For most people, making a decision is usually based on familiarity. Why? Because nothing is more reassuring than familiarity. It also saves time, without the need to put too much effort into thinking. Whether you’re buying a loaf of bread or a pair of jeans, usually you’ll go for a specific brand that you’ve known of based on the brand’s exposure or your own experience with the brand. In spite of that, eventually comes a period when you start to feel bored with your normal routine and that’s when you start to look for something different.
In this case, if you’re shopping for a D-segment sedan you might have been looking at the usual suspects: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, or maybe even the Mazda6; and suddenly something pops up in your mind and made you start thinking, “they’re too predictable, aren’t they?“. Then you go about searching for other marques and found out there are close to a dozen D-segment contenders currently on sale here. Among them is this car, the Ford Mondeo 2.0 Ecoboost.
|Name||Ford Mondeo 2.0 EcoBoost|
|Engine||1,999 cc 4-Cylinder Turbo|
|Max Power||237 hp @ 5,300 rpm|
|Max Torque||345 Nm @ 2,300 rpm|
While the Ford brand is not unheard of in Malaysia, their D-segment sedan on the other hand, is not getting as much credit as the rest of the stablemates like the Ranger and the Fiesta in this recent past few years. Before the Mondeo nameplate landed in Malaysia, Ford didn’t even have a representative in the D-segment for more than a decade since the demise of the Telstar. That soon changed in 2009 when the first Mondeo landed on our shores. It was the CD345 Mondeo, which is actually the third incarnation of the model.
Here we have the latest CD391 Mondeo, and it’s another product built under the “One Ford” strategy to suit the tastes of a broader set of audience from different regions around the globe, unlike the previous generation CD345 that was mainly developed in the UK.
There are a few powerplants offered for this new Mondeo, ranging from petrol, diesel, to even hybrid; but only one engine made it here, which is the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder EcoBoost. The same two litre turbo from the predecessor is more powerful than before, and it currently leads the Malaysian D-segment pack as the most powerful petrol D-segment sedan on sale at the time of writing. It’s also one of the priciest, but don’t forget that the new Mondeo is fully-imported CBU model, and it’s armed with a number of safety tech to boot.
Everyone we showed the Mondeo to agrees that the Mondeo is one dapper hunk, but not everyone can tell that it’s a Ford which is quite a shame, really. Even the previous Mondeo is not a familiar sight compared to the other continental D-segment sedans, and like we mentioned earlier, perhaps more publicity is needed to get the general crowd in the know on the existence of the Fiesta’s and Focus’s bigger brother.
From the front three-quarter view there’s a visual link to the pony car, the Mustang. Although supposedly we should say that the Mustang looks like the Mondeo because the Mustang came out after the Mondeo; but in essence, Ford’s recent design is more skewed towards the sporty side and that’s pretty darn fine by us, so no complains on that.
We reckon James Bond would approve the wide Aston-esque chromed grille, while the bulging bonnet shouts a pretty serious intent for something that’s not actually intended to lap the Nürburgring on a weekly basis. The Mondeo is the first Ford to get the Ford Dynamic LED headlamps; and they do smart things like bending, stretching, and dipping the light beam automatically, apart from mesmerizing the oncoming traffic with their turning indicator animation.
While the front resembles an Aston, there’s a hint of Aventador at the back, particularly the shape of the taillights and the pointy bootlid. Unfortunately you won’t find a screaming V12 under that rear window, but the Mondeo does feature some design tinsel such as the roof-mounted third brake light and the dual trapezoidal tailpipe finishers integrated into the bumper.
The side is not bad either. At 4,871 mm the Mondeo slightly edges the Honda Accord (4,870 mm) as the longest D-segment sedan on sale here, and the sharp creases on the flanks combined with the shallow side windows make the Mondeo look even longer and sleeker than it actually is. However, with the sporty vibe going on nicely, the 17-inch wheels don’t do the car’s justice, the design is good but they look a little lost under those wheel arches. Can we please have at least a set of 18 inchers under that instead?
The cabin’s general fit and finish is sturdy although one ergonomic quirk we found is the positioning of the electronic parking brake switch on the passenger side, which may sound petty to you but still quite annoying sometimes, especially for this writer. While we were unable to change the location of the switch, we were given options to choose the colour for the interior lights, which does help to lift the ambiance by some margin.
