1 Aug 2009
IN mid 2009 Ford dropped the sedan, added an attractive wagon, and introduced a luxury Titanium version to the lauded Mondeo range.
So while it is not officially a facelift, the changes to the revised and revamped Mondeo are big enough for Ford to warrant a model code change from MA to MB.
To MB Mondeo is available in eight models for the time being – LX petrol hatch and wagon, Zetec petrol hatch and wagon, Zetec TDCi diesel hatch, Titanium petrol hatch, Titanium TDCi diesel hatch, and XR5 Turbo petrol hatch. A diesel wagon is slated for the end of 2009.
The availability of a practical wagon body for a small premium over the hatch, offering more cargo volume than the Holden VE Commodore Omega Sportwagon, is only the first step in Ford’s attempt to win over fleet operators, with a model that has previously been strongly focussed towards the private buyer.
Ford says the whole Mondeo range goes even further for the money with the standard fitment of previously optional features such as voice-controlled Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, auto on-off headlights, cruise control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The addition of the range-topping Titanium level also introduces high-tech items such as radar-controlled cruise control, ‘Collision Mitigation’ emergency brake preparation, swivelling headlights and true keyless entry and start functionality in an affordable and mainstream mid-sized package.
They sit above the usual Mondeo fare of seven airbags, anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist, stability control, air-conditioning, remote central locking, and power windows.
These, along with the option of a diesel engine – with a diesel wagon joining the existing TDCi hatch by the end of this year – should sway some of the increasing number of people who choose their vehicles as part of a salary package the Mondeo’s way.
Ford hopes to make more hay with the well-equipped, 542-litre to 1733L Zetec wagon in the Mondeo’s private buyer heartland against wagon rivals such as the Mazda6, Volkswagen Passat and the Subaru Liberty, while the Titanium hatch model adds these and the likes of the Honda Accord Euro Luxury to its crosshairs. There are also small modifications to the 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve Duratorq TDCi turbo-diesel mill, now producing 103kW at 4000rpm and 320Nm between 1750 and 2240rpm. The previous model made 96kW. Co-devised with PSA Peugeot Citroen, it delivers 7.3L/100km and a CO2 figure of 193g/km.
Key LX features include a six-speed automatic transmission, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, cruise control, electric windows in the front only, radio/CD/MP3 audio and 16-inch steel wheels.
The Zetec adds 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, dual-zone climate control, premium Sony CD sound, USB music port, front and rear parking sensors, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlights and front and rear electric windows.
Compared to the previous MA Mondeo Zetec, the car features Ford’s high-series digitised instrument panel that was previously reserved solely for the XR5 Turbo.
The latter, by the way, gains new seats, wheel designs, and Bi-Xenon HID headlight system with static cornering lights – but at a $1000 premium over the MA version.
Besides the aforementioned Adaptive Cruise Control, cornering headlights and forward collision warning system, the Titanium sits on firmer ‘sports’ suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels, and boasts a body kit, Alcantara and leather sports seats, a sunroof, and keyless entry and start.
When it was new