Ford Mondeo 1.6 EcoBoost Titanium X22 | 07 | 2011Scotcars rating

    Ford puts the 'baby' EcoBoost engine in the Mondeo: how good is it in everyday use?


    The Mondeo seems to have been around forever and for a while even became part of the language. 'Mondeo Man' was a fictional stereotypical creation of Tony Blair at the Labour Party conference in 1996 as an example of the type of voter who’d been attracted to Margaret Thatcher and would have to be captured by the Labour Party if they were to achieve electoral success. In fact it referred to a Ford Sierra owner he’d met who’d been a Labour stalwart but had switched allegiances to the Tories because they’d given him the chance to buy his council house, set up his own business and bought his own car, a Sierra, but Blair updated the model to its successor, a Mondeo, to make the point that it was the car of the ordinary ‘bloke’.

    Whether Ford was happy with the label isn’t recorded, but it certainly raised the profile of the model and no doubt helped sales. These days though, the Mondeo faces stiff competition, not least from Vauxhall’s runaway success, the Insignia, and it’s perhaps less of the people’s car than it once was. Ford is anxious for it to hold on to its position and following on from its recent styling refreshment, now has a range of new efficient and cleaner engines.  

    On the road

    The 1.6 EcoBoost is the baby of the new powertrains and while it may seem a pretty small engine for such a sizeable family saloon, it actually does the job well. It certainly won’t get the adrenalin flowing but it will happily get you underway in a not unreasonable sub-10 seconds to just under the speed limit; even with a full load of five adults and a bootful of stuff, it was competent. Both the small petrol and the equivalent diesel come with auto start-stop as standard and, in conjunction with other advances have managed to reduce emissions by up to 20% on previous models.

    It’s a fact that modern Mondeo man, or woman for that matter, wants greater efficiency and economy without giving anything up on performance – which on the face of it seems an impossible aim. The new Mondeo and the new wee engine does it, although I wasn’t able to get anywhere near the claimed economy, managing only around 35 miles for every gallon, rather than the claimed 44-plus on the combined cycle.

    In fairness, I did mostly round-town driving without any long distance trips, so it would have crept up but t was still quite a bit short of what’s possible with some other mid-range saloons. The test car also had the latest Active Grille Shutter which blanks off the flow of air to the cooling system when the engine is cold or whenever appropriate to cut aerodynamic drag by up to 6% and help with economy.  

    Comfort & Safety

    The test car was in Titanium X spec, which meant it was brimming with goodies including auto headlights and rain sensing wipers, heated/folding mirrors, heated windscreen, electric (Bridge of Weir) leather seats, Bluetooth with voice control, cruise control, lane departure warning and big touchscreen sat-nav.

    Everything felt good, but there’s a lack of sparkle and individuality or the sense of anything special. In fact I found myself getting annoyed at some elements. The auto-dipping nearside door mirror, which is activated when reverse is engaged, may be useful for some people to avoid kerbing the alloys, but I’d rather have a standard reverse view, especially when the system takes ages to re-set itself.

    Bizarrely, when my wife drove the car, she couldn’t get the driver’s seat far enough forward to reach the pedals. She’s small but not short and she’s never had any difficulty with any of the hundreds of test cars I’ve asked her to give me the female perspective on. On top of that, it’s got a sizeable price tag, especially if you add some extra options and many people believe the blue oval is now low down on the status rankings.    

    Should you buy one?

    If you are Mondeo man (or woman) this is for you. If not, there are lots of alternatives.

    Read our roadtest of the all-new Ford Focus

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    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £23,100 / £28,145
    Engine / Power: 1596cc / 160bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 9.3secs,  Max 134mph
    How big/heavy?: H1500mm W1886mm L4784mm / 1498kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 44.1mpg / CO2 149g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 19 /Band F £125
    Alternatives: Audi A4; Citroen C5;Peugeot 508; Skoda Octavia; Vauxhall Insignia

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