Another week, another mainstream model that's been 'greened'. Ford is launching Econetic models across its range – with the common goal of boosting economy and battering emissions. The new Mondeo Econetic goes on sale in July 2008 and it enters a pretty busy sector; we've already tested numerous VW Bluemotion models as well as Seat's Ecomotive versions.
The Mondeo follows a tried and tested formula, with longer gearing, aero changes (chiefly a flat undertray), revised engine management gubbins and smoother tyres to ease progress. The headline figures are remarkably impressive for such a big car.
A Mondeo that averages 53mpg? Tell me more
Today's Mondeo stretches to 4.8m long, and weighs a chunky 1505kg, so we're impressed that they've managed to snick CO2 emissions down to just 139g/km. Average economy is claimed at 53.3mpg and we managed credible figures approaching that (high 40s) over a week's driving and 700 miles.
That's a nifty economy gain for any car, especially a D-segment model. Ford clearly think it's onto something here; sales of its cars producing less than 120g/km of CO2 have rocketed by a third in the past year.
Downsides? As with other eco specials, the gearing is at times painfully long. We've become used to torquey diesels letting us slug around town in third – treating manuals as autos. Not in the Mondeo Econetic. The ratios are so long, you have to grab second, or even first, if you're driving at slower speeds. Change your driving style and you'll be fine.
And what of the rest of the Mondeo package? Few surprises there. It's a big, comfy, grown-up car – the sort of family runabout that you'll be proud to own. Very little snob value, granted, but it's an incredibly slick package. The Econetic package doesn't change the appeal of the Mondeo's deft handling, quality cabin or huge space one iota.
Click here for our previous Mondeo first drive review