Ford Mondeo Sedan 2.3 2008 Review

Ford Mondeo sedan 2008 fq

Has it really been 15 years? It’s a question I’ve asked a few times in the past several months, though not always with the number 15. It’s because I joined Facebook and suddenly a world of tenuous renewed friendships has opened up. Without Facebook I would never bother finding people from the first Grammar school I suffered. But now I have almost a morbid fascination with it. What are these people doing? How are they getting on in life? Has something unusual happened to them (lots of marriages, lots of kids, they’ve come out of the closet, etc). In fact, if they’re not on Facebook, have they died in a freak mountaineering accident? In which case I won’t be able to add them as friends until Seancebook is launched.

It becomes painfully obvious that in 15 years, though you may have shared a bond closer than two protons in the nucleus of an atom while in your mid teens, you can grow so far apart from someone in terms of career, ideals, experience, weight and amount of hair. And some of us have dispersed to far flung regions (like me), while others have only managed to extend the apron strings just down the road.

In 15 years, a lot can happen. Like four generations of Mondeos. In the same way that I struggle to remember the surnames of the quiet kids in my fifth-form class photo (which I put on Facebook, if you’re interested), I struggle to remember all four Mondeo models. It could be that they are the ubiquitous quiet achiever, not making a fuss or a bold statement, but just getting the job done while trying not to get bullied. After all, Mondeo is close to mundane¦except the model with which Radisich won the British Touring Car Championship in 1994.

But that’s all history. We have a new model, codenamed a very catchy CD345, and it’s an enormous leap forward in the styling department, especially from the first 1993 model. It’s like the tubby, freckled, ginger, fat kid was given a Total Gym for Christmas and a makeover by Trinny and Susannah. Suddenly the Mondeo has become visually interesting in an understated and sleek way.

Built on the EUCD platform developed with Volvo it adopts Ford’s ‘kinetic’ design language first shown on the Iosis concept at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Inside it ticks pretty much all the boxes you’d need for a value-priced family/business car for both safety and features. Roomy on the inside (seemingly much more so than the previous model), it also manages a large boot without cramping back seat passengers.

The steering wheel is accented in aluminium-style highlights that contain two keypads. The left one controls the audio functions — volume, tuning, etc — while the right one changes the display on the trip computer. Below these are buttons for the phone integration on the left and cruise control on the right. Behind the steering wheel sits a pair of chrome-faced dials that flank an orange LCD displaying the trip computer.

The orange LCD theme is carried across to the stereo readout, and it is surrounded by an aluminium-look fascia. There’s nothing complicated about its operation — all controls are easily accessible and intuitive to operate.

On a twisting road the Mondeo is reassuring. The only downside is the lethargic gearbox. To power out of a corner you need to be on the loud pedal well before the apex. Its handling talents can easily be taken for granted because it doesn’t make a fuss about anything, soaking up bumps in its stride.

Having driven the manual two-litre station wagon (also reviewed here by Phil), I personally would go with that. It was far more frugal (8.2l/100km as opposed to 10.8l/100km [quoted is 9.3l/100km]), the extra 300cc and 11kW makes very little difference to the performance and I prefer a manual gearbox. However, if you are a road warrior (or don’t like manuals), the six-speed automatic ‘box with sequential shift will suit you down to the ground, despite its slowness to respond under hard driving.

Does the Mondeo have the goods to see off the generation-II Mazda6? To be honest, you’re probably going to pick between them based on either which one you like the look of, or which dealer gives you the best deal. But if you want a more powerful version your only option is the Ford with the Mondeo XR5 due here perhaps April. Mazda definitely won’t be bringing in an MPS version.

It’s too much of a quiet achiever to be truly endearing, which is perfect for its role as a mid-sized, mid-priced sedan that is often bought by dispassionate companies looking for a fleet car. The Mondeo isn’t so much like an old friend, but more like a functional tool that will get the job done.

Price: from $37,990

What we like

  • Competent tourer
  • Lots of space
  • Styling
  • Great handling
  • Rightly appeared on the Car of the Year shortlist in NZ, and as won many honours in other countries

What we don’t like

  • Seat backs are hard
  • Engine/gearbox combination is unresponsive
  • Glovebox difficult to access by driver

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

  • 2.3L Duratec Petrol with 6 speed auto
  • 4 cylinders in line
  • DOHC
  • 16 valves
  • Intake variable cam timing
  • Alloy cylinder head and block
  • Electronic multipoint fuel injection
  • Dual-mass flywheel
  • 2261 cc
  • 118 kW @ 6000rpm
  • 208 Nm @ 4500rpm
  • Combined Fuel Economy: 9.3 L/100km
  • Combined CO2 Emissions: 223 g/km
  • Euro IV emissions level

