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The Mercury Cars Guide : September 5th 2009
6--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, September 5, 2009 Latecomer pulls ahead on style COMPETITIVE: There's no reason the 2009 Ford Mondeo Titanium won't take sales from rivals; inset, the cluster on the dash. WHEN you arrive late to a party you can often be ignored and blend quietly into the crowd. Ford found that out in 2007 when it launched the new-generation Mondeo. As the new-look hatch and sedan shuffled into the mid-size party pack, buyers glanced over their shoulders for a peek but then promptly went back to the easily recognised Japanese and Korean competition. Initial sales were slow and the car struggled to find its place, largely overshadowed by a widely held --- but misplaced --- perception of Ford as the ''Falcon car company''. The dominance of the Mondeo's mid-size competition did not help either. Sales improved last year but the perky Ford still lags behind the established bluebloods like the Toyota Camry, Mazda6, Subaru Liberty and Honda Accord Euro. Ford admits it initially had trouble convincing buyers that its car had the looks, price and equipment to be taken seriously. This time around they might have better luck. With the MB model update, Ford has put the Mondeo under the microscope and essentially relaunching the brand. It has dropped the sedan, refreshed the hatch and added a wagon. As before, there is a choice of the entry LX, sporty Zetec and turbo-charged XR5 models. Ford has also launched the up-spec Titanium version with the choice of a 2.3-litre petrol four cylinder or 2.0-litre turbo-diesel mated to a six- speed automatic. At $42,990, the Titanium petrol version sits below the XR5 and blends that car's sporty looks with some premium luxury features not before seen in the segment. Some of the equipment is not even available in the Falcon. The Titanium gets voice control, adaptive cruise control with forward alert and dynamic headlights with low beam headlights, as well as cornering lights. Like the other sporty Mondeos, there is a sports body kit, foglights, to sports suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, there is alcantara/leather sports seats with five-phase heating, sunroof, keyless start and smart key entry, Bluetooth and B-pillar mounted air vents for the rear passenger compartment. Safety conscious buyers also get a full suite of airbags, including a driver's knee airbag, as well as traction and stability control. These safety features and a strong body deliver a five-star crash rating. The 2.3-litre Duratec four cylinder petrol develops 118kW/208Nm while the 2.0-litre turbo- diesel, shared with the Focus, develops 103kW/ 320Nm. The Titanium is only available in a hatch, which seems a pity, particularly given Holden's success with its Commodore Sportswagon. Driving THE previous Mondeo had a lot going for it and there is little reason to question the performance or packaging of the new one. Prices have risen slightly but it remains a well styled vehicle with plenty of room for a family. The mid-size Ford delivers a strong case as a roomy, classy car backed up with precise steering, strong brakes, supple suspension and almost Falcon levels of cabin and boot space. The Titanium is the new entrant and ups the ante with plenty of creature comforts and added safety that makes it a very desirable piece of kit. At $45,990 for the TDCi, it sits at the upper end of the price scale against the Japanese and Korean diesel opposition and smack in the middle of some performance Falcons. But if you don't want a roomy Ford with a diesel, it is well worth the extra. There are plenty of inducements to get buyers to look at the Titanium, too. Adding high-end equipment like voice con- trol, adaptive cruise control and dynamic headlights are more than a talking point; they are recognised safety features. The petrol version costs $3000 less but for our money the turbo-diesel Titanium is the pick, delivering strong performance and excel- lent fuel economy of 7.3 litres/100km. In a mix of mostly city driving we achieved 7.9 litres/100km. Apart from economy the relatively small TDCi engine is strong on performance, partic- ularly in the mid-range from 80km/h upwards. It is a good commuter but also a relaxed long-distance tourer with plenty in reserve for overtaking. The