► Petrol hybrid power for Mondeo
► Available in Titanium, Vignale spec
► Priced from £27,000 in the UK
It’s such a part of the furniture that the Ford Mondeo feels like it’s been around forever, but this is a slightly different take on the standard car.
This is Ford’s first hybrid to reach Europe, and although in the US they take a large share of the market it’s a tougher sell in diesel-friendly Euro states - hence the Mondeo Hybrid is only available in saloon guise.
The Hybrid’s battery pack is actually assembled in Ford’s Rawsonville plant in Michigan.
So will I be able to spot that this Ford Mondeo is a hybrid then?
Unlikely. The Mondeo’s shape was already familiar by the time it arrived in the UK and the differences between it and the standard car are limited to some suitably eco badges – in other words leafy – and skinny wheels as standard, although you can of course bump these up via the options list.
Check out our Best Hybrids and Plug-In Electric cars list
What’s the set-up of the hybrid system?
You get an Atkinson-cycle 2.0-litre petrol unit pared to a 1.4kW battery pack mounted in the boot, feeding one electric motor to deliver drive to the front wheels while a second motor operates in regeneration mode to send energy back into the cells.
In total there’s 184bhp when both motors combine, but there’s a worryingly scant 128lb ft of torque to go with it. As is typical of the breed, the Mondeo Hybrid uses a CVT transmission to send that power to the front wheels.
Click here to read our Ford Mondeo long-term test review.
Ah. So can I expect lots of noise and not much go then?
I’m afraid so. In a steady-state cruise, which is commonplace in the US of course, the Mondeo Hybrid settles down and gets on with getting along. But on a typical UK journey which can take in a broad mix of roads and speeds it feels out of its depth.
All too frequently you end up squeezing the accelerator virtually to the floor in order to get sufficient acceleration, which negates any attempt at saving fuel.
Then there’s the unseemly cacophony that goes with it; at a cruise the Mondeo is sufficiently refined, but the groaning in between is a soul-draining experience.
It’s not a great deal better when you try to stop either. The brakes are irritatingly hard to modulate as the system switches between pure regenerative braking and the discs doing their bit, leaving you jerking to a halt or dancing on the pedal in order to smooth out your stops.
Are there any good Mondeo bits left?
The chassis hasn’t been spoiled by the weight increase and retains the strong mix of a composed ride and assured handling that mark out all Mondeos, even if the steering feels a little odd - thanks to a self-centring action bordering on the political.
If you can ignore the powertrain’s resolutely fuel-saving approach there’s a little fun to be had on a B-road, just don’t expect to make up any time...
What about inside the Ford Mondeo Hybrid's cabin?
It’s perfectly acceptable in here but likely to cause the occasional grumble rather than peace and tranquillity.
The space on offer is good front and rear – only boot space is reduced with the addition of a sizeable battery pack – and like most Fords finding a good driving position should be possible for everyone. Less impressive are some of the fixtures and fittings which feel a little behind the times, although Titanium spec means a stack of kit.
The Ford Mondeo Hybrid is an interesting prospect on paper, but it sadly has too many shortcomings in Europe to let us recommend it.
The Hybrid gets its own ‘Smartgauge’ interface to help you drive better and improve your economy, but the best way to do that would be buy the Ford Mondeo 1.5 TDCi for five grand less.
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