Comparison: Ford Mondeo Titanium 1.6 TDCi versus Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0 TDCi
Old habits die hard, and although VRT and motor taxation are no longer directly related to engine capacity (at least until we find out what the Government has planned for the next Budget), Irish car sales figures continue to be dominated by smaller capacity powerplants over larger engined versions of the same model.
Take the Ford Mondeo as an example. By any standards this is a pretty big car, yet in the first half of this year 71% of Mondeo sales were of the relatively puny 1.6 litre TDCi diesel engine, with the 2.0 litre TDCi accounting for the remainder. Granted, the 115 PS 1.6 TDCi Mondeo is a tax band A vehicle, with emissions of 114 g/km, whereas the 140 PS PS 2.0 TDCi falls into band B, outputting 129 g/km (there’s also a 160PS version with the same emissions). But with fairly negligible differences in fuel consumption, does saving a few Euros on purchase price and annual taxation outweigh the benefits a more powerful engine offers?
Fleet Car undertook a back-to-back comparison of two five-door hatchback Mondeos in identical top-of-the-range Titanium specifications, one with the 1.6 TDCi engine with Econetic stop/start technology, and the other, our long-term test car with the 2.0 TDCi powerplant. As tested the smaller engined car retailed for €32,311, which included an optional Driver Assist Pack at €816. The 2.0 litre car cost €33,632.50, this price including a detachable tow bar for €637.50.
Extras aside therefore, the 2.0 litre car costs €1,500 more to buy new over its 1.6 litre sibling, while road tax will presently be €65 more per annum. While we don’t think that the later should be a real factor in making a rational decision regarding what car to buy, the purchase differential, while relatively small in terms of the overall price of the car, might be enough to put buyers off the more powerful engine.
So are there any benefits in forking out the extra money for the bigger engine? Well lets cut to the chase here and say that having driven both cars back-to-back extensively, we think that spending the premium on the 2.0 litre TDCi is well worthwhile, particularly for a driver doing any amount of longer distances on our national non-motorway road network. In fact we’d go so far as to say that the 2.0 TDCi Mondeo is a very complete car indeed.
Not that the 1.6 TDCi is a complete letdown – far from it. If you only ever drove the Mondeo with this engine you would think it a perfectly adequate performer. Indeed if you’re mainly doing stop-start urban driving, or, on the other extreme, spend most of your journeys cruising on motorways, you’re unlikely to miss the extra torque afforded by the bigger capacity unit.
Ultimately though, it’s that extra torque that makes the 2.0 TDCi Mondeo a much more enjoyable car to drive than the 1.6 version. While the bigger engine does boast 25 PS more, it also has 320 Nm of torque compared to 270 Nm in the 1.6 TDCi. Not a huge difference you might think, but on the road, the 2.0 Mondeo is much more relaxed, with far fewer gear changes needed, and always having a surge of power when you need it. This is most noticeable below 1,500 rpm; where the smaller engined car feels very lacklustre, the 2.0 will readily pull away without needing a gearshift. It is noticeable also when overtaking, the 2.0 providing instant grunt, whereas you need a long clear road ahead of you before attempting an overtaking maneuver in fifth or sixth gear in the 1.6 litre.
We’ve been busy using the 2.0 litre car pulling caravans around the country this summer for our sister publication Caravan Cruise Ireland, and have found it an excellent performer in this regard, notably its ability to accelerate at low revs, and cruise quite happily at 80 km/h in top gear. Sadly the lack of a towbar meant we couldn’t do a direct towing comparison with the 1.6 litre, though we suspect that car’s lack of performance at low revs would be magnified under towing conditions.
What about fuel economy? Ford officially quotes combined cycle figures for the 1.6 TDCi of 4.3l/100 km (65.7 mpg), while the 2.0 TDCi gets 4.9 l/100 km (57.6 mpg). Inevitably real life returns aren’t as impressive, but the larger capacity engine returned much closer figures in our admittedly limited test where we drove the two cars on an identical route with the same driver keeping to the same speeds as closely as possible. Over a combination of urban and rural roads, we returned 5.7 l/100 km (49.5 mpg) with the 1.6 TDCi, while the 2.0 litre was only marginally worse at 5.8 l/100 km (48.7 mpg). This stacks up with what we have been managing to get out of the 2.0 TDCi over a number of months, averaging between 5.6 and 5.9 l/100 km depending on conditions ( and driver it should be noted….). Certainly these figures would negate the argument of buying one engine over the other on fuel consumption terms alone.
Of the Mondeo itself, it remains one of our favourite cars to drive even though it is now getting on a bit design wise ( a new model has been unveiled, although is not likely to arrive here much before 2014). Indeed anytime we sit back into it after driving other products, its ride, handling, beautifully weighted pin-point steering, and overall poise on the road make it stand out as a real driver’s car. It is extremely comfortable over long distances, while few cars offer as much interior and loadspace. In Titanium trim its not particularly cheap, but against that does come very well equipped. It might not be the most fashionable, nor stand out particularly from the crowd, but anyone wanting a hugely competent all-round car that won’t cost the earth to buy or run could do an awful lot worse than the Mondeo Titanium 2.0 TDCi.
Fleet Car magazine and sister publication Caravan Cruise welcome the new Ford Mondeo Titanium to the family.
