TRICKLE CHARGER (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Ford still hopes its petrol/electric hybrid Mondeo can convert enviro-conscious buyers in the medium range segment. Jonathan Crouch reports.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 55
Ford hopes its petrol/electric hybrid Mondeo can convert enviro-conscious buyers in the medium range segment. This isn't a hybrid of the fashionable Plug-in sort, but it can still return over 50 to the gallon in regular use and offer a tax-busting sub-100g/km CO2 rating. And you can have it in either saloon or estate guises.
Backgroundword count: 152
Today, Ford offers all kinds of electrified powerplants in its cars, but the first such engine dates back to 2014 and it was this self-charging full-Hybrid unit fitted to the fourth generation Mondeo. It's based around one of the brand's older petrol engines - a 2.0-litre TiVCT unit - and combines it with two electric motors, one to drive the wheels and another to supply regenerative charging, these being powered by a 1.4kWh lithium-ion battery. To start with, because this confection was primarily targeted at American buyers, it was only available with a four-door body style that few in our market wanted. But in 2019, as part of a package of updates made to this car, Ford widened the hybrid engine's availability to include this estate body shape. And at the same time made the powertrain smoother and improved its regenerative braking capability. Let's put this rather unique Mondeo to the test.
Driving Experienceword count: 406
Unlike the hybrid options offered in this segment by Volkswagen, Skoda and Peugeot, this Mondeo's HEV set-up isn't one of the pricey plug-in sort, which means you don't get astonishing all-electric style fuel returns. But then you do without the outlandish asking prices that those brands will ask for their full-hybrid models too. Instead, a Mondeo Hybrid has the more conventional type of 'self-charging' petrol/electric set-up you'd find in a slightly cheaper but smaller and less powerful model like Toyota's Prius, where the engine cuts in and out to assist electric propulsion as and when required. Ford's third generation Kuga SUV offers this kind of hybrid too, but this Mondeo's set-up is a much older design based around an aging 2.0 TiVCT petrol powerplant that was long ago deleted from the company's portfolio in its conventional form. Here, that unit is mated to an 88kW electric motor and a 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery that both sit at the back of the car but drive the front wheels via a power-split 6-speed automatic auto transmission. That auto 'box decides at any given time whether power should come from the engine, the electric motor, both at once or neither. Plus it includes an extra 'L' setting that forces the engine to rev harder and is intended to help control your speed in tricky downhill conditions. The whole self-shifting package works like the kind of CVT rubber band auto transmission that Toyota and Lexus hybrid products use. Which means that, like those cars, there's often a tendency for the engine not to feel very interested in what your right foot is asking from it. Rest to 62mph is supposed to take 9.2s en route to 116mph, but this car actually doesn't feel anything like that fast. Much of the energy that charges the battery is harvested through the regenerative braking process, now achieved much more smoothly in this car without the kind of 'grabby' brake pedal that afflicted this package in its earlier forms. Plus more energy is harvested when coasting, when it's common for the engine to cut out completely, even at motorway speeds. And the system's ability to allow you to pull away silently on battery-only power always tends to fill you with a smug sense of eco-friendliness. But we're disappointed by the way that the whole package kills any real sense of driving pleasure, which was the thing that always used to set a Mondeo apart.
To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227
Pictures (high res disabled)
Scoring (subset of scores)
Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen
|Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.|