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  • Attractive styling, punchy, free-revving 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, sporty performance and comfortable ride, huge boot space and large car leg and headroom, six-speed dual-clutch transmission standard in the Zetec model.
  • No sat-nav or LCD multimedia screen on the mid-spec Mondeo, no leather or partial leather trim, front seat bolstering could be more aggressive, low down nervousness from dual-clutch transmission.

OUR RATING
7 / 10



The current Ford Mondeo was released in late 2010 as a facelift of the MC-generation that launched in 2007. So the Mondeo is in its twilight years now, however although the new model was previewed at the Sydney motor show in October, it won’t arrive for another year.

So the Mondeo will need this facelift to work through new generations of Mazda 6 and Toyota Camry, as well as next year’s Holden Malibu. The MC update furnished the generation with state-of-the-art safety technology including driver alert, lane departure warning and a blind spot information system, in addition to offering a new turbo engine, all signified by ‘refreshed’ styling.

To its existing virtues as a spacious, comfortable and fine-riding family car, the Mondeo could add ‘tech savvy’ and ‘efficient’ to that list.

Ford’s new 2.0-litre Ecoboost engines combines turbocharging with high-pressure direct fuel injection, to compensate for a 300cc reduction in displacement compared with the old 2.3-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder. For the update, the 2.3 would continue in the base LX, but the Ford Mondeo Zetec we tested, in addition to the tech-packed Titanium, would score the Ecoboost engine.

Available on only the Ford Mondeo Zetec and Titanium petrol models in five-door hatch guise only, ecoboost offers significant improvements over the previous 2.3-litre Duratec petrol engine, now found only on the entry-level LX models.

2012 Ford Mondeo Review

In the Mondeo, the 2.0-litre – which is also shared between Falcon, Focus ST and the forthcoming Kuga – sends 149kW and 300Nm to the front wheels, representing a 26 per cent improvement in power and a 44 per cent improvement in torque. Ford also claims a 16 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and a 17 per cent fall in CO2 emissions to 187g/km.

With peak torque available across a broad 1750-4500rpm range, the Mondeo is an effortless drive. Previously, Zetec buyers needed to wait until the mid-range for just 230Nm to arrive. There’s some noticeable low-down turbo lag if you’re overly keen with the throttle, but once in the torque band the Mondeo offers more punch than expected.

It’s no performance turbo, mind, but off the line starts to 100km/h takes just 7.9 seconds. Depending on driving style and conditions, this Mondeo will consume as little as 8L/100km, as claimed by Ford. However, our average consumption over a week of mixed driving was 10.8L/100km.

Nonetheless, it’s a smooth-revving engine, with excellent noise suppression. While the quick-shifting efforts of the six-speed dual-clutch transmission are cause for applause, there’s some low-speed nervousness during car park manoeuvres and the like.

Despite its image as merely family-car transport, the Mondeo is a fine driver’s car – almost sporty – with direct, meaty steering and superb feedback for the driver. It feels well balanced through corners, with good grip from the 17inch Goodyears and only minimal bodyroll.

2012 Ford Mondeo Review

Yet the real masterstroke of Ford’s suspension set-up is that it feels soft and compliant the way it soaks up large undulations and patchwork-ridden road surfaces, while still providing that planted feeling in the corners.

At $37,740 (before on-road costs) the Ford Mondeo Zetec Ecoboost is surrounded by well-regarded rivals. The main contenders being the Mazda6 Touring ($41,115), Toyota Camry Atara SL ($39,990), Kia Optima Platinum ($36,990), Opel Insignia ($38,490), Skoda Octavia RS ($37,990), Volkswagen Jetta 147TSI Highline ($37,990) and the Volkswagen Passat 118TSI ($38,990).

While the Mondeo Zetec misses out on key features of some rivals, such as leather trim, electric seats (the driver’s seat gets electric height adjustment), sat-nav and colour LCD multimedia screens, it’s still competitively equipped.

Creature comforts include Bluetooth phone and music streaming with voice control, quality Sony audio system with nine speakers, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps, multi-function steering wheel, front and rear parking sensors, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

While the cloth trim is bland and the centre-stack looks dated, the Mondeo interior gets just enough bling to at least make it interesting, with a blend of piano black, soft touch, and metal-look accents throughout the cabin.

2012 Ford Mondeo Review

Both rows of seats are comfortable enough, although the front buckets could do with a tad more side bolstering to back the Mondeo’s handling ability.

Like so many offerings in the mid-sized segment, the Ford Mondeo feels more like a large car. The boot is enormous, holding a claimed 816-litres of load space with the rear seats upright and a massive 1919 litres with the rear seat- backs folded (not entirely flat).

While there are no rear cup holders, the Mondeo boasts individual rear seat air vents and LED map lights for rear passengers.

Seven airbag passive-safety protection helps the Mondeo earn a five-star ANCAP safety rating. Electronic stability control (ESC) with traction control (and emergency brake assist, and anti-locking brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution aims to lessen the likelihood of requiring the front-line protection…

Despite some heavy competition, the Ford Mondeo Ecoboost remains competitive in the medium car segment, at least until we steer the new Mazda6 and Holden Malibu on local turf. Whether it can remain a valid proposition until the new-generation Mondeo arrives in Australia in the first quarter 2014 remains to be seen.


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FORD MONDEO BREAKDOWN

2012 Ford Mondeo Review
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Ford Mondeo Specs

ZETEC : MC : 2.0L TURBO MPFI - 6 SP AUTOMATIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 5D HATCHBACK
Car Details
Make
FORD
Model
MONDEO
Variant
ZETEC
Series
MC
Year
2012
Body Type
5D HATCHBACK
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$13,090 - $14,880
Dealer Retail
$14,710 - $17,490
Dealer Trade
$10,400 - $11,900
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
TURBO MPFI
Engine Size
2.0L
Cylinders
TURBO 4
Max. Torque
300Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
149kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
96W/kg
Bore & Stroke
87.5x83.1mm
Compression Ratio
10.0
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.333
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
70Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
8L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1552
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1500mm
Length
4784mm
Width
1886mm
Ground Clearance
110mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1200  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
11.5
Front Rim Size
7.5x17
Rear Rim Size
7.5x17
Front Tyres
235/45 R17
Rear Tyres
235/45 R17
Wheel Base
2850
Front Track
1579
Rear Track
1595
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Lower control arm, Gas damper, Coil Spring, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Control Blade, Gas damper, Coil Spring, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Power front seat Driver
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Traction Control System
Driver
Cruise Control, Parking Distance Control Rear, Power Steering, Trip Computer
Entertainment
CD with 6 CD Stacker, Radio CD with 8 Speakers
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front, Power Mirrors
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Front Floor
Country of Origin
Belgium