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.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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