Fuel efficiency is a hot topic within the automotive industry and at this point in time manufacturers are at a crossroad. Fuel sipping low capacity petrol engines, efficient diesels or all-electric are solutions that are being explored, but for the public to go with such a paradigm shift as electric cars is a big step. Ford do offer a Focus EV but combining the best of both worlds is the new 2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid. The blue oval has never offered a Hybrid in Europe before and so have taken the opportunity to do so at the launch of their fourth generation Mondeo. This all-new car presents a wide range of engines, but some new customers might consider the Hybrid model as it is competitively priced against the diesel, something made possible by the One Ford program.
Glistening under the early evening Spanish sun was our test car in White Platinum. There is no denying that this Mondeo incarnation is a handsome machine and clearly gives the nameplate a visual presence that it has never had before. With a large ovular chromed grill and bonnet shaped by contours, the whole perception of the car is one of high quality and detail. Intricate headlights and a strong shoulder line further add to its instant recognition. This Hybrid model may well be fitted with 16 inch alloy wheels to reduce weight, but it is still a sharp looking product.
Clearly the 2015 Ford Mondeo has taken on an even more mature demeanour judging by the external design, but that point is really driven home when you enter the cabin. A touchscreen equipped centre console slopes downward and then out to divide the front passenger and the driver. Goodbye flat button laden architecture, hello sculpted ergonomic interface. Cubby holes and large door bins remind you that the Mondeo is still very much a family affair, but the perception of quality is now far greater than its predecessor. Perforated leather wraps itself around the seats and silver trim characterises various elements of the interior. The instrument panel is made up of a combination of digital and analogue displays. On the left is a screen that displays battery and engine usage, something that makes driving economically in this 2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid easier thanks to this visual aid. Its new infotainment system is easy to use and will find its way into other Fords across the range. Rear occupant space is generous and the large windows prevent the cabin from being overcome with shadow. The boot is still of a reasonable size but is smaller than non-hybrid models due to a spare tyre and the adda batteries. Its total capacity is 383 litres.
Pull away in the Ford Mondeo Hybrid and the silent benefits of electric power reveal themselves. As long as you use the accelerator liberally and there is enough charge in the batteries, you can quietly glide along the road on electric power alone up to 85MPH. There is some wind and road noise, but these are usually sounds masked by the engine. If you require more power its 2.0 litre engine starts up almost unnoticed. Around town and the surrounding areas this system which incorporates two electric motors, one for power and one exclusively for regeneration, as well as the petrol Atkinson-cycle engine works well. Total power output is 186BHP. Ford claim that the Mondeo Hybrid is capable of 67.3MPG and emitting just 99g/km of CO2. This is something that will go down well with fleet owners. However, when the time comes to pick up the pace in this new Ford Mondeo Hybrid the monotone drone of its engine, this car has a CVT gearbox, is intrusive and can become a bit irritating. Thankfully it doesn’t take long to regenerate the batteries and whilst maintaining a constant speed the car will fall quiet again, as least until electric power is depleted. The Hybrid model not only loses out on the refinement of its conventional siblings, but also in handling. Its tyres offer less overall grip and the added weight of the hybrid system contributes to increased body roll. This is not a car for enjoying the occasional twisty country road. This is a great shame as the petrol and diesel cars both handle well continuing the Mondeo tradition of being fun to drive.
This 2015 Ford Mondeo Hybrid is a tricky one to sum up. Whilst it clearly makes sacrifices in order to promote its green credentials, this car is at odds with the rest of the Mondeo range. The 2.0 litre TDCI and 1.5 litre EcoBoost are refined at all speeds and incredibly well rounded. To encourage people into the driver’s seat of a Hybrid, Ford has competitively priced it along side the diesel model. In top specification Titanium trim our test car came to £30,645 which actually just undercuts the diesel Mondeo we tested. This package will work for some, but the excellent 2.0 litre TDCI is still the car we would recommend.