1 Oct 2007
FORD Australia returned to the medium segment in late 2007 with a sleek new Mondeo.
As the third-generation Ford to wear the moniker, it is a different car to the last Mondeo which rolled out of showrooms in 2000, with far more interior space, an upgraded interior and more of an emphasis on driving dynamics.
Style is also critical and the new Mondeo is the first car in the Blue Oval stable to wear the new ‘kinetic’ design language that will has since spread through the range.
The range starts off with the four-cylinder petrol LX sedan, stepping up to the Zetec hatch and sedan which use the same engine as the LX.
Next up is the diesel TDCi hatch and sedan.
A five-cylinder XR5 turbo model is available only as a five-door hatch.
The base LX and Zetec both run a 2.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 118kW and 208Nm of torque.
It is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission and is not available with a manual.
The fuel consumption comes in at 9.5 litres per 100km, which is 0.4L/100km less thirsty than a Camry automatic.
Even so, the consumption level is actually not far off the official consumption figure of the larger six-cylinder Falcon equipped with a six-speed automatic, which uses 10.2L/100km.
The choice for real fuel misers will be the TDCi diesel Mondeo model which uses just 7.3L/100km.
The 2.0-litre common-rail unit delivers 96kW and 320Nm of torque which is available from just 1750rpm.
Topping the engine line-up is the petrol 2.5-litre in-line five-cylinder turbo.
Borrowed from Volvo, this is the same engine that powers the Focus XR5 Turbo.
It has 162kW and 320Nm and is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox. Its 9.5L/100km matches the non-boosted four.
The MA Mondeo is based on a Premier Automotive Group platform, which, strangely, is different to the next-generation Mazda6 base.
It uses MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link independent rear suspension (called Control Blade) and has a wider track than any previous version.
The steering is a traditional rack-and-pinion set-up and Ford has stuck with a hydraulic-assisted system rather than switching to a more economical electrically-assisted unit.
All Mondeos seat five people and feature a split/folding rear seat.
The hatch has 528 litres of boot space, while the sedan is slightly bigger with 535 litres.
Both body types come standard with a space-saver spare wheel.
All models come standard with electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, front and side airbags for front passengers, side curtain airbags and a knee airbag for the driver, air-conditioning, electric front windows, single-CD sound, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and driver’s seat lumbar adjustment.