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Ford Mondeo hatchback (2006-2014) - Engines, drive & performance

It’s getting on a bit, but the Ford Mondeo handles with the verve of a more modern car, while diesels have decent performance.

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.4 out of 5

Despite its age, the Mondeo remains one of the best cars to drive in its class, with handling that’s not just better than the Volkswagen Passat or Vauxhall Insignia, but also executive cars such as the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. The Mondeo is a large car, but once you’re used to its width, it’s easy to drive. However, its considerable length means finding a parking space can be tricky – and the estate version is even bigger.

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The Mondeo is front-wheel drive and all models hold the road impressively well. Those large dimensions mean that the car remains very stable and secure when cornering or travelling at high speed. There’s plenty of grip from the front tyres when cornering hard, and the responsive steering means you quickly gain confidence that the car will do what you expect. All models have electronic stability control for extra peace of mind.

Ford Mondeo diesel engines

All engines in the range are good performers, but if you’re a keen driver, you should avoid the slow entry-level petrol and long-geared ECOnetic diesel. The Zetec model is a more interesting choice, with sports suspension, more figure-hugging seats and a 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine as standard. It’ll sprint from 0-62mph in 9.5 seconds and has a top speed of 130mph, which is more than enough to make the car feel fast on tight and twisty British roads.

Ford Mondeo petrol engines

Although the larger 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel or 237bhp 2.0-litre petrol engines have significantly more power, they probably don’t offer a big enough leap in performance to justify the extra running costs – unless the driving experience is your number-one priority. If you cover fewer than 18,000 miles a year, you should consider the 1.6-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol engine, which has decent power and reasonable fuel economy, as well as being much quieter and smoother than any of the diesels.

The Mondeo has quite a firm ride, which helps make it more agile in bends, but it’s still comfortable on a long motorway cruise, too. However, cars with larger alloy wheels tend to make quite a lot more road noise than those with smaller rims, and all of the diesel engines are quite rattly at low speed.

The manual gearbox is preferable to the automatic, as it gives better fuel economy and a more involving drive. All Mondeos are easy to drive, and have positive, responsive steering as well as sharp, powerful brakes.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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