Adjustable lumbar support as standard on all trims
Three out of the four trims get manual seat adjustment and adjustable lumbar support, unless you add the Titanium X pack or specify the expensive Vignale model, which include 10-way electric driver’s seat adjustment. That puts the Mondeo Estate at a disadvantage to the Passat, which gets partial electric seat adjustment as standard from a mid-spec trim.
Having said that, the Mondeo’s manual seat adjustment is generally easy to use, even if we’d prefer a rotary controlled back adjustment rather than the spring-loaded lever system that can make small adjustments tricky. Still, there’s a broad range of movement and the seat is wide and quite soft, and will be really comfy even on a long journeys – particularly in Titanium trim, which gets slightly more supportive sports seats. A cushioned lid for the central cubby doubles up as a fixed, but well-placed armrest in all trims.
Most of the car’s systems are accessed either through the 8.0in colour touchscreen, or through the menus in the driver’s readout, which means that the dashboard is left with a fairly sparse array of buttons, including the straightforward air-con switches, that are well-placed and easy to fathom. It’s just a shame that those screens, as your main interfaces for controlling everything but air-con temperature and fan speed, are quite fiddly and unintuitive.
Ford Mondeo Estate visibility
Generally fine, but no standard parking sensors
The Mondeo Estate’s chunky windscreen pillars can partially obscure your view at some junctions, and the narrow rear windows can cause blind spots to the rear three-quarters. It’s also such a big car that it can be hard to judge the car’s extremities in tight parking spots. Having said that, most rivals suffer similarly average visibility, including the Mazda 6, although the boxier Passat wagon is much better.
Unfortunately you only get all-round parking sensors on the expensive Vignale trim. You have to pay a fair amount to get front and rear sensors on other versions, or go without. If you do choose to have them you may as well pay a little extra and get the full Active Park Assist, which adds an automatic parking system that steers the car into a parallel or perpendicular space for you.
Blindspot monitoring and a rear-view camera are also both optional extras. A standard heated windscreen from Zetec trim and up means you can clear the screen of ice and mist much faster than with the ventilation system.
Ford Mondeo Estate infotainment
Unintuitive system, but all the kit you could want
All Mondeo Estates get a DAB digital radio, voice control, Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming, and an 8.0in touchscreen, which has decent graphics but can show up fingerprints quite badly – particularly in direct sunlight.
The screen’s usability is more of a problem. While it’s easy to access certain functions from the home menu – which is split into four sections for quick access – from there on you’ve got plenty of small icons that are tricky to hit when you’re on the move, and it can be hard to figure out how to action some simple functions. If you select navigation, for instance (which is an affordable option on Style and Zetec, and standard on Titanium), it takes lots of prodding and more menus than you’d expect to simply input a destination postcode and activate the guidance.
Some may also find it frustrating that physical buttons exist below the screen for ventilation temperature and fan speed, but you have to use the touchscreen to divert the air flow.
The voice control is activated by pushing a button on the steering wheel, and is mostly effective, allowing you to select an artist from your USB-connected attached MP3 player and even change the climate-control temperature. You can control just about every audio function from the standard multifunction steering wheel, but the number of buttons on the wheel can be a bit confusing.
With two USB connections and two 12v sockets – one in the front and one in the back, charging shouldn’t be a problem.
Ford Mondeo Estate build quality
Adequate, but nothing special
The Mondeo Estate is a fair bit cheaper to buy than the Passat, and you can tell in the interior. It doesn���t feel really budget by any stretch, but there are some poorly damped switches and a few cheap-feeling materials, and touches like a roughly trimmed boot carpet are obvious signs of cost-cutting. Even the matt-finish dash feels a little cheap next to the dense, textured materials you get in some rivals. Having said that, the general fit and finish of the Mondeo feels solid, and it’s certainly on a par if not slightly better than a Mazda 6. While it lacks a really high-class feel, the minimalist dash layout and combination of gloss, matt and metal finishes around the cabin does look more upmarket than before, and at the price it feels of a decent perceived quality.