Ford Mondeo Estate Hybrid review
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The Ford Mondeo has been available in hybrid form since late 2014, but an impractical saloon body shape and limited efficiency benefits compared to the more popular diesel version meant it remained a rare sight on UK roads.
For 2019, mild improvements have been made to the hybrid system for a smoother driving experience, while for the first time the hybrid Mondeo is offered in more practical five-door estate guise alongside the four-door saloon. There are also some minor styling updates, with a new front bumper design and specific styles of front grille for each trim level.
Unfortunately, none of this is enough to turn the Mondeo Hybrid from also-ran to serious contender. It's still a poor performer on the road due to its sluggish CVT automatic gearbox, and it's still not going to be as cost-effective as a diesel for those doing lots of long motorway journeys.
What's more, this estate version loses almost 100 litres of boot space compared to its petrol and diesel-fuelled counterparts, in order to accommodate the hybrid system. The more up-to-date and more practical Toyota Corolla Touring Sports has it beaten on almost all counts.
Under the bonnet, the basic hardware of the hybrid system is unchanged, with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine working in conjunction with an electric motor that draws its power from a 1.4kWh battery.
Ford's promised improvements have made the system work smoother in some respects, such as under braking and when transitioning from petrol to electric power, but the accelerator is still hesitant to respond.
Unlike its predecessors, this generation of Mondeo is no class leader for handling or driving enjoyment, but it's still reasonably composed and competent in corners. On its more natural habitat of the motorway, it's smooth and refined, if not quite as soothingly quiet as a Mazda6 or Skoda Superb.
As of late 2019, the Mondeo Estate Hybrid is offered in the full spread of Zetec Edition, Titanium Edition, ST-Line Edition and Vignale trim levels, and equipment is plentiful whichever you go for. The bulk of Mondeo Hybrid drivers will be company-car users, for whom the model's low BiK (Benefit-in-Kind) tax rating is a boon.
For everyone else, though, the Mondeo Hybrid is difficult to recommend. Town drivers will be better off in a smaller and more efficient hybrid like a Toyota Corolla or Toyota Prius, while those making frequent long journeys will find a modern diesel to be more efficient and cost-effective option.
For a more detailed look at the Mondeo Estate Hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.