Before the rise of the “must have SUV” mentality when it comes to family cars, the wagon and large sedan dominated the roads. The likes of a Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore were the go-to options and they dominated driveways in Australia and even a taxi car of choice.
With the Falcon and Commodore becoming relics on our roads, both big brands needed a successor, we think we’ve identified the contender from Ford.
The new Ford Mondeo is a strong representation of what the family car should be and also highlights areas that the Falcon missed. We’ve been testing the Mondeo Titanium in a wagon version and the future is looking bright.
Where do we start? In terms of equipment the Mondeo in a Titanium spec (Trend is the lower spec) has all the bells and whistles. Some features we absolutely loved, and tested, include the self parking (perpendicular and parallel). This feature is seen on a number of cars now however in practice, we found the Mondeo to perform perfect parking in one hit without a hitch. The leather seats are extremely comfortable, heating options for the front and rear add another level of comfort in the winter. Speaking of the seats, it is always an extra welcome in the Mondeo Titanium as the electric seats slide in and out to make getting in and out of the car easier.
The fact this car is a wagon cannot be overlooked. It has the space of a large SUV yet with a lower ride height means you can load and unload items with ease. The boot is electric so you won’t even need to consider lifting it with your arms, just push a button.
On the entertainment front, Sony steps in with the technology and speakers to pound music via the Sync 3 unit. You can plug your phone in for Android Auto or an Apple CarPlay experience and this lifts the experience to a higher level. With the capabilities of such smartphone applications it leaves the great Sync 3 unseen and unused most of the time. If however you’d like to enjoy DAB radio or even the old CD, that is ready and waiting for you.
Driving the Ford Mondeo Titanium is quite a joy too. The four cylinder turbo diesel stays relatively quiet while being very spirited when you need it. This engine is the single reason why it will do well compared to the dying Falcon, fuel economy is fantastic as we averaged 6.3L/100km during our testing. Safety features are also a standout with the Mondeo monitoring all your surroundings, radar cruise, emergency breaking and even lane assistance to keep you straight when you aren’t paying attention.
What didn’t we like?
Whenever we take hold of a review car we’ll always share images with excitement, in this instance we received a consistent comment; it wasn’t attractive. While we love the blue and the chrome elements we have to agree that as a whole package, it isn’t entirely gorgeous, but not exactly ugly either. The wheels for example simply don’t seem to work with the style of the car. The dual exhausts in the rear look great and that front is still mean looking however overall it could be more attractive.
While extremely capable and fully featured, the dash and entertainment console will be a little complicated for some. The steering wheel is loaded with buttons as is on the centre console. With buttons to customise each side of the dash display you may start to feel overwhelmed, especially if it has been a while since you changed cars.
When we take everything into consideration the Ford Mondeo Titanium is undoubtedly the next family car option. It is capable as a family car without looking like a soccer mums SUV. It handles better than many SUV options and will please the hip pocket in running costs. With all the bells and whistles, the Titanium is worth a test drive and we also prefer the wagon over the sedan – in looks and the storage benefit.