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 boot
, too, is 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. However, there’s a rather meaty load lip to negotiate, and you’ll also 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.