The leather-wrapped seats are comfortable, the front ones are power-operated and heated but not ventilated, while the driver’s seat gets memory setting as well. Rear bench does the usual 60/40 split and folds flat and level with the high boot floor.
Even when they’re not folded down, the 557 litre boot is big enough to kidnap our chief editor. However, as you can see in our video, the Mondeo is not a suitable car for kidnappers, because GC was able to escape in an instant, thanks to the highly visible glow-in-the-dark boot release trigger located inside of the boot lid.
Loads of space is offered inside for occupants and their belongings. Unless you’re a really tall person we don’t think you’ll be complaining for more legroom and headroom, even if you’re seated in the back seat. You’ll also get aircond vents, a 12v power outlet, and a drop down center armrest with cup holders at the back.
The wide door pockets front and back will be able to take bigger-sized bottles among other things, but we’re slightly disappointed that the huge glovebox has been divided into two levels which reduces its usability. Although we do appreciate the two-level cubby under the front center armrest and the additional space behind the center panel.
The dashboard is clean and neatly laid out, the button count is minimal on the center panel because other controls are grouped into the SYNC2 infotainment system, accessed via the large 8-inch touchscreen. The touch screen is a bit slow at times, but the good news is you don’t really have to rely fully on the touch screen alone when you have a responsive voice command system.
Everything from making phone calls, changing the radio station, to adjusting the aircond temperature can be done by talking to the car. She (the car has a female voice) can even help you to read out loud your messages from your paired phone. It’s like having your own personal assistant, but she only exists in your car.
In contrast to the plain center console, the steering wheel is crammed with buttons. There are at least 22 buttons on the steering wheel alone and that does not include the shift paddles, but don’t panic because they’re all very intuitive to use.
The screens on the digital instrument cluster too can look quite intimidating at first sight, feeding you with details about the available driving assistance system such as the Adaptive Cruise Control and the Lane Keeping Alert system. Even so, you can customise and choose what you want to be displayed in the screens.
Furthermore, you can customise a separate driver profile with its MyKey system. As demonstrated during the Future of Safety with Ford roadshow, using your all-powerful Admin key, you can set numerous parameters on the MyKey such as the speed limit and the “always-on” driving assistance, so you can have your own guardian angel to watch over your MyKey user even when you’re not around to monitor their every move. Regardless if you’re an overly protected parent with trust issues or not, we think MyKey is a great tool to promote safe driving especially for the youngsters who just got their driving license.
The 2.0-litre EcoBoost from the CD345 Mondeo soldiers on in the new Mondeo, but it’s slightly more powerful and no longer mated to the 6-speed Powershift dual-clutch gearbox. Instead, the 1,999 cc 4-cylinder turbo is hooked up to a 6-speed Selectshift automatic, sending 240 hp and 345 Nm to the front wheels.
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 7.9 seconds, and the top speed is at 240 km/h. The EcoBoost mill is claimed to drink eight litres of petrol per hundred kilometers, without the aid of stop/start system or a dedicated Eco mode.
Despite the high-tech equipment, the Mondeo is actually quite straighforward to drive. There are no driving modes to choose from but you do get an S mode for the transmission to hold up the gearshifts while keeping the engine on boil. Although being a conventional automatic gearbox the shifts are not quick as a dual-clutch box, but it’s all right as long as you don’t get that low-speed jerkiness when you’re crawling in heavy traffic.
It’s a pleasant car to be in with excellent sound insulation that only lets in the best bits of the EcoBoost note to be heard when pushed. It doesn’t whoosh and burp on upshifts but it’s definitely one of the better sounding 4-pots out there, this side of family sedan. Ride over typical KL-grade tarmac proved that the Mondeo is not easily ruffled by the harsh surface, accompanied with the light steering wheel it’s very much relaxed for city driving.
The first few miles down the road you might find the steering wheel is overly-assisted, but as the speed increases and the more time you spend with the Mondeo you’ll appreciate the communicative rack, as it makes an easy and enjoyable task to stitch a string of corners together. The brakes also bite reassuringly well, with firm pedal feel that you can always rely on when you get a bit too frisky with the throttle pedal.
