Ford Mondeo hatchback review
"The most recent Ford Mondeo is a quiet and relaxing cruiser, with efficient engines, but previous versions were more fun to drive"
- Very comfortable and refined
- Frugal diesel engines
- Plenty of space inside
- A bit too expensive
- Not as fun to drive as before
- Interior quality not as good as rivals'
Back in the 1990s, the Ford Mondeo was a bestseller in Britain and this fifth-generation version is the latest in a long lineage of successful models. It could be Ford's last Mondeo, however, as sales have fallen as buyers flocked to SUVs or moved into more upmarket cars such as the BMW 3 Series instead.
Ford attempted to turn things around by making the Mondeo more luxurious than before, with a greater focus on comfort and interior quality, along with a range-topping Vignale version. As a result, it's very quiet and makes a great long-distance companion but it’s not as good to drive as some older models. The Mazda6 and BMW 3 Series are better in that department, while other practical rivals include the Volkswagen Passat and Volvo S60.
The Mondeo isn't as distinctive to look at as it used to be, but it looks modern and matches the rest of the Ford range thanks to an update in 2019 that brought it into line with the excellent new Ford Focus. The interior is smart as well, so while the Mondeo is often overlooked, it's worth considering.
Previous versions of the Mondeo were great fun to drive as well as being comfy and practical, but this new version has left that legacy in the past. It's just a bit dull and we wish it had some of the fun that Ford has injected into the Fiesta and Focus models.
In a comprehensive range, there are four trim levels: Zetec Edition, Titanium Edition, ST-Line Edition and Vignale, with even the first grade getting an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen running Ford's SYNC 3 multimedia software, DAB radio, sat nav, dual-zone climate control, cruise control and 17-inch alloy wheels. Titanium Edition is a more comfort-orientated option, with keyless entry, leather upholstery and powered front seats. ST-Line gets a sporty makeover, lowered suspension and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Ford's marketing may try to tell you the Mondeo Vignale is a separate model, with extensive changes, including quilted leather upholstery, a unique grille, adaptive LED headlamps, a powered tailgate and even a concierge service. It's pricey and not very good value.
For 2020, Ford simplified the Mondeo’s engine range with diesel and hybrid powertrains only. Mondeo drivers typically cover more miles, so the diesel choice is still likely to be suitable for most buyers. Company-car drivers will likely choose one of the 2.0-litre diesel engines with either 148bhp or 187bhp. Those that don’t cover as many miles, or who want a lower Benefit-in-Kind cost, could be better served by one of the hybrid models that combine a 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor.
Our top pick would be the 148bhp 2.0-litre TDCi, returning up to 56.5mpg with CO2 emissions from 130g/km, though it has a fairly high BiK rating due to the increased tax on diesels. For a large diesel-powered car, these are still competitive figures.
Not enough drivers of the Ford Mondeo submitted their feedback for it to finish in our 2021 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK, but in previous years it was rated poorly for reliability. Less worrying is the Mondeo’s safety credentials, thanks to a long list of safety technology and a five-star rating from independent experts Euro NCAP.