Ford Mondeo Saloon (2014 -) Comfort

Review by Keith Jones on
Last Updated: 16 Jan 2015
4
With a sleek and almost four-door coupe-esque silhouette, this is the new Ford Mondeo saloon, a body style dropped mid-way through the life cycle of the previous generation due to dwindling sales. Unless large family cars have a premium badge, it seems saloons just lack appeal to British buyers: Vauxhall sells few four-door Insignias and Volkswagen Passat saloons are outsold by the estate here too.

4 out of 5

Comfort

Although its handling prowess might not attract the superlatives it once did, at least Ford Mondeo saloon comfort levels remain a strong point.

With a suspension set-up designed to maximise long-distance ride comfort, with its balanced body control and absorbent suspension, the Mondeo saloon covers long distances with ease, in a manner unlikely to trouble your passengers. Taller side walls on the tyres also increase the comfort levels but negatively the car doesn’t handle as well on them, promoting more body roll than other Mondeos suffer with.

The only gripe they may have is when taller adults are seated in the back – the sloping rear roofline reduces the amount of potential headroom, particularly so on models equipped with the optional electric sunroof.

At lower speeds and crawling through city centres, the Mondeo hybrid’s near silence also adds to the calm serenity, but at higher speeds the high engine revs caused by the CVT gearbox do their best to disturb the tranquillity. Tyre roar and wind turbulence around the door mirrors are also perceptible at higher speeds, particularly if you drive with the stereo off.

Light steering and slightly jerky brakes aside, the rest of the Mondeo’s controls work satisfyingly-well, including the shift action on the automatic gear lever. The rest of the car’s impressive too with a good mix of soft-touch and well-assembled plastic components, although the dark grey colour scheme throughout is a bit drab – other markets can choose lighter hues too.

3.5 out of 5

Practicality

Although it’s a large car, there’s no doubt that Ford Mondeo saloon practicality is limited by a combination of its four-door shape and hybrid battery pack under the boot floor.

Due to the battery pack’s installation, the rear seats don’t fold over, limiting the Mondeo saloon’s overall carrying capacity to 525 litres. The non-hybrid Vauxhall Insignia (500 litres) can’t match it, but the VW Passat (586 litres) beats it, while the smaller Toyota Prius hybrid (445 litres) is significantly smaller but does benefit from a hatchback tailgate.

That under-boot battery pack also precludes the fitting of a spare tyre – all other Mondeos come with a space saver as standard, the hybrid saloon comes with a puncture repair kit.

Although the boot’s disappointing, many will find the Mondeo saloon’s interior spacious, providing ample leg and shoulder room for five adults. While that tapering, coupe-like profile might lend the Mondeo’s styling a degree of elegance, there’s no escaping that it robs rear-seat headroom, predominantly to the discomfort of taller passengers.

Those in the front get an even better deal, with enveloping and supportive sports seats, offering a wide range of adjustment to ensure optimum comfort.

Get a Ford Mondeo Saloon valuation

How does the boot space compare?

586 litres
Ford Mondeo Saloon (14 on)
541 litres
408 litres
370 litres
4.5 out of 5

Behind the wheel

Like the pleasant evolution of the exterior, the inside of the latest Ford Mondeo saloon isn’t going to surprise many customers.

Several of the mouldings are fabricated from soft-touch plastics meaning there’s an upmarket feel about the cabin, as well as the side effect of them minimising trim rattles and supressing noise from outside.

New, circular switchgear is dotted around on the new-look centre console, which at first glance looks confusing, but is logical to use. Other switchgear works effectively with a level of quality that reinforces the Mondeo’s premium ambiance.

Exclusive to the hybrid is a different design of instrument binnacle with an analogue speedometer sat in the centre, flanked by two LCD screens providing information about efficiency and specifics about how the petrol-electric system is performing. What should work well somehow looks a bit downmarket compared to the instruments in higher-end petrol and diesel Mondeos.

At the top of the centre console is the Sync2 system with its eight-inch colour touchscreen. It’s clearly labelled and uses different colour quadrants to make it intuitive to use, responding quickly to finger prodding inputs. Voice activated controls are also claimed to be especially intuitive and simpler than previous Ford models too.

Below is a storage area, an ideal size for placing a smartphone, with a 12V charging socket just centimetres away. Setting the system up to connect via Bluetooth is easily done and Sony is confident that streaming music this way produces an equal audio quality to a hard-wired connection.

Locating the rear view mirrors on pillars from the doors themselves provides a greater view of traffic conditions behind, although taller drivers may find the meeting point of the thick windscreen pillar and the front corner of the roof creates a blind spot when crossing oncoming traffic.

Otherwise, visibility is good, meaning you can position the car well on the road but its extremities are harder to judge, without parking sensors, let alone a reversing camera. We’d recommend at least specifying the optional sensors.