!

    Russ Posted on 26 September 2009 8:31pm
  • From a car with a larger wheelbase than the Falcon, which means a bigger interior.. How much longer until the falcon is extinct?

    Phil of Barossa Posted on 22 August 2009 5:55pm
  • Generally good looking car - but the centre console is ugly. Ford Europe could learn a few lessons from their humble ozzie designers in this space

    Kerry of ACT Posted on 21 August 2009 11:50pm
  • Generally good looking car - but the centre console is ugly. Ford Europe could learn a few lessons from their humble ozzie designers in this space

    Kerry of ACT Posted on 21 August 2009 11:35pm
  • Funny that the best reason to ignore the Falcon comes from Ford itself.

    Marlon Burrito Posted on 19 August 2009 12:26pm
  • Not as nice as the previous generation Mondeo wagon. The rear end is far too high, and the saloon version is even worse.

    GREAT cars though, mine racked up 300,000km of motorway miles in the UK without one breakdown. Had to replace one injector, no other issues at all. And they can carry a TON of stuff.

    Dave S Posted on 18 August 2009 12:00am
  • I think 118kW - as it is in the specs - is a more accurate figure, although if we grabbed the Focus RS engine and shoved it into the Mondeo, then 224kW and 440Nm would be some interesting numbers. Maybe Gaz would like to let us know the first time he makes a slip on the keyboard? Is there mathmatically less chance of that happening when typing with one hand?

    Grizzly of SA Posted on 17 August 2009 6:02pm
  • “The 2118kW/208Nm 2.3-litre petrol engine is smooth and quiet, which is a good thing because it has to work hard to keep the Mondeo rolling along”

    Hell yeah, 208nm makes that 2118kw appear @ 9700rpm!

    Keep trying carsguide, soon you will have an error free article.

    ————————————————————————
    Thanks Gaz, I checked but that typo must have been fixed already. But as always, we appreciate your attention to detail.

    Gaz Posted on 17 August 2009 1:35pm
Read all 15 comments

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