Even among rivals that are ever-increasing in size, the Mondeo is one big car, and that translates into fairly astonishing amounts of interior space. Four lofty adults have room to stretch out, and a fifth will squeeze in without too much complaint. The really important bit with a car like this - the boot
- is also enormous, and the loadspace is a nice square shape. What’s more, the rear seats go virtually flat when you fold them down, which creates an enormous, level space for cargo. There’s no load lip to negotiate, either, but you will have to haul heavy items over the protruding rear bumper.
Cabin quality is a bit of a mixed bag. The main touch-points are reasonably swanky, but some of the materials used elsewhere (the glovebox lid and door pockets, for example) are less so. That said, there is a lot to like inside the car. The seats are wonderfully supportive and have a wide range of adjustment, while the touch-screen infotainment system is simple and intuitive. However, the screen could be a shade more sensitive, and your over-the-shoulder view is hampered by thick rear pillars and a small back window.
On the road, the Mondeo is a wonderfully accomplished car to drive. Whether you’re pounding along the motorway or tip-toeing along bobbly city streets, the car rides with real smoothness and sophistication, so you feel comfortable and cosseted at all times. Bigger choices of alloy wheel put a dent in this impressive comfort, but not to the point where you’ll complain. The handling also has what it takes to put a smile on your face. There’s no getting away from the fact this this is a very big, very heavy car, but with plentiful grip, tightly controlled body movements and steering that’s responsive and predictable, it changes direction with very impressive agility for a car of this size. The ST-Line model comes with a lowered, stiffer suspension, which moves the spectrum slightly away from comfort and towards even tauter handling, but it's still entirely acceptable for everyday use. Wind- and road noise are kept at bay really effectively, making this car a sensational long-distance companion.