ON TOUR IN COUNTY WICKLOW - AUGUST 2012
To date 9000kms have been driven with great comfort on our Long Term Test Car
Test Drive Report: Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Titanium
The Ford Mondeo could be described as a family relative that is always there in the background and always willing to help whenever and wherever. Unassuming and above all someone that you can trust and rely on. Since this generation of Mondeo came upon us (and sadly due to be replaced in 2013), it has won many new friends. Not only for its shape and size but also for the spaciousness inside. Many have compared its rear seat/ legroom to that of a large executive car. For both the driver and passenger comfort levels are high and in this instance the 5 door hatch’s boot has masses of volume.
Which all lends itself well for carrying loads of holiday luggage and with our Bailey Orion 440-4 on tow, there is no stopping us! Our inaugural trip together didn’t take us too far – just 50 kilometres to Westport House for their Music Festival Weekend. With 1.3 tonnes to pull the 140 bhp from the 2.0 litre TDCi diesel, it was well capable of the task. Found that the 6th gear was more like an overdrive as the 2 adults and 2 children and all the gear added to the overall weight of the combination.
Cars towing caravans need extensions to their mirrors for better rear vision, in the case of the Mondeo, it is a wide car and we managed without them, but plan to fit same ‘to be sure to be sure’. Hooking and unhooking is no bother and the tow bar fitted (& 13 pin plug) can be detached (or folded away) when not in use.
Priced at €32,995 (+ towbar €637.50), this well specified Titanium version has everything a family car or fleet car driver wants. Too many the Ford Premium Sound System is a joy, featuring a 265 watt amplifier, with USB, MP3 player and iPod connectivity, no journey will ever be boring. On the Titanium this state-of-the-art audio system is standard. Drivers will not only appreciate the Mondeo’s superb handling but also the other items that enhances the experience from an operational and safety point of view. Talking about adjustable speed limiter, Lane Departive Warning and Driver Alert that accesses the driver’s behaviour and will post a ‘take a break’ message on the dash when driver’s attention falls below a certain level.
Due to its 129g/km CO2 emission rating, it comes in under Band B (annual tax €225). Currently the Mondeo price range starts at €26, 295 (ex works) and until the end of September 2012, its 4.9% low finance often from Ford Credit makes it an attractive buy. Consider that and the fact that an outgoing model is often the best to purchase as the spec will be higher for the price and any little glitches that emerged over its life will be truly ironed out by now.
As for an all-round family vehicle, the Ford Mondeo is up there with the best. And with a caravan on tow, makes it even better. But go for the 2.0 litre version though.
*To date, the 2.0 litre TDCi 140bhp Mondeo is returning 6.1 L/100kms (average 38.5mpg) over mixed driving. On longer journeys it should do over the 40 mpg. That statement rang true after a recent 450 km round trip to Dublin where 5.8 L/100kms was recorded, which is equal to 41mpg. Jarlath Sweeney
Spec: 2.0TDCi 140PS 6 Speed manual, 5 Door, Band B, Blazer Blue
The optional extra on this model is the detachable tow bar which is €637.50
Price for above spec from €32,995 (with optional extra is €33,632.50)
Entry model for Ford Mondeo from €26,295
(Prices excludes delivery and related charges)
FORD ANNOUNCES RANGE OF SPRINGTIME OFFERS TO ENTICE CUSTOMERS
- · Low APR Finance
- · Fuel Voucher for Test Drive in Best in Class Fuel Efficient Mondeo
- · Three Years Extended Warranty, Roadside Assistance & Free Servicing on Selected Models
Ford has just announced a package of special offers that look set to keep Ford showrooms busy over the coming months. The package* comprises a special 4.9 percent low finance offer for models across the range; fuel vouchers of up to €1,300 on Mondeo; and a ‘no worries’ for three years package: extended warranty, roadside assistance and free servicing for three years on selected models including Ireland’s top selling car: the Ford Focus.
“This package is designed to show customers that there is still some very good value in the market”, said Eddie Murphy, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland. “With fuel prices becoming an even more weighty burden for motorists, our offer of a voucher for 400km worth of fuel for anyone who test drives a Mondeo is sure to strike a chord”.
“Equally, we have been hearing back from customers that access to good value finance is an ongoing problem and to rectify this, we have worked with our finance house, Ford Credit, to provide an attractive 4.9 percent low APR loan rate available for deals on all of our passenger models”.
The 4.9 percent low APR offer is available to customers on all completed purchases between now and the end of June.
The test drive incentive on Mondeo which will run from April 14 to end of June, means that anyone who takes a model for test drive will qualify for a Topaz fuel voucher that will provide 400km of free motoring (to the value of €28). And if a customer then goes on to purchase a Mondeo before the end of June, they can take the option of a Topaz fuel voucher to the value €1,300 – based on the Mondeo’s best in class fuel economy that should be enough fuel for 19,000 km of motoring (based on the 1.6 TDCi 115PS ECO model).
“Part of our motivation in organising the Mondeo test drive promotion is to highlight the best in class fuel performance of the car to a wider audience and we hope a high number of drivers will take up the offer”, concluded Murphy
The 3/3/3 Offer which also runs until the end of June, will provide three years of care free driving to anyone who buys a Fiesta, Focus, C-MAX / Grand C-MAX or Kuga. The 3/3/3 offer provides extended three year warranty, roadside assistance and free servicing for three years.