Ford is marking 20 years of Mondeo (and the final year of the current model’s life) with the launch of two new models – the Graphite and the Titanium X Business Edition.
Almost 1.4 million Mondeos have been sold in the UK since it was first unveiled in 1993 and, while fleets await the all-new Mondeo due in 2014, Ford has moved to strengthen the appeal of its current offering.
The new Titanium X Business Edition, which follows the launch of the Zetec Business Edition, offers fleets even higher standards of technology and interior luxury, which have seen the manufacturer secure residual values five percentage points higher than the outgoing Mondeo Titanium X, despite prices being £1,500 lower on the new model.
Meanwhile, the new Mondeo Graphite aims to also offer retail buyers a compelling argument with prices starting from £15,995.
The Zetec Business Edition was launched in 2012, and its success with company car drivers has persuaded Ford to offer a higher specification for business drivers.
This includes seven-inch touchscreen satellite navigation, DAB radio, auto-dimming rear mirror and full leather trim, as well as lower CO2 emissions to make it more company car tax friendly.
Fleets can choose from a 115bhp 1.6-litre diesel with stop-start technology and CO2 emissions of 115g/km, or the 2.0-litre diesel with either 140bhp and 163bhp.
Ford has refined the calibration of the Mondeo’s 2.0-litre Duratorq diesel engine and optimised aerodynamics to offer CO2 emissions from just 119g/km across both 140bhp and 163bhp power outputs – a reduction of up to 10g/km.
We drove the five-door hatchback 2.0-litre TDCi 140bhp version and climbing behind the wheel you’re first struck by the executive feel to the Mondeo.
Plush Windsor leather seats, leather steering wheel and handbrake covers are complimented with aluminium interior trim.
Meanwhile, the seven-inch touchscreen navigation, with DAB radio, USB connectivity, Bluetooth and auto-dimming rear mirror ensures the technology is also top notch.
The ride is firm but comfortable and in 2.0-litre 140bhp guise it confidently cruises along the motorway. Cornering is crisp and Ford has managed to keep the cockpit free from engine noise.
Overall, considering an all-new Mondeo is waiting in the wings, Ford has ensured its current model remains a very attractive proposition for fleets.
The Mondeo has been recognised for its credentials as a business car throughout its 20-year history and the new Titanium X Business Edition will help maintain its appeal.