Fleet cars. I have had a few of them; Commodores, Camry’s, Territory’s. I even had a Volvo once.
I think that half the Mondeo’s that Ford sell go to fleets, as they are everywhere when you go to a trade show or the pub at 1pm on a Friday. I’ve had the Mondeo I currently drive for a tick over three years and 155,000kms. This is the first diesel car I’ve had for a long time and the fuel economy is quite good averaging 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres, according to what the lovely multi-function thingy tells me.
It’s a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, which is mated to a dual-clutch transmission. This can be a good and bad combination; the good is that it has willing power when you give it the boot or put it in ‘S’ mode, and the bad is that it’s quite lethargic from takeoff as the turbo spools up. I find that, in comparison, if I jump into my wife’s Camry and launch, I tend to snap my neck back like it’s a drag racer. Also, a diesel Ranger I’ve had as a loan car has almost instant power, so the lag in the Mondeo can’t solely be because of a diesel thing! The gearbox mostly good, although I suspect it may have a part to play in the languid takeoffs. It’s mostly smooth and unobtrusive unless you are reversing up a steep driveway, which is when it slips like crazy before eventually crying, “Enough” and letting go to send you rolling back down a steep driveway! Also, the stop-start system is infuriating. There is quite a delay when hopping off the brake and the engine coming to life, engaging a gear and going – not good for roundabouts and T-sections. Also of note is that when the engine shuts off, the air-conditioning stops cooling. It’s a system that’s easy to turn off with a button, but it does turn itself back on each time you start the car.
The interior is the same as most Ford products; a bit drab with a few good things shining out at you. The infotainment system is good, as are the back-lit gauges. The steering wheel is a pearler, as is the trip computer multi-function thingy screen between the gauges. On the other hand, the five or six shades of grey / silver plastic throughout the dash is not good, and the seats are a tad flat. There is plenty of room for four adults with good leg room, although the windows are small and give you that slight “bunker” feel. The rear cargo area is quite large, bigger than the Commodore Sportwagon I previously had, I would say.
Doing the kilometres that I travel per year I prefer comfort over handling, and the Mondeo has it in spades. It rides quite well and is not bouncy or jittery at all. In fact, it is the most comfortable car I have had, eating up the kilometres I travel really well. Handling is good, with nicely weighted steering and good feedback when turning. It is also very quiet inside with just a hint of diesel rattle at idle and some small vibrations in the steering wheel. It does, however, sound like a tractor on the outside.
In the time I have had the Mondeo, nothing has fallen off or required any warranty work – just regular 15000km servicing. Since owning, I’ve had to replace one set of rotors and pads, two sets of tyres and two headlight globes, which require the removal of the front bumper to replace!
These Mondeos are on sale for $30k if you hunt around. I think that’s a pretty good deal for a large economical and comfortable car, although the base model does miss a lot of the new safety gear such as AEB, blind-spot monitoring etc.
Alas my time is almost up with this one, and it’s been a goody!