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Car trim reviews

Ford Mondeo Zetec

"The Ford Mondeo Zetec is technically the mid-range trim, but it looks sparsely equipped compared to some rivals."

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The Ford Mondeo Zetec is the mid-range trim option in the car's range, but is technically the cheapest new Mondeo you can buy today. That's because Ford introduced its popular 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine to the Zetec range in the summer of 2015, lowering the cheapest price of the trim by around £1,000.

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The Zetec trim has some handy equipment as standard; power foldable door mirrors, automatic climate control and DAB radio are all thrown in. Also equipped is a leather wrapped steering wheel, cruise control with a speed limiter and 16-inch alloy wheels. The Volkswagen Passat in entry-level S trim has roughly same amount of equipment, but the Hyundai i40 in mid-level SE Nav trim offers satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors and heated front seats for a similar amount of money to the Mondeo Zetec.

In Zetec format, the Mondeo has a good range of engines. Along with the 123bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol, there's also a more powerful 1.5-litre 157bhp version. We'd avoid the 1.0-litre version, though; although it works well with the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus hatchbacks, it's underpowered in the Mondeo. That means you have to work the engine harder to make good progress, which in turn harms fuel economy. Its claimed fuel economy is 55.4mpg, but when we tested the 1.0-litre petrol engine, we couldn't manage more than 33mpg.

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The diesel engines are a better option; they are smooth, quiet and provide much better fuel economy figures than the petrol engines. The 2.0-litre option sounds tempting, and is available with four-wheel-drive, but the 1.5-litre diesel engine will be more than enough, as it returns up to a claimed 79mpg and is tax-free.

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Good points

The Mondeo Zetec offers a good range of engines to cater to almost all needs, so buyers will be spoilt for choice. Pretty much all of them are relatively economical, given their individual power outputs, with even the least efficient model still capable of returning up to 50mpg.The Mondeo, in its current form, is quite a stylish car. It may look discreet to some, but the saloon market is filled with conservatively-styled cars. The Mondeo manages to stick out a little more than the Volkswagen Passat or Volvo S60.The Mondeo is a very comfortable and spacious car inside, meaning its a very capable motorway cruiser.

Bad points

In Zetec trim, the Mondeo looks a little spartan. Although you do get some creature comforts, like automatic climate control and DAB radio, kit like sat nav and heated seats, which can be found on smaller and cheaper cars these days, is reserved for the plusher (and more expensive) Titanium trim.Even though the interior is a pleasant place to be, its interior quality isn't quite as plush as the likes of the Volkswagen Passat. Some of the plastics used on the dashboard feel a little cheap.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Electric folding wing mirrors
  • Alarm
  • Tyre pressure sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Auto climate control
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • DAB Radio
  • Cruise control
  • Stop/Start
  • Rear electric windows
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Front and rear parking sensors

Our choice

The 1.5-litre ECOnetic diesel will be your best bet with the Zetec trim. Its acceleration won't get your pulse racing, but it offers some of the best fuel economy figures in the Mondeo's range and is cheaper to buy than most other engine models.

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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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