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The fourth-generation of Ford’s mid-sized car, the Mondeo, is finally on sale in New Zealand after being originally launched in overseas markets two years ago. To be fair the car launched in 2013 was the USDM Ford Fusion, the Mondeo itself was only launched in Europe last year. Better late than never. But since the last-generation Mondeo was launched in 2007, the competition has gotten a lot stronger in the form of the Mazda6, Volkswagen Passat, and Skoda Octavia.

Like other Ford models, the Mondeo is available in a variety of guises to suit all types of buyers. The Mondeo is offered in three trim levels; Ambiente, Trend, and Titanium with a choice of a 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol or a 2.0-litre Duratorq diesel. The 2.0-litre EcoBoost will come in two power outputs, 200bhp/149kW for the Ambiente and a fruiter hot-hatch rivalling 240bhp/177kW for the Trend and Titanium spec cars. The torque figures for the EcoBoost engine are identical for all cars at 345NM. The Duratorq diesel produces 180bhp/132kW and 400NM of torque. The petrols are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifts while the diesels have a 6-speed PowerShift dual-clutch transmission, also with paddle shifters. Average fuel economy figures for the EcoBoost are claimed to be around 8.2-8.5L/100km, while the Duratorq’s are around 5.1-5.3L/100km.

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As with the previous generation car, this fourth-generation Mondeo will be available as with a four-door liftback or as a wagon. The lack of a sedan body style may not be such a bad thing as Ford still clearly wants to keep the Falcon as it’s key large sedan player. But also in terms of practicality, a liftback and wagon are more advantageous. The Mondeo Hatch has an impressive 557L capacity of luggage with the rear seats up, or 1356L with them folded down. The wagon is even more spacious, unsurprisingly, with 730L with the seats up and 1605L with the seats down.

Because the Mondeo was designed to be a family car even the base Ambiente model comes packed with all sorts of equipment to make motoring life for families just that bit easier. The usual safety kit comes as standard such as more airbags than seats, Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Distribution, Traction Control, DSC, front and rear parking sensors, and ISOFIX seats. These helped give the Mondeo a 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating. Go up to the higher trim levels and you get extra goodies such as Keyless entry, Adaptive radar-guided cruise control, Enhanced Active Park Assist, Forward Collision Warning, and Active City Stop.

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Inside, all Mondeos get dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen with SYNC2 and sat-nav, wi-fi capability, an 8 speaker sound system, and Bluetooth phone and audio capability. Higher spec cars get a Sony sound system with 9 speakers, a panoramic sunroof, power adjustable leather seats, an electrically-assisted tailgate, and ambient lighting. Outside, all but Titanium Mondeos get halogen headlights with daytime running lights. The Titanium gets flasher adaptive LED headlights, also with drls. The base Mondeo sits on 16-inch steel wheels, Trend gets 16-inch alloys. The Titanium has 17-inch alloys. Privacy glass is standard throughout the range.

The front-wheel drive Mondeo has always been one of the best in class in terms of driving dynamics and this latest car promises to carry on the torch. It has independent MacPherson strut suspension up front and independent integral link at the rear. Titanium cars get adaptive suspension. The steering is electrically-assisted, as with most new cars these days, and includes pull/drift compensation and active nibble cancellation. I know what these words are individually but together they confuse me. It does have Torque Vectoring Control, that I know from hot hatches and supercars. What this essentially does is it electronically manages the amount of torque each wheel gets to avoid any unnecessary slipping or spinning. Good for handling and safety.

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Design wise the Mondeo follows the current Ford design. It’s a handsome enough looking car, if not quite as athletic looking as the Mazda6. But then few cars in this segment are. If overseas reviews are anything to go by though the Mondeo should still prove to be a class-leader. With those good looks, decently equipment levels, and promising driving dynamics the Mondeo will no doubt find its way on to a few driveways. Prices starting from $43,990 and peaking at $54,990, which is roughly in the same ballpark as its main rivals. Would you consider the Mondeo as your next family car or would you prefer one of its rivals? Or maybe like most people days you’d opt for a SUV/crossover? We’d like to hear your thoughts.

2015 Ford Mondeo NZ Price List:

Ambiente EcoBoost Hatch: $43,990
Ambiente EcoBoost Wagon: $45,490
Ambiente Duratorq Wagon: $46,990
Trend EcoBoost Hatch: $48,990
Trend Diesel Wagon: $50,490
Titanium EcoBoost Hatch: $53,390
Titanium EcoBoost Wagon: $54,890

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