Driving

All-round refinement is definitely a Mondeo strong point. No rival cruises as comfortably at high speeds or deals with coarse surfaces so well. It even delivers a cosseting ride around town. We tested a model fitted with Fords Interactive Vehicle Dynamics Control (IVDC) electronic dampers. In short, it feels unflappable thanks to its awesome suspension control, which in turn inspires confidence. It slices through corners, the steering is light yet extremely accurate, and unlike some rivals, it never feels heavy or cumbersome quite an achievement given the hefty 1,615kg kerbweight of the test car. And impressively, even models without the electronic suspension are able to provide a similarly class-leading drive. However, that hefty weight means that, while the best-selling 2.0 TDCI 140 has competitive power and torque, it doesnt have particularly meaty mid-range response or crispness. Nor is the four-cylinder unit the last word in smoothness or noise suppression. As youd perhaps expect, cheaper 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre petrol versions require far more work, making them similarly intrusive. Mind you, on the move, the engines are only noticeable because there is barely a trace of wind or road noise.

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