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Ford introduces hi-tech, better-spec Mondeo

Medium rare: Mondeo Titanium’s swivelling halogen headlights and static cornering lights are firsts for Ford Down Under.

Mondeo appeal grows with active cruise control, swivelling lights and wagon

16 Jul 2009

FORD’S facelifted MB-series Mondeo hatchback and wagon has reached Australian showrooms, with full details issued this week confirming earlier GoAuto reports that the sedan has been discontinued and a high-series Titanium model with hi-tech features will lead the pack.

As GoAuto revealed earlier this month, pricing for the updated Mondeo holds firm at an opening $31,990 for the LX 2.3-litre petrol hatch, with the Zetec equivalent starting from $36,990 and the Zetec TDCi 2.0-litre turbo-diesel opening its doors at $39,990.

The striking XR5 2.5-litre petrol turbo hatch remains at $44,990, while the Titanium sports-prestige trim is offered with the 2.3 petrol (from $42,990) and the 2.0 diesel, which is now the most expensive variant in the Mondeo range at $45,990.

The wagon is restricted to LX and Zetec 2.3 petrol lines, and is priced $1000 above the equivalent hatch.

As well as giving the Blue Oval brand a modern European station wagon with which to take on rivals such as the Mazda6, Subaru Liberty and Skoda Octavia, Ford likes to think the Mondeo load-lugger could also steal sales from the larger Holden Sportwagon, succeeding where the previous-generation Falcon wagon still on sale in Australia seemingly cannot.

27 center image From top: Zetec wagon, Zetec hatch, Titanium hatch, XR5 interior.

Ford Australia president Marin Burela said this week that the Mondeo wagon offered “performance, safety, load-carrying ability and plenty of European style to fill the niche between the Mondeo hatch and the Falcon wagon”.

“Mondeo has always been acclaimed for its strong attributes, particularly its driving dynamics, safety performance and interior package,” he said. “With the new range we’ve taken these qualities a step further, adding advanced vehicle technologies and improving standard equipment levels to deliver an unmatched mid-size package.”

New standard features on the base LX include cruise control, leather wrapping on the steering wheel, and Bluetooth mobile phone integration with voice control, which extends to command over audio and climate functions on the remainder of the range.

The Zetec also adds a USB input for MP3 and full iPod integration, along with a new ‘Daphne’ seat trim and sports instrument cluster that in the previous MA series was restricted to the XR5. A chrome ‘belt liner’ adds some additional aesthetic appeal to the exterior.

Performance fans will welcome the new features on XR5, which include a five-spoke ‘Mystique’ silver-finish design for the 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-Xenon headlights (with a static cornering function) and dual chrome exhaust outlets with a straight finish.

Inside, there is new contrasting red stitching for the combined Alcantara/leather trim, along with hi-tech and pampering equipment from the new Titanium line such as adaptive cruise control (with a visual/audible ‘forward alert’ and ‘collision mitigation’ automatic braking), keyless entry and a sunroof.

Although there is no petrol-turbo Titanium, Mondeo’s new model line strikes a sporting note with XR-oriented features such as 18-inch alloys, a bodykit (including front, rear and side skirts, and distinctive upper and lower grille sections) and sports suspension.

It does not have bi-Xenon headlights, but the halogen lamps swivel on low beam, offering up to 15 degrees of movement in response to steering input from the driver. Static cornering lights seen on the XR5 are also included, which along with the swivelling tech are a first for a Ford vehicle in Australia.

Its seat trim is also cut in an Alcantara/leather combo, the front seats are heated, and rear passengers gain an air-vent on each B-pillar.

All Mondeo variants continue to offer ABS brakes with EBD and brake assist, electronic stability control, seven airbags (dual front, front side, side curtain and a driver’s knee airbag), adjustable rear headrests throughout, air-conditioning and an eight-speaker audio.

In addition to the new features, Zetec’s equipment level over LX includes 17-inch wheels (up from 16”), dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning, a premium stereo (with six-disc CD), automatic headlights, foglamps, front and rear parking sensors, driver’s seat electric height adjustment and power rear windows – the LX, in both hatch and wagon, continues to use manual rear window winders.

The wagon rests the same 2850mm wheelbase as the hatchback, and has the same 2078mm overall width and 1579/1595mm front/rear track, but is 12mm higher at 1512mm (2mm of that is extra ground clearance, at 112mm) and 52mm longer at 4830mm.

That translates to more rear headroom and, of course, extra luggage volume. According to Ford, and based on the ISO standard, the cargo area can hold 542 litres with the rear seats upright (hatch: 528L), extending to 1733 litres when the 60/40 split-fold seats are folded (hatch: 1448L).

Mechanical specifications are largely unchanged, although the 2.0-litre 16-valve Duratorq four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel benefits from a slight (7kW) power increase to 103kW at the same 4000rpm. Torque remains at 320Nm from 1750-2240rpm.

The 2.3-litre petrol engine is a Duratec 16-valve four-cylinder unit that produces 118kW of power at 6500rpm and 208Nm of torque at 4200rpm, while the XR5 continues with the Volvo-sourced 2.5-litre 20-valve Duratec five-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 162kW at 5000rpm and 320Nm from 1500-4800rpm.

All models bar the XR use a six-speed automatic gearbox with a sequential-manual shift mode. The sports model is restricted to a six-speed manual.

Fuel consumption remains at 7.3L/100km for diesel variants, despite the slight power increase, and 9.5L/100km for both the natural-breathing and turbocharged variants (the latter running on premium-unleaded), wagon included. Ditto for CO2 emissions, which read 193g/km for the diesels and 227g/km for the petrol versions.

2009 Ford MB Mondeo range pricing:
LX hatch (a) $31,990
LX wagon (a) $32,990
Zetec hatch (a) $36,990
Zetec wagon (a) $37,990
Zetec hatch TDCi (a) $39,900
Titanium hatch (a) $42,990
Titanium TDCi hatch (a) $45,990
XR5 Turbo hatch $44,990

Read more:

Aussie Mondeo sedan axed as wagon locked in

Read more

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