The Auto Trader expert verdict:
The Ford Mondeo Estate is a large family car which is one of the best all-rounders available at any price. It is great to drive, and takes the Mondeo upmarket.
Reasons to buy:
- Handsome styling
- Huge interior space
- Great handling
How good does it look?
The sharp lines of the Ford Mondeo were freshened up in 2010, three years after its launch in 2007, and a number of small tweaks have given the large family estate a thoroughly modern look. The 2010-onwards model has a new front bumper with a larger lower grille, while the upper grille has been redesigned with higher-specification models featuring chrome trims and bright LED lighting. The rear sees a pair of LED taillights with an illuminated accent that gives the car a unique identity at night, and a new tailgate. A new range of wheels are also offered, including the option of 19-inch alloy wheels for the first time.
What's the interior like?
The Ford Mondeo Estate is a classy place to sit, with a stylish dashboard, well laid out controls and easy to read instrumentation. The 2010 facelift replaces the silver centre console with a black finish which looks more upmarket. The red illumination of instruments can be hard to read at night, and the LCD screen fitted beside the speedometer in more expensive models can overwhelm drivers with a huge amount of information.
How practical is it?
Extra luggage carrying capacity is the Mondeo Estate’s main selling point, but its on-paper boot capacity is disappointing compared to its hatchback brother. Loaded safely to the level of the seat backs, there’s around 549 litres of room; only nine more than the hatchback – but still more than most of its rivals. However, the boot is easy to access, with a flat floor, and the rear seats fold flat (once the seat bases have been flipped forward) to create 1,680 litres of space when loaded to the roof. Up front, space is identical to the hatchback, with the wide car offering huge amounts of space for driver and passenger, and rear seat occupants are served equally well.
What's it like to drive?
The Ford Mondeo is one of the best handling front-wheel drive cars currently on sale, and despite the estate’s extra girth, driving dynamics are unaffected. The steering is direct and very responsive, offering huge amounts of feedback through bends. The suspension is compliant enough to offer a smooth ride, but still controls the chassis well enough to allow it to corner with minimal bodyroll. Models on 17-inch wheels and smaller provide the most cosseting ride, but the larger wheels and sports suspension offered on more expensive models, or as factory-fitted options, make the ride noticeably firmer although the car is never uncomfortable.
How powerful is it?
A wide range of petrol and diesel engines are available, but it is the latter which make up the overwhelming number of sales. Four diesel engines are 2-litre in size, but offer power outputs of 113, 138 and 160bhp, and a 197bhp 2.2 is also offered. All are well refined, and can haul the car along from low engine speeds, but it is the 138bhp model that’s the best all-rounder and the most popular. The 2.2 offers impressive performance with an 8.3-second 0-62mph time and a 140mph top speed. The petrol engines offer little performance advantages, with the clever 1.6 and 2-litre Ecoboost engines the pick of the petrol-powered bunch.
How much will it cost me?
The Mondeo is no longer a cheap car to buy with a mid-spec diesel costing £20,000, and a top-of-the-range model creeping over £25,000 before any options are specified. All of the diesels return a claimed average around 50mpg, but real world use will see this drop to around 43mpg. The 2-litre diesels all emit 139g/km while the 2.2-litre diesel emits 159g/km. Perhaps the biggest cost however is the value a new model will lose over the first three years – most models will retain around 40 per cent of their original purchase price over three years or 36,000 miles.
How reliable is it?
How safe is it?
The Mondeo Estate retains impressive solidity and safety levels, with which it achieved a full five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test programme. New safety kit available in the Mondeo Estate includes systems which vibrate the steering wheel should the driver veer out of lane at speed, warn the driver should the car detect they are losing concentration and automatically activate the main beam headlights when it is safe to do so. Blind spot monitoring warns the driver of other cars around the vehicle and there’s the ability to lock the rear doors and windows to keep children safe.
How much equipment do I get?
Five models make up the Mondeo range and all come with the basics – Edge, Zetec, Titanium, Titanium X and Titanium X Sport. All models come with a heated front windscreen and washer jets, Bluetooth connectivity, air-con, front and rear electric windows, cruise control and a system which prevents incorrect fuelling. All models, bar the Edge have alloy wheels and all Titanium models have LED daytime running lights
No other front-wheel drive car of this size is as much fun as the Mondeo, and the cavernous Estate version adds enormous practicality.