Overview of the Ford Mondeo

The Ford Mondeo is perhaps the company’s best known vehicle in Europe - and in the UK spawned the term ‘Mondeo Man’ to denote the many executives who used it as a company car.

The large family car is sold in various markets around the world.

The model began life in 1993 as a four-door saloon, five-door hatchback and a five-door estate.

Ford produced all models for the European market at Ford’s plant in the Belgian city of Genk.

The Mondeo was designed to be a car for the world replacing the Ford Sierra in Europe, the Ford Telstar in a large portion of Asia and other markets, while the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique replaced the Ford Tempo and Mercury Topaz in North America.

Despite its billing as a car for the world, the only external items the Mondeo shared initially with the Contour were the windscreen, front windows, front mirrors and door handles.

The back of the American sedan was basically the same as the European saloon, but with a red, dummy lense connecting the tail lights.

The front end skipped a generation in Europe as from the start it was the same as the eventual Mark II Mondeo. The Contour’s oval grille was modified slightly on the Mercury variant and the interior also was slightly changed.

The Mondeo was a completely new design sharing little if anything with the Sierra.

The model featured new manual and automatic transmissions and a state-of-the-art suspension design, which give it good handling and ride capabilities. The automatic transmission had electronic control with sport and economy modes plus switchable overdrive.

Ford wanted the Mondeo to major on safety so the model was the first with a driver’s airbag in all of its versions. It also offered side-impact bars, seat belt pretensioners, and anti-lock brakes.

The interior of the Mondeo featured a host of goodies including velour trim, an arm rest with CD and tape storage, central locking which was often remote, electric windows and mirrors and, flat-folding rear seats. Higher specification models had leather seats, trip computers, electric sunroof, CD changer and alloy wheels.

The Mondeo made use of Zetec engines which had first been seen in the early 90s versions of the Escort and Fiesta. These used Ford motor cars are still available to purchase but there are not many seen on the road today.

A top trio of the 16-valve Zetec engines were used including the 1.6-litre version which was rated at 90bhp, a 1.8-litre 115bhp power unit and a new 136bhp 2.0-litre version was launched.

An alternative to the Zetec engines was the Endura-D 1.8-litre turbodiesel. This engine had origins in the older 1.6-litre oil burnerl design used in the Fiesta and elsewhere.

In 1994 a 170bhp 2.5-litre 24-valve V6 Duratec unit was launched. The engine was first unveiled in the Mondeo’s North American cousin, the Ford Contour. It was a smooth operator with chain-driven camshafts and an ability to operate using only half its 24 valves when driven at low engine speeds.