2015 Ford Mondeo Trend review
Practical Motoring’s 2015 Ford Mondeo Trend review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety, verdict and rating.
In a Nutshell: The new, bigger Mondeo is an improvement on its predecessor and will take over ‘big car’ duties from the Falcon when that car ends production in 2016.
DESPITE A LINE-UP of cars that’s one of the best in the business, Ford isn’t the automotive powerhouse, locally at least, that it probably thinks it should be. It’s set to close the doors on local manufacturing in 2016 and, at the same time, will remove the Falcon nameplate from Australian roads.
There are many of Falcon fans that think when the Falcon dies, so will Ford. But it won’t. And once the Falcon’s gone and we’ve shed the last of our tears for that nameplate, we’ll all start to wonder why Ford didn’t kill it earlier.
And one of the reasons for that is the car you’re looking at here. The Ford Mondeo will take over ‘big car’ duties for the Falcon and hopefully spearhead growth in the ‘family’ car segment for Ford from now. But that won’t be easy, because the Mondeo is up against stiff competition from the refreshed Hyundai i40, Subaru Liberty, Mazda6, Toyota Camry and others like the Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Jetta. Tough crowd.
Sourced from Spain, the fourth-generation Mondeo range starts at just $32,790 (+ORC) making it $3610 cheaper than the entry-level Falcon, while the mid-spec Trend hatch we are testing, is just $37,290 (+ORC) and represents considerable value for money.
Despite its predecessor gaining a name for roominess, particularly in wagon trim, this new Mondeo is actually bigger than the previous generation and only slightly smaller than a Falcon. The Mondeo measures 4871mm long (4919mm Falcon); 1852mm wide (1868mm Falcon); 1482mm tall (1494mm Falcon); and the wheelbase is 2850mm (2838mm Falcon); and that means more front legroom and virtually identical rear seat legroom when compared to the Falcon: 1128/972mm and 1073/989mm, respectively.
Like the last-ever Falcon, the Mondeo wears the new global hexagonal grille. And while some have knocked the look, to our eyes the Mondeo is a classy looker. Our test car is the Mondeo Trend and it gets slimline Halogen headlights, fog and daytime running lights, a slight bonnet bulge along with four raised style lines up to the windscreen which give the thing, particularly from front-on, a wide looking and purposeful stance.
It’s worth mentioning that crayon twirlers from Australia had a small hand in the Mondeo’s look, and beyond manufacturing which will end in 2016, it’s clear that Aussie engineering and design talent will be key to Ford’s global future. You only have to look at local input with both the Ford Ranger and Everest to see that.
Inside, the dashboard layout is probably the pick of the Ford line-up with quality materials chosen and fit and finish superior to, and apologies for labouring the point, the Falcon. The 10-way power operated seats (with heating and memory functions for the driver) allow for driver’s both short and tall to get comfortable behind the wheel.
Like the seat, the steering wheel offers plenty of adjustment and offers easy control of main features like audio, telephone and cruise control.
In the back and although the 60/40-split rear seat can accommodate three, it’s a bit of a tight fit for three adults, but teenagers, or children in child seats will have plenty of room. That said, head room will be tight in the back for anyone 1.8m-plus tall – front headroom with the sunroof fitted drops from 987mm to 964mm from the seat base, in the back it goes from 961mm to 960mm.
Boot space in the Mondeo five-seat hatch goes from 458 litres with a full-size spare and loaded to the parcel shelf, to 557 litres with full spare and loaded to the roof, and 1356 litres with the rear seats folded down and loaded to the roof. The boot shape is reasonable with 1130mm between the wheel arches.
Even a short drive is enough to show that Ford’s engineers spent a lot of time on insulating the Mondeo and the thing is easily the quietest car in its class. Indeed, noise insulation was a big part of this cars development, and Ford says it made things like the windscreen 0.4mm thicker, added more sealant and tweaked the shape of the wing mirrors to ensure less rustle at highway speed.
Under the bonnet of the Mondeo Trend is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine that produces 177kW at 5300rpm and 345Nm at 2300-4900rpm. The official combined fuel consumption cycle for the Trend is 8.2L/100km, however in a week of varied motoring we averaged 8.9L/100km with quite a deal of freeway motoring.
Consumption aside, the Mondeo’s EcoBoost engine is excellent and the smooth six-speed automatic does an excellent job of ensuring the wide torque band is put to good use. Whether it’s a hill or overtaking on the highway, the Mondeo does it effortlessly. For those who still think you need a big lazy engine for effort-free motoring, the Mondeo will change the way you think with its relaxed, grunty and quiet nature.
Ford has re-worked the Mondeo’s rear-end and the Oz-spec car runs the same suspension set-up as the European model (it’s a global car, see and so everything has to work as well here as somewhere else). Indeed, the new integral link rear suspension set-up adds to the vehicles hushed nature, by virtue of its alternative mounting to the subframe.
No matter the surface, the Mondeo is both supple and controlled. Indeed, feeling more ‘comfortable’ than others in this segment, the new Mondeo is equally at home as the speed rises and the corners start coming. Thanks to the clever blend of well-tuned suspension, a stiffer body and excellent noise insulation the Mondeo comes off as a real mile muncher.
While the old Mondeo was one of the last Ford’s to feature hydraulic steering the new Mondeo has switched to an electric set-up and it’s not immediately as involving as the old system. The action is still direct but more weight in the wheel would add some icing to the cake, if you know what I mean. The brakes offer a nice progressive action with decent pedal feel underfoot.
The mid-range Mondeo Trend that we’re testing builds on the Ambiente (entry-level) and gets sat-nav, voice activation for phone, audio, dual zone climate control, projector headlights, daytime running lights, as well as front and rear parking sensors. In addition, it features 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhausts, puddle lamps, halogen headlights, keyless entry, adaptive cruise control, 10-way electric (heated) front seats with three memory settings, a reversing camera, active city stop and pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection.
The Mondeo gets a five-star ANCAP rating and features a range of active and passive safety systems. It gets nine airbags and inflatable rear seatbelts (pictured above), ABS brakes, stability and traction control, Active City Stop, Lane keeping and lane departure warning, driver impairment monitor that detects and warns if the driver is becoming fatigued, rear view camera and paring sensors, hill launch assist, intrusion sensing alarm along with Ford’s MyKey system that can lock certain cars functions and limit its speed, helpful for parents whose children may drive the vehicle.
The Mondeo has a three year/100,000km warranty, complimentary roadside assist membership, and servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000kms.