Over recent years the mid-size market has grown and the quality on offer in that segment improved significantly.
But when introduced in 2007 the MA Mondeo was something of a shining beacon on the hill. And a mid-size car had been missing from the local Ford range since the previous generation Mondeo was put to the sword in 2000.
Built in Belgium, the new Mondeo’s Euro pedigree was apparent in a number of areas, including design and styling, safety, and dynamic development. Buyers could choose from the entry level petrol LX sedan, the TDCi 2.0-litre turbo-diesel hatchback and sedan, the higher spec petrol Zetec sedan or hatch, or the sporty XR5 hatchback. Petrol models are 2.3-litre four-cylinder or a 2.5 turbo five-cylinder in XR5 (the same as XR5 Focus, but minus a few kilowatts)
Seven airbags including curtains, antilock brakes, stability control and a smooth working six-speed auto are standard on all versions. XR5 is manual only.
The MB series starting mid-2009 saw the sedan dropped and wagon variants debut, plus the addition of Titanium models with advanced features like voice-command. Diesel versions get Ford’s six-speed Powershift DSG type gearbox from May 2010.
Performance from 2.3-litre models is adequate, though around-town fuel consumption can be high. The diesel stands out for its combination of smooth effortless performance, and decent fuel economy.
Well-tuned suspension, progressive brakes and crisp steering make the Mondeo an entertaining drive. And they feel right at home on our less-than-pristine Aussie roads. For performance and dynamics XR5 is the most driver-focussed model, but never quite lives up to the smaller Focus that also wears XR5 badges. Mondeo’s interior and boot space almost rival big-brother Falcon.
No major issues have come to our attention. However pre-purchase checks should include a check of brake pad and rotor condition. Also a careful check of operation of DSG type gearboxes, and where fitted, advanced features such as the voice-command system, would be prudent. Avoid cars that have had scheduled servicing neglected.
Under the pump
Mondeo will use between 6.8 litres and 14.1 litres of petrol or 5.4 litres and 10.0 litres of diesel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions. XR5 requires premium unleaded fuel.
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to RACQ's online car price guide or contact our Motoring Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 1800 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.
Mazda6 2007 - 2010
Excellent and deservedly popular. Sedan, hatch and wagon body styles. 2.3-litre petrol engine, replaced by higher output and smoother 2.5-litre early 2008 along with other model upgrades. Turbo-diesel option, manual only, no sedan. Responsive handling. Higher fuel consumption than class average.
Toyota Camry 2007 - 2010
Ever popular and practical family-spacious mid-size sedan. No wagon. Four cylinder 2.4-litre petrol only, five speed auto or manual. Hybrid model from early 2010. Stability control on all from mid-2007. Toyota reliability, but as exciting as watching paint dry.
Subaru Liberty 2007 – 2010
One of the mid-size scrums better offerings. Good ride, all-wheel-drive grip, well finished. Sedan and wagon versions. Plenty of models, 2.5-litre boxer petrol engine popular. 3.0-litre or 3.6-litre boxer six also available.