SAFETY AND SECURITY

5-Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating
Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
Dynamic Stability Control (including Traction Assist and Emergency Brake Assist)
Front airbags (x2)
Front row side airbags (x2)
Driver’s knee airbag
1st and 2nd row side curtain airbags
Side impact door beams (front and rear)
4 wheel disc brakes (ventilated front / solid rear)
Remote power central / double locking
Locks — Anti-burst, high-security, shielded with child-locks on rear doors
Emergency brake light (Hazard warning light)
Follow-me-home lighting
Front seatbelt pre-tensioners
Seatbelt reminder system – driver’s and front passenger’s seat
Height adjustable mounts on front seatbelts
Decoupling safety pedals
Advanced collapsible steering column
Immobiliser – Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS)
Perimeter Alarm
‘ISOFIX’ child seat attachments (rear outboard seats only)

INTERIOR

Power front & rear windows
Leather steering wheel with cruise control
Manual air-conditioning with pollen filter
Single CD player
MP3 / ipod® AUX input in glove box
Steering wheel audio toggle switches
Instruments — Speedometer, odometer, tripmeter, tachometer, fuel gauge, water temperature gauge
Trip computer including average fuel consumption, average speed,
outside air temperature, trip reset, distance to empty (fuel)
Warning indicators for low fuel, oil pressure, direction indicators,
driver’s and front passenger’s seat belts, main beam, foglamps, ignition/alternator,
brake system/handbrake on, airbags, 0 degrees and 4 degrees Celcius frost warning,
maximum engine speed, message indicator, audible warning for ‘lights on’, key in ignition, door ajar.
Illuminated heater controls — 4-speed fan, temperature and direction control,
two dedicated side window demists and rear compartment floor ducts
Control stalks — Column-mounted for indicators, main beam, dip and flash, wash/wipe functions
Silver metallic-finish instrument cluster rings
Steering column — Reach and rake adjustable
Illuminated glove box
Centre console with hinged armrest
2 moulded cup holders in centre console
Centre armrest in rear
Driver’s footrest
Clock — Digital in instrument cluster and audio display
Mirror — Dipping rear-view, manual
Driver & passenger sunvisors with vanity mirrors
Driver manual lumbar adjust
Manual 2-way driver height adjust
Height adjustable front head restraints
Height adjustible rear head restraints (3)
60/40 split rear seats
Illuminated entry & theatre dimming
Infinity cloth trim
Courtesy lights — Front light (header mounted) & rear light
Luggage compartment light (Sedan and Hatch only)
Front & rear ashtrays
Front and rear doors — Release levers in satin chrome,
door pulls with satin chrome inserts, door stowage bins
Front & 2nd row 12V power socket

EXTERIOR (WITH SPORTS PACK)

Capless refueling
16″ Steel wheels
Full size spare wheel
Halogen, polycarbonate stone impact resistant headlights, side lights,
rear fog lights, reversing lights, high-mounted rear brake light
Headlight levelling — Manual
Orange fender side indicators
Body colour, power and heated mirrors
Heated rear window
Tinted Glass
Wipers — Front, 2-speed with variable interval intermittent wipe with drip wipe

DIMENSIONS (MM) EXTERIOR

Overall length 4844
Overall height 1500
Overall width (without mirrors) 1886
Overall width (with mirrors) 2078
Wheelbase 2850
Front track 1589
Rear track 1605
Ground clearance (minimum) 103

DIMENSIONS (MM) INTERIOR

Front headroom 996
Front legroom (maximum) 1126
Front shoulder room 1448
Rear headroom 976
Rear legroom (nominal 95% driver position) 950
Rear shoulder room 1433

WEIGHTS AND MEASUREMENTS

Kerb weight (kg) 1477
Fuel tank capacity (litres) 70
Luggage capacity (litres) 493
Tow ratings
Braked 1400
Unbraked 700

TRANSMISSION & RATIOS

1st gear ratio 4.148
2nd gear ratio 2.370
3rd gear ratio 1.556
4th gear ratio 1.155
5th gear ratio 0.859
6th gear ratio 0.686
Reverse ratio 3.394
Final drive ratio 3.750

FUEL CONSUMPTION DATA (WITH SPORTS PACK)

Combined fuel economy (L/100km) 9.3
Combined CO2 emissions (g/km) 223
Euro IV emissions level

BRAKES

Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
Dynamic Stability Control (including Traction Assist & Emergency Brake Assist)
4 wheel disc brakes (ventilated front / solid rear)
Front (mm) ventilated 300 x 28
Rear (mm) solid 302 x 11
Emergency brake light (Hazard warning light)

STEERING

Hydraulic power-assisted steering
Minimum turning circle (m) (kerb to kerb) 11.45

SUSPENSION

Front — Independent with MacPherson struts, lower control arms
with hydro-bushing, isolated subframe, anti-roll bar
Rear — Independent Control Blade multi-link system, isolated subframe, anti-roll bar

WHEELS & TYRES

6.5 x 16″ steel with 7-spoke wheelcovers and 215/55 R 16 tyres
Full size spare wheel

ACCESSORIES

20″ Alloy Wheels
18″ Alloy Wheels
Carpet mats
Carry Bars
Towbar
Body kit
Weathershields
Scuff Plates
Cargo Nets

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