Not content with having just one lower emissions Mondeo ECOnetic in the range, Ford has launched a second, equipped with a 2.0 TDCi engine. Ian Robertson Investigates
Ford’s Mondeo was launched to much acclaim, with the first sighting of the car courtesy of James Bond in the film Casino Royale. Two years on, with an already wide choice of different engines and trim levels, the blue oval has introduced a second, lower powered ECOnetic version, powered by the popular 2.0-litre TDCi engine, albeit in detuned form in this application. This unit was born out of the successful PSA Peugeot -Citroën/Ford joint engine venture, and while Ford’s large cars haven’t been built in Britain since the aged Sierra ceased production in 1993, the diesel engines are very much home grown, built at the Diesel Centre of Excellence, in Dagenham, Essex.
At first glance, the new model seems poor value compared to the 1.8 TDCi ECOnetic that remains on sale. For a start, the 2.0-litre version costs an extra £500, and loses 10bhp and 15lb ft of torque compared to the 1.8. CO2 emissions remain the same though, and fuel consumption on the combined cycle improves by 1mpg in favour of the 2.0-litre, but everywhere else you look on the stats front, you get less for your money with the new car. Unless, of course, you want to tow, where you’ll find that the 2.0-litre version will give you a distinct advantage, with the ability to pull up to 1,800kg, compared to the meagre 800kg of the 1.8 TDCi. Ford has made no secret of the fact that the 1.8-litre TDCi engines will be killed off when the latest Euro V emissions regulations come into force, and the launch of this new 2.0-litre ECOnetic is obviously in preparation for this. And buyers should be pleased, as the new engine is much more refined, considerably quieter and not as susceptible to the traditional diesel rattle. The difference in performance, despite the power deficiency, is totally unnoticeable and it actually feels more eager to rev, so enthusiastic drivers can breathe a sigh of relief. Elsewhere, the handling is top-notch, as we’ve come to expect from the Mondeo, and the ride hasn’t suffered at all as a result of the lowered sports suspension fitted to all ECOnetic models.
Further eco measures include low rolling resistance tyres, a rear spoiler, aerodynamic deflectors and an gearshift indicator mounted on the instrument cluster that nags you to change into the optimum gear for maximum economy. The cabin design still looks fresh, despite the fact that it has been around for over two years now, with quality soft-touch mouldings, and bright silver dash inserts. On the equipment front, ECOnetic models adopt similar goodies to the popular Zetec versions, albeit without the 16-inch alloy wheels, making do with wheel covers instead. For those seeking greater luxury, there’s a long list of optional extras, or the choice of a better specced Titanium eco trim, that caters for environmentally conscious types who crave a little luxury.
RIVALS: Citroën C5 SX 1.6HDi 16v, Renault Laguna Dynamique dCi 110 ec o2, Skoda Superb Greenline 1.9 TDI ON
- Engine: 1997cc, 4-cylinder, turbodiesel with particulate filter
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max power: 113bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max torque: 221lb ft at 1,750 to 2,300rpm
- Max towing weight: 1,800kg
- Max speed: 121mph
- 0-62mph: 10.9secs
- Combined consumption: 54.3mpg
- CO2 emissions (taxband): 139g/km (E)
- Boot space: 528/1,448litres
- Insurance group: 7
Great to drive, looks good, commodious cabin, large boot. Smooth engine is built in the UK
On the expensive side, sales rep image, 1.8 TDCi version offers more for your money