Diesel options kick off with a 1.6-litre engine, which happens to be our favourite. It accelerates smoothly from low revs and is brisk enough for relaxing everyday use.
Then there’s a 2.0-litre diesel that’s available with a range of power outputs. The 148bhp version (badged TDCi 150) is satisfyingly punchy and flexible, and doesn’t feel much slower than the 177bhp option. The 148bhp unit is also available in Econetic form, which has slightly different gearing to help lower its CO2 emissions, but doesn’t feel very different from the standard version to drive.
There are three turbocharged petrol engines – a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit with 123bhp, a 1.5 with 158bhp and a 2.0 with 236bhp. Of these, we’ve driven only the 1.5, which offers smooth, strong acceleration; it’s really nice to drive in general, but its comparatively high running costs will rule it out for most Mondeo buyers.
We haven’t yet driven the 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid version, either.
Ford Mondeo ride comfort
Good, as long as you avoid big wheels
Unlike the Passat and some more expensive upmarket rivals, the Mondeo isn’t offered with adaptive shock absorbers. Instead, you get conventional suspension that does a good job regardless of the road surface, particularly if you opt for a model with smaller wheels. Cars with 19in alloys (optional on Titanium editions) can feel choppy over poorly surfaced town roads, although even these versions are settled on the motorway.
Ford Mondeo handling
One of the best, despite overly light steering
The Mondeo handles well for such a large car; it feels agile, turning in to corners eagerly, and stays planted and upright through tight twists and turns. It’s also worth noting that the Mondeo benefits from this enjoyable handling without the aid of any pricey optional adaptive suspension, which some rivals need if you want to get the best handling from them.
It’s just a shame that the steering, while precise, is overly light and doesn’t give you a great sense of how hard the tyres are gripping.
Ford Mondeo refinement
Engine and wind noise are well suppressed
All the diesel engines are quiet, but the 2.0-litre ones are particularly hushed, with only moderate noise at low revs that quickly fades to a distant hum when cruising on the motorway. They’re a touch more free revving than the engines in the Passat, and quieter than those in the BMW 3 Series and Mazda 6. Little vibration makes it through to the steering wheel and pedals, too.
As you’d expect, the 1.5-litre petrol engine is even more refined. There’s minimal wind noise, although road noise is noticeable at high speed. The six-speed manual gearbox has a light and precise – if long – shift action.
This entry-level model looks temptingly cheaper than the diesels. We haven’t driven it yet, and while we know this petrol engine is impressive in smaller cars such as the Fiesta and Focus, those considering it should be wary of the potentially poor real-world economy and slow performance. It is available only with a manual gearbox.
1.5 Ecoboost 160
This is our favourite petrol engine; it’s refined, punchy and revs smoothly, and is well worth considering if you don’t do many miles a year. It also offers better performance than the 1.6-litre diesel version. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, but a six-speed automatic is an option.
Our pick 1.6 Duratorq TDCi 115 Econetic
Our pick of the diesels for company car drivers and private buyers, thanks to a good balance of costs and performance. It’s a smooth engine, and while it doesn’t feel hugely powerful, it’s more than responsive enough for easygoing everyday use. It should be economical, too; the Mondeo Estate 1.6 TDCi got an impressive 53.3mpg in our real-world True MPG economy tests, so this slightly lighter and more aerodynamic hatchback version should do even better. A manual gearbox is the only transmission available.
2.0 Duratorq TDCi 150 Econetic
Offers stronger performance than the 1.6, especially at medium revs, and is quiet unless you work it really hard. It isn’t as efficient or economical as the 1.6, though, and returned a slightly disappointing 45.1mpg in our True MPG real-world fuel economy tests. Unlike the non-Econetic 2.0 TDCi 150 engine, this version cannot be combined with an automatic gearbox.
2.0 Duratorq TDCi 150
Much the same as the 2.0 Econetic, only this version is fractionally faster because it has slightly shorter gearing. It doesn’t have the Econetic version’s efficiency measures, though, so it has higher CO2 emissions (and therefore tax rates) and inferior fuel economy. Unlike that engine, this one is available only in the mid- and high-spec trim levels, but it is offered with manual and automatic gearboxes.
2.0 Duratorq TDCi 180
Really refined by diesel standards, and offers strong acceleration, although it doesn’t feel that much faster than the TDCi 150 version and its power delivery isn’t quite as smooth. It ups the purchase price, too, although its CO2 figures are the same as the lower-powered unit’s. Surprisingly, it returned slightly better real-world fuel economy than the 150 version, at 49.3mpg. It is available with manual and automatic gearboxes.
2.0 Hybrid 187
We haven’t driven this saloon-only hybrid version, but given that the 1.6-litre diesel is much cheaper to buy and offers lower CO2 emissions (albeit with less potent performance), it’s unlikely to be the most recommendable Mondeo. It is available only with an automatic gearbox.
2.0 Ecoboost 240
We haven’t driven this sporty turbocharged petrol version of the Mondeo, but it’s unlikely to be recommendable over the similarly priced 2.0 TDCi 180, which offers much lower running costs and similar performance. It comes with an automatic gearbox; a manual ’box is not available.