A one-litre engine? A misprint, surely?
Nope, this really is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine in a Mondeo. A diddy engine in a car that's bigger than ever, what with its American-diet global-ness. A bloated 4.8 metres long and 1455kg.
Poor little engine. Pistons exploding through the bonnet?
Not so much. Most of the time, this 125bhp triple doesn't give the impression of any particular struggle while hauling the car along. It's quiet and well-insulated, so you don't feel like you're punishing it.
As we know from all those other triple-equipped Fords - Fiestas and Focuses and even Formula Ford racers - it's a happy little motor even when giving its all. And just schlepping at suburban speeds, it's a lovely quiet companion that's far sweeter than a diesel.
How slow is it?
With 125bhp, not so slow as you'd expect. The first three gears are spaced fairly close, so you can swim with most traffic and make headway accelerating on back-roads. The 0-62 time is 12 seconds, which is on the leisurely side but not terminally sluggish.
Only trouble is, to travel with any vim you're mainly revving the engine beyond 4000 towards the 6600rpm cut-out. That's fun, but liable to trample to death the officially rated 70mpg. For economy in a small turbo engine like this, you need to restrain yourself to keeping the revs down. Which is why cabbies upshift so obsessively.
So will you ever get near that official 70mpg?
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Possibly. Once you do shift up to fifth and sixth, the gearing is pretty high, so cruising at law-abiding speeds should see a fairly decent fuel range. And it's very quiet and civilised doing that job.
How much does it cost?
It slips under £20k, by a scant fiver. That makes it about a grand less than the 160bhp 1.5 Ecoboost petrol. And you know what, I'd try to find the extra.
Does it beat the taxman?
Well, this Ecoboost scores 119g/km of CO2, while the 1.6 diesel Mondeo is 94g/km in Econetic spec. But some cities will soon bring in anti-diesel measures, which might clobber the Econetic, and the sticker price of the diesel is nearly £2000 more.
Does this light engine make the Mondeo more agile?
Slightly. But to be honest it makes less of a difference than it does in a small car, because it's a less significant proportion of the car's overall mass.
Are we at the limit of downsizing, then?
For the moment, very possibly. Though to be fair, back in the late 1990s, the Mk1 1.6 unblown 16-valve Mondeo offered a 12-second 0-62 time and it was par for the course. That old stager was a lighter car so could get by on just 90bhp, but even so its CO2 was a planet-hammering 180g/km...