Thursday, 18 March 2010
Tested: Ford Mondeo 2.3L Duratec
Better late than never, they say. How true it is for the Mondeo that you see above. It may be nearly four years ago when we last saw this executive silver screen debut in the 2006 James Bond flick "Casino Royale", this D-segment continental Ford has still got it. In the metal, it has sheer full-size executive sedan presence, albeit from some angle it has started to age a wee bit e.g. its straight frontal visage.
This may probably sound cliche. But the truth is, after having left the realm of a proper D-segment saloon - sold off my W211 last year - I truly appreciate the full sized D-segment comfort and solidly comfy ride.
That said, the Mondeo has got a steering feel unlike Camry's light/lifeless character or Accord's Japanese-feel with its supposedly sporty rack responsiveness. The Mondeo's just naturally good, likely due to stiffer chassis strength and suspension robustness et al - contributing to a better steering feel, feedback and agility. Needless to say, this huge Ford tracks corners like a smaller e.g. C-segment car with so much gusto that it inspires confidence in a way that only a true-blood Continental sedan can, while maintaining a relatively clam composure for the rear passengers over a variety of undulating surfaces. Simply pleasant.
While the 6-speed Tiptronic gearbox cannot be faulted for its fine cog-swapping execution and matching to engine revs, I find it rather baffling why the Mondeo 2.3 Duratec cannot breach 185 km/h on open stretches of private road. Is this fully-imported Ford from Belgium trying to execute JDM-esque diplomacy in Malaysia? On a similar note, the Mondeo's powertrain don't seem at ease cruising consistently above 160km/h. Class-wise, the absence of ESP, electronic stability control program is just as intriguing.