Ford Australia is due to cease local manufacturing in 2016, which will see the end of the locally made Territory and its sibling,the venerable Falcon. Sales of the famous nameplate have slumped in recent years but the blue oval has plans, big plans….A Wheel Thing looks at two diesel powered versions of the car that’s slated to be the replacement of the Falcon.
Simply put, the Ford Mondeo Titanium is what the Australian Ford Falcon should be: elegant, economic, technologically advanced and a cracker drive.
The cars provided, the Titanium wagon and hatch, came with a torquey 2.0L diesel engine, with the slightly lower mass of the hatch seeing 6.7L per 100 km and the wagon 6.9L per 100 km with the cars driven in a purely urban environment. There’s some grunt to this pocket sized dynamo, with 132 kW (3500 rpm) and a stonking 400 torques on tap between 2000 to 2500 rpm, with plenty of get up and go from 1500 revs. Transmissions were six speed autos, with the wagon getting a slick shifting dual clutch version.
Ford quotes just over five litres per hundred from a 62 litre tank for a combined cycle; potentially offering a range of one thousand kilometres plus emits just 140 grams per 100 kilometres. The hatch weighs 1749 kg and just 40 kg more for the wagon. Cargo capacity with rear seats up is decent enough: 557L and 730L which increases to 1356L and 1605L respectively.Each came with a power assisted tailgate, coupled with a fast paced musical chime to alert you the gate was lowering, operated by a button in the base of the door or by a double press on the key fob. It’s just a small example of the tech the Titanium is laden with; swivelling and self levelling headlights, active grille shutters, power operated steering column, rain sensing wipers with sensitivity adjustment and multi coloured ambient lighting.Add in the Sync2 system, with voice activated climate control and navigation, Bluetooth with text message read out and music search with verbal commands. There’s even heating for the rear seats. Throw in adaptive suspension, parking assist, pre-collision alert, lane keeping sensors, memory seating and panoramic glass roofs and the Titanium duo come well armed and ready to fight.Seats were leather all around, with a high level of comfort and support,plus heating for the front AND rear seats (no ventilation or cooling however) plus were memory capable for three drivers. The downside to the interior was the excessive waste of usable plastic on the centre section of the dash; the buttons themselves were clearly marked but it’s an inefficient usage of the space available.
What was appreciated was the far reaching DAB+ audio system; the sensitivity level seemed higher than a couple of other cars tested recently that were also fitted with DAB+ tuners. Operated via the touch screen, searching a storing was simple, as was using the screen itself. Split into quarters, you can select more options for the aircon, navigation, audio and settings.
The exterior is dramatic, eye catching, with Ford’s distinctive Kinetic design strategy on display. Slim line headlights with integrated LED running lights, fluted bonnet and rear bumper integrated exhaust tips add stylish subtlety. The wheel and tyre combination is causing a few eyebrows to be raised in certain circles, primarily because of the design of the alloys. A Wheel Thing can’t say they would have been the design of choice either. Size was 235/45/18 with solid grip all around.Naturally there’s a visible difference at the rear but not as dramatic as expected. The hatch folds down into the tail lights with a fluid curve whilst the rear section of the wagon manages to look stylish without being boxy. Tailgate up and seats down, it’s clear just how roomy the wagon actually is.There was a noticeable and somewhat odd difference between the two on the road; seat of the pants conversation told a story of the hatch feeling as if it was rolling on the top of the suspension, whilst the wagon felt more tied down on the road. It felt softer over bumps, more prone to wallowing slightly and didn’t turn in quite as tightly as the wagon.
With almost the same road weight, acceleration and economy from the two was virtually identical; the torque of the diesel made around town driving and overtaking a doddle. A simple flex of the ankle was all that was required to see the numbers flicker upwards with a throaty road from the front, surprising devoid of overt diesel chatter.
As you would expect from a premium Euro car, safety is paramount and delivered in bucketloads: Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Alert, Pre-Collision Avoidance with Pedestrian Detection, rear seat belts with SRS Airbags fitted, Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Driver’s Knee Airbag, with most of these features standard across the three model range.
The Ford Mondeo nameplate has been in Australia for close to two decades, it’s been a moderately successful seller but improvements to the quality and the look have increased its appeal. Bar the odd ride quality of the hatch, A Wheel Thing came away mightily impressed with the pair and has no qualms about recommending either to a buyer.
For specific pricing (the range kicks off at circa $36K, with the Titaniums from around $48600), warranty and service details,have a chat to the great staff at your local Ford dealer or Mondeo range comparison
For A Wheel Thing TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCkuihZi1S4&feature=em-upload_owner