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Racing Teatray

Ford Mondeo 1.6 Ecoboost

Well, just been in Germany for a friend's wedding over the w/end and as we were four blokes and it was quite wardrobe-heavy (requiring "smart casual", morning suits AND black tie), I opted for the "large/estate" category from Avis at Hanover airport. Which turned out to be a Wiesbaden-registed manual Ford Mondeo 1.6 Ecoboost Estate in metallic "Candy Red".

Not sure what spec it was but it was a very chintzy one – aside from the rather sudden paintjob, it had a massive chrome gob, lashings of chrome trim everywhere else, a full black leather interior (including full stitched leather dashboard and door cards), touch-screen sat-nav, a reversing camera and auto/electric/heated everything including lane departure sensors. Topped off however by teensy little alloys which made it look very underwheeled, presumably due to the fact it was still running around on winter tyres despite the very warm and sunny weather.

I can't imagine who buys vast Ford estates in kitchen-sink spec and then picks a 1.6 eco engine and a manual gearbox, which is presumably why this one was doing time on the Avis fleet. Performance was no better than adequate. Four-up, with a full boot, performance was not scintillating, even working the six-speed box. Better than last week's 500 1.2. But not by particularly much. By contrast, when I got back to Heathrow last night, the M135i felt like it had just been stabbed with adrenalin.  

I suppose it was alright to drive. It rode well without being notably wafty. It gripped well and cornered fluently enough. But the steering was light, the gearbox was light (but a touch notchy), the clutch was so light and hard to judge that it was difficult to pull away smoothly without a jerk. It was happiest when you just relaxed and pottered along within the speed-limits. Which is anyway the hangover-friendly way to drive...

Lots of space inside and it felt nicely made and largely well-finished (thanks to all that leather probably) but there are some cheap things – the circular air-vents look and feel horrible. I found the driver's seat hard and uncomfortable – I looked in vain for a lumber adjustment feature but couldn't find one. The boot was cavernous – takes two blokes with ease. At which point, you become very grateful for the darkened rear glass…! Inside it felt up-to-date, certainly more so than outside where the chintz couldn't disguise what to me is quite a dated-looking and ugly design.

Several firsts for me tech-wise:

(i) the touchscreen sat-nav. Never used an in-car touch-screen system before. It worked and I prefer using a touch-keypad to the rotating selection system BMW uses, but ultimately the iDrive system is easier and more intuitive to use. Plus, having got used to having the screen mounted high on the dash, finding one mounted rather low and out of your natural line of sight irks.

(ii) lane-change sensors. Vibrating nonsense but came complete with an image of the car on the TFT screen between the dials which was quite cool – also showed if the auto-lights had come via a graphic.

(iii) a reversing camera. Useful this in a car the length of a canal-boat, but I could never quite trust it to really tell me how close the car behind was because it also had parking sensors and they would be screaming alerts when the camera appeared to show the car/object behind to be a good couple of feet away.

So, all-in-all, an ok car. Probably unkind to comment on a model now well into its dotage, but I'm not sure I could see what all the fuss is about. Perhaps I have no right to expect a heavily-laden 1.6 estate to wow me with its driving precision but the Mondeo comes so lauded that I was expecting more.
Alf McQueef

Interesting - I'll be trying that engine in a C-Max some time and hopefully it will feel a bit more pokey in that guise... More pokey and a 1.6 NA Golf Plus anyway...

Re: Ford Mondeo 1.6 Ecoboost

Racing Teatray wrote:
I can't imagine who buys vast Ford estates in kitchen-sink spec and then picks a 1.6 eco engine and a manual gearbox, which is presumably why this one was doing time on the Avis fleet. Performance was no better than adequate.

Avis Germany it seems, as we had a 1.6 Mondeo estate last year in Germany as well. Ours didn't wear an eco badge and I think was the old tech 1.6 5 speed unit. Which was utterly gutless and worse than adequate.

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