Ford Mondeo MK5 (2014-2018)

Models Covered:

5dr hatch / 4dr Saloon / 5dr Estate (1.0, 1.5, 2.0 EcoBoost petrol / 1.5, 2.0 TDCi diesel) [Style, Zetec, Titanium, ST-Line, Vignale])

By Jonathan Crouch

* Introduction

The MK5 Mondeo proved to be a very complete car, bigger, slicker and more refined than its predecessors but still offered primarily in either hatch or estate form. Fifth generation buyers got a car founded on a more advanced platform shared with Ford’s Galaxy and S-MAX large MPVs, so the car could be larger. And it was more sophisticated under the bonnet, gaining an entry-level 1.0-litre petrol unit and even a self-charging petrol hybrid engine. It proved to be still very good to drive too, though increasingly in this form, technology, comfort and balance sheet efficiency were more compelling reasons as to why you might want one.

* The History

The Mondeo has changed with the times – as have its buyers. ‘Mondeo man’ is no longer the mascot of New Labour he was in the Nineties, today instead being a far more sophisticated person. He doesn’t feel the need to pay extra for a German premium badge on the bonnet of his company car when this Ford is bigger, better equipped, arguably more rewarding to drive and in some ways more technologically advanced. Private customers can see the logic too, but there simply aren’t as many of them as they used to be, traditional family folk tempted away by the trendier choices they could make for similar money. In its Kuga Crossover model and its smart S-MAX MPV, Ford also offers some of these options, but at the launch of this MK5 Mondeo in 2014, still maintained that there’s a place for this car in its core model line-up. This MK4 Mondeo will have to be very good to justify that faith.

Back in 2014, Ford had had an awful long time to get this car right, the previous MK4 generation Mondeo dating all the way back to 2006. The US market got this design (badged there as the ‘Ford Fusion’) to replace it back in 2012, but a switch of European production for this car from Genk in Belgium to Valencia in Spain took longer than the brand anticipated and it wasn’t until late 2014 that the fourth generation version was finally launched in Europe.

Still, it came fully-equipped to take on tough segment rivals like Volkswagen’s Passat and Vauxhall’s Insignia, claiming class-leadership in efficiency, technology and safety. There was a rejuvenated range of petrol and diesel engines, plus the option of Hybrid power for the first time. A plush top leather-lined ‘Vignale’ trim level was launched in 2015. This MK5 model sold in its original form until early 2019, when a facelifted version was introduced, complete with minor exterior upgrades, extra safety provision and more frugal EcoBlue diesel engines.

* What You Get

The MK5 Mondeo range was mainly based around hatch and estate body styles. A saloon was also offered, but only with the rare hybrid engine. If there's one thing that's defined Mondeo design over the years, it’s that it's become bigger and more up-market with each passing generation. This fifth generation version followed that pattern by emerging from its over-extended period of development as an altogether more expressive and polished proposition than before.

Shape and contrast is a feature of the inviting cabin with its wrap-around symmetrical centre console design delivering a snug, cockpit-like feel. Ford tried hard with fit and finish too, installing a soft-touch instrument panel, a flock-lined central front storage area, chrome touches and smart accents on the air-vents, along with more up-market switchgear. Fortunately not restricted to plusher Mondeo models is the feature that dominates the centre of the dash, the 8-inch SYNC2 colour touchscreen, which plays its part in reducing button clutter and giving the cabin a cleaner, smarter feel. This set-up’s divided into four colour-coded sectors that allow you to control audio, sat nav, ‘phone and climate control functions via touchscreen buttons. In the rear seat, there’s space for three big adults across the back seat and you get a big boot too.

* What To Look For

Most MK5 Mondeo owners we came across in our survey seemed very satisfied, but inevitably there were a few issues with some cars. One owner had to replace drive shafts in a car with only 12,000 miles on the clock. Another had to change the EGR valve when the engine management light came on. Some owners complained that the alloy wheels showed signs of early deterioration. Another car had a software fault. Make sure you check the SYNC2 infotainment screen and Bluetooth functions thoroughly. And look out for signs of child damage in the back. Insist on a fully stamped-up service history as usual.

* On The Road

The Mondeo has always been a car with a very advanced set of driving dynamics, sophisticated enough to be involving only when you want it to be. You could say it still is in this MK5 form, though you’d also have to qualify that statement by referencing the way that in fifth generation form, this Ford grew up, becoming a little more mature, slightly softer-edged and a whole lot more refined. In short, it became more the kind of car that a typical mile-munching business buyer might want, with lighter electrically-powered steering, a more luxurious feel and exemplary class-leading refinement thanks to design improvements that saw cabin noise levels drop by as much as three decibels over the previous generation model.

Engine-wise, petrol buyers with this MK5 model chose between a 1.0-litre 3 cylinder entry-level unit, plus 1.5 and 2.0-litre EcoBoost powerplants. The diesel range was launched with a 1.6 TDCi unit, quickly replaced with a 160PS 1.5-litre TDCI engine. There was also a 2.0 TDCi with 180PS and even a twin turbo 2.0 TDCi with 210PS. 4WD was optional on the 2.0 TDCi with 180PS and standard on the fastest petrol and diesel units. There was also a saloon-only petrol/electric self-charging hybrid variant, this derivative using a 187PS 2.0-litre unit whose efforts are supplemented by a 88kW electric motor driving the front wheels. There’s another electric motor for regenerative charging only and a lithium-ion battery pack with an output of 35kW and a capacity of 1.4 kWh, the whole set-up operating via the kind of CVT auto gearbox that’s a normal feature in hybrids of this sort.

* Overall

For most of its customers most of the time, Ford’s ‘one world’ medium range family car proved to be a better bet than ever in this fifth generation guise. A few may rue the fact that in this form, this Mondeo isn’t quite the complete entertainer it once was. Throw one around and there’s no longer the feeling that you’re in a big Focus. But then that’s probably quite intentional. Customers in this segment have made it quite clear that now, they want something much more sophisticated than that. Today, a car of this kind must be a far quieter, more luxurious and more technologically-advanced thing. This MK5 Mondeo is. It’s worth your attention.