Development costs were very high mainly due to the completely new design. But given Ford’s financial instability at the time, the company needed a big change to help turn things around.
The new car featured class leading ride and handling, sophisticated suspension design and the latest safety additions including a driver’s side airbag, side-impact bars, seat belt pretentioners and ABS, as standard.
Reworked over four generations to date, it wasn’t until it’s MkII phase in 1995, that the Mondeo made its way down to Australia. But it wasn’t a sales success. Australians preferred the bigger Falcon and unlike today, saw no need for a medium sized car in the range. The Mondeo struggled against established Japanese models like the Subaru Liberty, the Honda Accord and another Euro import, the Holden Vectra.
In 2001 Ford Australia withdrew from the medium car segment claiming that it was in a decline, and the Mondeo was dropped from the range until it resurfaced in 2007 with the MkIV.
Consequently, Australia completely skipped Mondeo MkIII; arguably an era when the car made its most significant improvements. It got larger, which addressed the lack of rear leg room - a major gripe over its lifetime - and the interior became more European. MkIII also introduced a new Duratorq diesel engine that was much more capable and competitive than the engine it replaced.
Ford Australia reintroduced the Mondeo in 2007 due in large part to the popularity of smaller, more fuel efficient and environmentally friendlier cars, and with it the growing global dislike of larger ones. It has been marketed here as a stylish car with more than just good looks and is sold in a sedan, hatch and now, a wagon version.
This time round sales have been good, even despite problems with parts supply from Europe, and the Mondeo has won numerous awards in Australia.
The latest model comes with both diesel and petrol engines, and a choice of four trim levels, and Ford are currently considering an ECOnetic example for the Australian market.
For more information on late model Ford Mondeos, see our list of related articles above.