Ford Mondeo hatchback - Interior & comfort
The interior of the Ford Mondeo is better built and quieter than before – but comfort is prioritised at the expense of a sporty drive
Taking on everything from the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 to the VW Passat and Mazda 6, mainstream manufacturers have been keen to improve the perceived quality of their cars in recent years, and the Ford Mondeo is the latest example. Ford's redesigned ‘corporate’ grille (2019 on) may be now less likened to an Aston Martin's but it still modernises the dowdy looks of the old model, even if the rest of the changes are quite subtle.
The Mondeo Vignale is the most obvious sign of Ford's ambition to compete with brands traditionally considered more upmarket. However, Ford is keen to point out that this Mondeo isn't supposed to compete with the entry-level BMW 3 Series, but instead appeal to those who want to stay with the Ford brand but have a higher-quality, more luxurious interior. It’s the most luxurious Mondeo available and is all about refinement and comfort.
It features laser-cut quilted leather seats, a soft-touch instrument panel and other handcrafted details that you don't get on the other Mondeo trim levels. While it looks nice, with more leather throughout the cabin, the seats aren't as comfortable as they look and overall the Vignale just feels like a normal Mondeo with some nicer bits of trim.
Ford Mondeo dashboard
The interior has been given much the same treatment as the exterior and feels more upmarket as a result – if not quite up to VW levels. The circular air vents of the old car have been scrapped in favour of rectangular ones, but the most obvious addition is a standard eight-inch infotainment screen. Among other things, it's used to control Ford's SYNC 3 system, which includes voice recognition and can read text messages aloud. The sat-nav can be tricky to figure out at first, but generally works well once you get used to it.
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Out on the road, you're immediately struck by how quiet the new Mondeo is inside. Much of this is down to the fact that it's 10% more aerodynamic than the old model, thanks to a sleeker roofline and flaps behind the grille that close to help the car cut through the air more efficiently at speed.
The quiet interior suits how the new Mondeo drives. It's not as engaging as the old model, but the new car's light steering makes it more relaxing to drive. It's also fitted with sophisticated rear suspension that improves ride quality, even with 18-inch alloy wheels.
The eight-inch colour display has high-resolution graphics and shows you everything from sat-nav directions to ventilation settings and it can all be controlled by Ford's latest SYNC 3 voice-recognition system. SYNC 3 also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
On the entry-level Zetec Edition model, this useful piece of kit is joined by 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control, an alarm, cruise control and DAB digital radio. Front and rear parking sensors are helpful given the Mondeo’s size and the Quickclear heated windscreen is useful on cold mornings.
Titanium Edition adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a digital instrument display, automatic lights and wipers, ambient interior lighting, heated seats and additional safety features such as lane-keeping assistance and traffic-sign recognition.
There’s also the sporty ST-Line Edition trim, which get a racy bodykit, a black honeycomb grille, black trim around the side windows and 19-inch alloys. Inside, there are sports seats with red stitching, a leather steering wheel and black interior trims. It also gets sporty lowered suspension for a firmer ride and racier driving experience.
The range-topping Vignale comes with special leather seats, upgraded cabin materials, a hexagonal grille, 19-inch alloy wheels and dark detailing on the bumpers and door mirrors. Inside, you get a reversing camera, LED headlights and a heated steering wheel as standard. It's expensive, though, so it’s hard to recommend – apart from the leather trim, it still feels like a Mondeo, rather than something built to be a premium product. And while the seats seem plush, they aren't as comfortable as they look.
Across the Mondeo line-up, there’s a full range of adjustment for the steering wheel and driver's seat, meaning you shouldn't have any issues getting comfortable. Visibility is decent for such a big car, while all models are fitted with front and rear parking sensors. Active Park Assist (part of the Driver Assistance pack) is another option. This can park the car into parallel and perpendicular spaces, although it won't pull off the same tight manoeuvres that a human can.
An optional fixed panoramic sunroof makes the interior much brighter. This is a luxury item but really opens up the cabin of the car and is great for rear passengers on longer trips.
Over half of Vignale customers previously choose the Nero pack, so Ford has made it standard, swapping the exterior chrome trim and alloy wheels for dark grey replacement items for a more aggressive look. This covers the fog lamp surrounds and styling strips on the front and rear bumpers, along with the 19-inch wheels.