I can’t remember any previous Mondeo feeling as cumbersome as this one. And it’s a surprise to me having first driven the latest big Ford at the media launch in Spain almost a year ago. I drove the 2.0-litre TDCi 180 – the same engine as this one – and don’t remember feeling so frustrated when driving it.
But it’s often the case that driving a car on well chosen, deserted and smooth roads in warm weather in another country on a press launch is very different from a miserable two-hour drive at night in the rain on our congested road network.
The clutch is heavy. And I’m still prone to the occasional stall in slow traffic – made worse by the fact that I then have to fumble for the start button while finding neutral. Some stop-start systems will fire up again after stalling when dipping the clutch pedal.
It is comfortable inside though, and this model is equipped with some excellent safety features, including lane departure warning with lane-keeping assistance, autonomous emergency braking with forward collision alert and a blindspot warning. But unlike previous Mondeos, which seemed happy in all environments, this one seems to prefer the open road.