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First Drive

First Drive: Ford Mondeo ST-Line

The story:
Ford's revamp of its Mondeo line-up is designed to appeal to the company car drivers that make up 85% of the hatchback and estate model's custom.
Category:Lower Medium
Key rival:Vauxhall Insignia
Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCI 180 ST-Line Edition Powershift AWD 5DR
On sale:Now

As well as cutting prices to make the car’s P11Ds more affordable – the cuts have put the Mondeo back on to more competitive terms with the likes of Vauxhall’s excellent new Insignia – Ford has changed the line-up, with the entry point now being sub-£20,000 Zetec Edition.

Above that the range splits into what Ford calls luxury credentials in the form of the Titanium Edition and Vignale models, and the sporty specification of ST-Line and ST-Line Edition. The Edition models are new to the range, and it’s the ST-Line Edition that we’re focused on here, a car Ford has added in response to claimed customer demand for the more stand-out looks.Ford Mondeo ST-Line - Image 12It gets the same sporty adornments as the regular ST-Line model, but adds 19-inch alloys, rear privacy glass, partial leather seats with red stitching, keyless entry, lane-keep assist, heated seats, automatic lights and wipers and traffic sign recognition, among other kit improvements for the reasonable £2,300 price over the regular ST-Line.

It’s aimed primarily at company car drivers, so the ST-line Edition is available with a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine in three states of tune: 150hp, 180hp and 210hp. The Ford Mondeo ST-Line - Image 4middle of these comes with a manual or automatic gearbox, and also with Ford’s all-wheel-drive system, as driven here. The four-wheel drive adds £1,400, not to mention 14g/km over the regular auto, which is why the front-drive 150hp or 180hp with manual gearboxes are the best choice for fleet operators and drivers.

The Mondeo looks smart on the inside in particular, while the ST-Line body kit, including unique front and rear bumpers lifts the exterior. It’s also still one of the best-driving cars in the class and has plenty of interior and boot space.

Ford has also added extra equipment to all models in the range, which means even the entry model now has navigation, DAB radio, autonomous braking – which brings insurance benefits – front and rear parking sensors and cruise control.


The verdict

ST-Line looks great and the price cuts give the Mondeo a much-needed new impetus, while revised trim levels offer welcome extra equipment.