What is it?
Truly gigantic family estate car with a surprising level of agility, the Mondeo Estate cross-pollinates between the mile-munching saloon and the mumsy but capacious S-Max and Galaxy. This is the car for dad to drive all week before loading it to the gunnels with growing kids and all their clobber for a weekend with the in-laws on the other side of the country. It’s hard to fault on any level, but the fact that something so huge and practical can still be an entertaining drive deserves repeated praise.
What the Mondeo does so well, either in saloon or estate version, is handle all driving conditions with equal ease. It’ll trundle up the motorway, quiet and refined, sipping away at an abstemious diesel, and then handle an undulating cross-country B-road with complete assurance, riding out the bangs and bumps with finesse while staying composed and comfortable in the isolated cabin.
The Mondeo has an excellent chassis, responsive and agile as well as cosseting. The steering is direct with just the right amount of feedback from the driven front wheels and there’s total control when you tip this, let’s face it, absolutely massive car into a tight corner. The presence of the extra metal and glass that makes up the Estate hasn’t impacted on this at all as far as we can tell. There are few cars on the market, for this sort of money or quite a lot more, that can provide as much space and still move it about so easily.
On the inside
The Mondeo’s cabin is exceedingly refined, another string to its bow when eating up the miles in comfort. Wind noise is negligible and road noise only evident over poor surfaces. There’s a huge amount of space front and rear, with enough adjustment for any driver to find an ideal position behind the wheel.
Access everywhere is great, too, with broad doors and generous apertures – an unappreciated but vital thing when lifting and lowering kids into car seats.
The boot is absurdly large, and with the seats folded flat it’s hard to think of anything (within reason) that wouldn’t go in here. You could move house in the back of a Mondeo estate. Or just make it your house and save a fortune.
Assuming you’re not actually going to live in your Mondeo, there aren’t many aspects of ownership that are going to worry your bank manager. It’s a keenly priced car with a superb range of diesel engines to choose from, the wisest of which would be one of the mid-power 2.0-litre TDCi units. You can go a long way on a tank with one of these and CO2 figures are very low.