16.2.2020Ford Mondeo Hybrid estate review
There aren't many hybrid load-luggers around, so Ford's Mondeo Hybrid estate makes for an intriguing proposition. With diesels in decline, hybrid propulsion looks set to gradually take over sales for those that need good fuel economy, so we test Ford's latest set-up.
Review by Chris Lilly
The Mondeo Hybrid range - available in both saloon and estate, though not hatchback - uses a 2.0 litre petrol engine with an electric motor as support. Producing 187 hp and 173 Nm of torque, the Mondeo Hybrid estate is capable of completing the 0-62 mph time in a somewhat leisurely 9.2 seconds. That time feels a little slower in the real-world, as the Mondeo Hybrid uses a CVT transmission, meaning 'gears' are held under acceleration, and there aren't traditional shifts to help with the feeling of gathering speed. It also creates a noisy drone when accelerating hard, something common to CVTs in general, rather than just Ford's. As such, the best way to drive the Mondeo Hybrid is with a gentle right foot, and here the driving experience becomes a nicer proposition. The electric motor is capable of running more of the time, and the CVT gearbox is quieter in general.
The handling is essentially similar to the rest of the Mondeo range, namely rather good. Ford's chassis engineers do an excellent job of turning even the most modest, mass-market models - think Fiesta, Focus, and Mondeo - into fun-to-drive machines. With a similar kerb weight to conventional models, the Mondeo Hybrid still offers a fine blend of comfort and control, meaning the driver can settle into a relaxed motorway cruise or push on down a twisty B-road; whichever suits at the time. It's not as engaging as Mondeos of old, but the current version can still mile-munch with the best of them, a reminder of what traditional saloon/estate models can do in a market thirsty for crossovers and SUVs.
The Mondeo is hardly going to turn heads as it drives past, but it's a subtly stylish car, and I reckon it looks good as an estate. In the ST-Line trim tested, it also has a hint of sportiness that helps matters in this regard. Space inside is very good for both driver and occupants, with room for four adults comfortably, or two and a couple of child seats. The boot space in the estate is naturally pretty good, but not anywhere near that of a conventional model. This is because the Hybrid model looses a pretty significant amount of load area to a raised floor that accommodates hybrid components - dropping around 100 litres of space. Whilst this makes little difference in practical terms in the estate, I'm not sure saloon buyers would feel the same way. Those wanting maximum estate load-lugging space had better look elsewhere. That said, the Mondeo Hybrid estate has more than enough space for most needs.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Ford's latest generation interiors are towards the higher-end of the mass-market spectrum in terms of quality. It's not going to challenge a VW Passat in this regards, but the Ford certainly doesn't feel bargain basement. Controls are easy to find, and feel well put together, while the SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system is user friendly too. In this trim, the driver gets a centrally located dial, with screens either side that can display different information. Like the exterior, the cabin's not going to wow as people climb inside, but it's sensibly designed and well executed.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
The main reason for the Mondeo Hybrid is to offer cheaper running costs to drivers, especially company car users. As such a WLTP Co2 figure of 103 g/km helps with BIK rates, though the fuel economy can't compete with the long-distance ability of a diesel. Official figures are 50.4 mpg, a figure that we found tough to match. Real-world driving found that, after more than 300 miles, the Mondeo Hybrid estate averaged 43.1 MPG according to the trip computer. It's not a bad score for a large, primarily petrol-driven car, but it's not going to win over those looking for low fuel costs.
The key green element to the Mondeo Hybrid is it's battery/electric motor support for the petrol engine. In short stints the motor can be used to drive the car by itself, and the rest of the time looks to share the engine's work under load. The trip computer has a nice feature that says how many miles of your distance have been completed under electric power alone. In this case, of the 330 miles driven, 59 of them were electric. To help drivers make the most of the system, there's a SmartGauge with 'Brake Coach', Eco mode, and brake energy recuperation. The Mondeo Hybrid is the greenest model in the Mondeo range, though Ford is rolling-out electrified powertrains in other core models.
Available as either saloon or estate, the Mondeo Hybrid has all trim options available to buyers. This means the Ford Mondeo Hybrid comes in one of Zetec Edition, Titanium Edition, ST-Line Edition, and Vignale. Entry level Zetec Edition includes 17-inch alloys, parking sensors front and rear, SYNC 3 8-inch touchscreen system with DAB, cruise control, dual zone air conditioning, leather steering wheel, lane keep assist, and heated front windscreen. ST-Lie Edition tested added 19-inch alloys, ST-Line styling elements, sports suspension, electric front seats, automatic lights and wipers, 10-inch TFT instrument cluster, keyless entry and start, and rear privacy glass. The model tested had ST-Line Edition Lux Pack (full leather interior, 10-way electric front seats, heated steering wheel, & heated rear seats), Driver Assist Pack (Sony 12-speaker audio system navigation, Active Park Assist, rear view camera, & adaptive cruise control), panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, and power tailgate.
The Ford Mondeo Hybrid has few true rivals, and many will be looking at plug-in hybrids for the same levels of practicality. It can't compete in terms of efficiency with these, but does a reasonable job at boosting fuel economy. It's pricy for a Mondeo estate, but will suit some buyers well - particularly company car buyers and those that regularly drive in urban areas.
Model tested: Ford Mondeo 2.0 Duratec Hybrid e-CVT
Engine / CO2: 2.0 litre petrol hybrid / 103 g/km
Trim grades: Zetec Edition, Titanium Edition, ST-Line Edition, and Vignale
On-road price: Trim from £30,780. Price as tested: £36,325
Warranty: Three years / 60,000 miles
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 2.5 Stars