In all fairness you don’t buy the Mondeo to be your weekend track car but coming from a car company steeped in rich motorsports history you’d expect it to deliver the goods when it comes to handling. And the good news is even though this Mondeo wears neither the RS nor the ST badge on the boot lid it’s still one of the best handling D-segment sedans around.
Push it in corners and the suspension holds itself well to prevent body roll, while the torquey EcoBoost mill makes for a rapid progress without the need to rev the engine all the way to the red line, because the full 345 Nm surge arrives from just 2,300 rpm. Needless to say, overtaking is a breeze especially on the long highways where the Mondeo is also comfortable to sit in the fast lane for endless of hours, or until the fuel runs out.
It’s an accomplished cruiser on the highway, and the driving assistance system is available to lend a hand to keep you in the correct path quite literally with the Adaptive Cruise Control and the Lane Keeping Alert and Aid.
Relying on the sensors, the car is able to detect whether you’re too close to the vehicle in front or whether you’re straying away form the lane. Unless you indicate with the turn signal, the steering will rumble and gently suggest you where the front wheels should be pointing to so you don’t end up being a giant pinball on the highway.
IS IT FOR YOU?
Apart from wanting to be different, the Mondeo should be in your shortlist if you want a spacious and comfortable D-segment sedan that can also entertain you with its fine handling, provided that you can and willing to stretch your budget a bit.
For some, that’s also where the dilemma is, because if you top up a few thousands more you can land yourself a BMW 316i in your driveway, albeit in a rather dreary spec and not to mention the weedy engine under its bonnet compared to the Mondeo.
Penny-pinchers should definitely look away though, because not only the Mondeo’s asking price is on the steep side, it’s also quite a thirsty car even if you try to convince yourself otherwise.
Among the continental D-segment sedans available here, the Volkswagen Passat B7 is a popular choice. It’s the cheapest of the bunch, yet it delivers strong performance from the 1.8-litre 4-cylinder TSI and it’s also a great long distance cruiser. It’s at the end of its life cycle though, unless you’re hunting for massive stock clearance discount, we suggest you to hold on to your chequebook for the new Passat B8 that’s slated to arrive by end of 2015.
Another contender you can consider is the Peugeot 508 GT. Recently been given a refresh, it’s the only oil-burner here and it packs a punch from the 2.2-litre 4-cylinder HDi FAP. The price almost equals the Mondeo, and it’s brimmed with goodies and driving assistance. There’s a petrol option as well but the 1.6 THP is nowhere near the 2.2 HDi in terms of performance figures, but the petrol 508 will save you around RM 27k against the diesel sibling.
|Ford Mondeo 2.0 EcoBoost||Peugeot 508 GT||Volkswagen Passat 1.8 TSI|
|Type||4-cylinder turbocharged petrol||4-cylinder turbocharged diesel||4-cylinder petrol|
|Type||Electrical power-assisted||Electro-hydraulic power-assisted||Electrical power-assisted|
|Transmission||6-Speed automatic||6-Speed automatic||7-Speed dual clutch|
|Type (Front / Rear)||MacPherson struts / Multi link||Double wishbones / Multi link||MacPherson struts / Multi link|
|Front||Ventilated disc||Ventilated disc||Ventilated disc|
|TYRE & WHEELS|
|Tyres||235/50 R17||235/40 R19||235/45 R17|
|DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS|
|Max Kerb weight||kg||1,562||1,552||1,517|
|Luggage Capacity (VDA)||L||557||545||565|
|Tank Capacity||62 litres||72 litres||70 litres|
|Consumption||8.0 L/100 km||5.7 L/100 km||7.0 L/100 km|
|0 – 100km/h||sec||7.9||8.4||8.5|
WILL I BUY IT?
It’s hard not to consider the Mondeo if I’m in the market for a D-segment sedan. It’s comfortable to run the daily grind and it has plenty of power reserve should you need to stretch its legs during your interstate jaunts. It handles just as good as it looks, and I have strong fondness for cars we don’t see that often on the road. After all, we could use a little more diversity on the roads too, right? In my books the Mondeo ticks most number of boxes in my checklist.