You could argue the Ford Mondeo didn’t need its recent facelift – it was still one of the best family cars around. But useful improvements have been made to the latest car, not least the 161bhp engine. This version of the 2.0 TDCi combines plentiful punch with strong economy and low emissions. With 251lb ft of torque, there’s plenty of muscle to cope with any suitable match, as the 30-60mph time of 12.8 seconds shows.
Our test car matched this engine to the Powershift gearbox. From a driver’s perspective, Powershift behaves like an automatic gearbox, although it uses clutches rather than an auto’s torque convertor for greater efficiency and improved economy. According to official figures you can expect 50.4mpg on the combined cycle. We found Powershift to rival a good auto for smoothness.
The Mondeo stops as well as it goes. In the 30-0mph brake test it needed just 9.8 metres to come to a halt – one of the shortest stopping distances we recorded this year. Apart from a slight tendency to follow road contours, our driving judges were very satisfied with the Mondeo’s stability, right up to the legal limit and beyond.
Sharp and informative steering was a driver’s ally in the lane-change test. However ragged the caravan became behind it, the Mondeo continued to go where it was pointed.
There’s plenty of room in the cabin, and luggage space is cavernous. We’d like more comprehensive towing information in the handbook, however.