Ford Mondeo MK4 Estate [CD931] (2014 - 2022) used car review

Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

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Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

By Jonathan Crouch

Introduction

Ford's Mondeo Estate used to be a regular sight on our roads, but in more recent times, many family buyers have defected to other market categories. First there was a fascination with People Carriers, then more recently, SUVs. And many of the customers that remain would prefer a premium badge on the bonnet. The Mondeo Estate still makes sense as a used buy though, especially in this last MK4 guise, which was sold in petrol, diesel and frugal full-Hybrid forms.

Models

5dr Estate (1.5, 2.0 petrol / 2.0 TDCi diesel) [Titanium, ST-Line, Vignale])

History

Estate car buyers tend to be a very sane bunch, unswayed by the latest fads. Rather, they value practicality and, more often than not, their choice of car is meticulously researched. 'Function first' is a motto that tends to reward smart engineering and sound design and it's the reason why Ford's Mondeo Estate still attracts loyal used buyers. This fourth generation version was first launched back in 2014, then was significantly improved in 2019, when full-Hybrid power was added to the range.

This MK4-era station wagon Mondeo remains one of the biggest vehicles Ford has imported to the UK, similar in size to the large S-MAX and Galaxy seven-seat people carriers it shares its CD platform with. That means plenty of space in the back for the sort of gear your family needs - though you'll have to compromise a little on that if you go for the Hybrid engine. If you don't want to do that, you'll probably prefer to opt for the brand's 2.0-litre diesel, in 2019 substantially improved with the addition of the company's EcoBlue technology. Either way, this car is smart, safe and well equipped. You can even have it with AWD. Could this really be a better bet than that SUV or MPV you were looking at? As a new model, the car was finally dropped from Ford's range in mid-2022.

What You Get

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 fourth generation 'CD391'-series design was no exception to that rule of evolution, but needed an extra layer of polish to justify the sums being asked for plusher variants. And that was applied as part of the revisions made in 2019.

On to the details of this Ford's exterior design, starting at the front, where four smart crease lines sweep down the power dome bonnet into a trapezoidal front grille that varies in style based on the trim level you've chosen. The design of the lower grille was also refreshed with the facelifted version of this MK4 model and blends into redesigned fog lamp surrounds. These required a slightly more sculpted bumper design that incorporated a more pronounced lower lip spoiler.

Behind the wheel, as part of the facelift, detail changes were made to trim and dashboard architecture. Plus automatic versions of conventional models gained a circular gear selector. Otherwise, things were much as they had been when this MK4 Mondeo Estate was launched back in 2014. Ford struggled to differentiate European-spec examples of this model from the bargain basement trimmed versions of it that it sold in the US and these humbler origins are evident in places, even in the leather-lined top-spec 'Vignale' variant. But it's difficult to fault the exemplary cabin ergonomics; everything falls perfectly to hand and there's an ideal driving position with lots of seat and wheel adjustment. Various different instrument binnacle displays were offered - the Hybrid version features twin 4.2-inch screens either side of a central speedo. Anything else you need to know will be covered off by the 8-inch central 'SYNC 3' infotainment monitor, which delivers the usual audio, navigation and smartphone-mirroring options, plus it can deal with climate settings too.

And in the back seat? Well three big adults across the back seat of an Audi A4 Avant or a BMW 3 Series Touring from this era is a squash that's only slightly improved if you opt for something mainstream like a Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer or a Volkswagen Passat Estate. Here, it's no problem at all, with superb space for shoulders thanks to the class-leading width of the cabin. Legs and knees are also well catered for thanks to a low centre transmission tunnel and relatively thin front seat backs. And the boot? Well, there's a 500-litre capacity - or 403-litres in the Hybrid. In the conventional model, there's over 1600-litres of cargo volume when you fold the back seats flat.

What You Pay

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What to Look For

Most MK4 Mondeo Estate 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.

Replacement Parts

(approx based on a 2019 Mondeo Estate Hybrid - Ex Vat) An air filter costs around £12 and an oil filter costs in the £5 bracket. Front brake discs sit in the £55 to £84 bracket; for a rear pair, you're looking in the £22-£47 bracket. A cabin filter costs in the £10-£12 bracket. A wiper blade is around £4-£12. Front brake pads are in the £29-£52 bracket; re pads are in the £22-£47 bracket.

On the Road

The Mondeo Estate 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 was in this updated post-2019-era form, though you'd also have to qualify that statement by referencing the way that in this guise, this Ford grew up a bit, becoming a little more mature, slightly softer-edged and a whole lot more refined. For the improved version of this fourth generation model, the brand introduced a more efficient and responsive 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel unit, which was offered in 150 and 190PS guises and was the only engine in the range to get a smoother eight-speed auto gearbox. The 190PS model could also be had with the option of the brand's Intelligent AWD system too.

The petrol units continued on with the older six-speed auto - there was also a manual gearbox option with the base 1.5-litre EcoBoost 165PS powerplant. Most post-'19-era petrol Mondeos sold were fitted out with the self-charging hybrid engine. Here, a 2.0 TiVCT petrol unit is mated to an 88kW electric motor and a 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery that both sit at the back of the car but drive the front wheels via a power-split 6-speed automatic auto transmission. That auto 'box decides at any given time whether power should come from the engine, the electric motor, both at once or neither. The whole set-up isn't especially responsive to your right foot, which rather dilutes this Ford's inherently engineered sense of driving pleasure. But it is quite economical if driven with restraint, returning up to 52.3mpg on the WLTP combined cycle and up to 98g/km of CO2.

Overall

It's no use kidding ourselves that the Ford Mondeo Estate is, or will ever be, a glamorous vehicle, but this MK4 model was sprinkled with enough clever design and high-tech equipment to make it anything but a run of the mill load lugger. Its sheer roominess is a given and, if space matters, the Mondeo Estate more than justifies itself, with over 1600-litres of cargo volume when you fold the back seats flat.

What impressed us most about the fourth generation Mondeo Estate though, is that as well as looking smart, it drives in a way that doesn't constantly remind you that you've bought an estate car, something aided by the strong range of engines. The Hybrid option's nice to have, but our choice would be a 2.0-litre EcoBlue 150PS diesel with the smooth 8-speed auto transmission and mid-range trim. Whatever your preference though, it's hard to go too far wrong with this likeable station wagon.

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