Titanium's 2.0-litre TDCi is particularly peaky down low, so much so that it is easy to induce the traction control system in the wet as the front wheels scramble for grip. Initially there is an ever-so-slight lag as you pull away from traffic lights but once rolling the diesel is responsive. Like all the latest-generation common rail diesel engines, it is quiet and refined at highway speeds. The Mondeo copes with Australian roads well. Even with the 18-inch alloys and low- profile rubber there is a reasonable degree of suppleness in the suspension. The Continental tyres are grippy but over coarser surfaces some road noise does find its way into the cabin. At highway speeds there is some booming noise in the cabin but we suspect that is because of the large hatch area. Like some of its Japanese opposition, the Mondeo is an engaging drive. The steering is well weighted and direct and supplies plenty of feedback. There are no complaints about the six-speed auto either. It is silky and kicks down effortlessly when you require more urge. Inside, the superb leather and alcantara heated front seats do a great job in the comfort stakes and there is plenty of leg and headroom in the back. The boot is huge enough to challenge the Falcon, particularly with the 60/40 split rear seats folded. The cabin presentation is top-class, too. The faux alloy and piano black mix of trim gives the cabin a classy look. However, some of the cartoon-style colour graphics in the centre cluster --- Ford calls it the human machine interface --- are not as polished as the Germans'. For those buyers who want wagon-levels of load capacity the Mondeo will not disappoint. There is absolutely no reason it cannot grab sales from the Toyota Camry, Mazda6 and Honda Accord Euro. By reorganising the range and adding the Titanium, Ford may finally have a better chance of weaning buyers off the Japanese and Korean fare. It has the right gear and something the others so obviously lack --- European cache. NEIL McDONALD small torque Ford Mondeo Price: $42,990 (2.3-petrol), $45,990 (2.0-litre TDCi) Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel Power: 103kW at 4000 revs Torque: 320Nm at 1750-2240 revs Transmission: Six-speed sequential automatic Body: Five-door hatch Seats: Five Dimensions: Length 4830mm, Width 1886mm, Height 1512mm, Wheelbase 2850mm, tracks front/rear 1579mm/ 1595mm Steering: hydraulic power-steering rack and pinion Suspension: Front MacPherson strut, rear independent control blade multi-link Fuel tank: 70 litres Fuel type: Diesel Fuel consumption: 7.3 litres/100km combined Weight: 1610kg Spare tyre: Space saver spare Brakes: Anti-skid all-round discs Wheels: 18-inch Y-spoke alloys Tyres: 235/45R18 Safety gear: Dual front, side and curtain airbags, knee airbag, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-skid brakes, brake assist, adaptive cruise control Co2 emissions: 193g/km Features: Airconditioning; cruise control; alloy wheelS; climate control; leather seats, heated seats; parking sensors; automatic wipers; For ANCAP vehicle safety ratings, go to howsafeisyourcar.com.au The bottom line: Just enough bling to make it worthwhile. 78/100 Tilford Trade Clearance Centre Hobart's true & original Trade Clearance Centre Wholesale & Trade welcome TONY: 0417 569 323 ROD: 0419 122 991 56b Gormanston Road Moonah Finance Available TAP 6273 8533 www.tilford.com.au CHEAP CHEAP CARS & COMMERCIALS Prices valid until 28/08/2009 02 Hyundai Accent Hatch 3 Door, 5 speed, 1/10 reg, p/s $2,900 92 Toyota Camry S/Wagon T-bar auto, neat & tidy, a/c, p/s $3,500 94 Toyota Corolla Seca RV 5 Speed, alloys, p/s, a/c $3,750 97 Hyundai Excel 5-Door Hatch Manual, 150,000kms, original $3,900 97 Holden Barina Hatch 5 door, 5 speed, tidy, p/s, a/c $5,000 95 Mitsubishi Lancer Coupe 5 speed, low kms, rear spoiler, p/s $5,500 00 AU Falcon Sedan T-bar auto, excellent test, p/s, a/c $5,500 97 Peugeot 306 Sedan 159,000kms, 5 speed, fuel miser $5,750 96 Barina Hatch T-bar auto, 107,000kms, alloys, p/s, a/c $6,000 97 VW Golf Hatch 5 speed manual, silver paintwork, p/s, a/c $7,000 03 Courier 4x2 F/Tray 5 speed, 2.6ltr, p/s, a/c $7,500 00 Ford Laser LXi Sedan 5 speed, immaculate, p/s, a/c $8,500 04 Kia Rio Sedan 5 speed, p/s, a/c, 90,000kms $8,500 00 Toyota Hilux 4x2 F/Tray 5 speed, 2.7ltr engine, p/s $8,750 01 Hyundai Grandeur Sedan T-bar auto, only 40,000kms, p/s, a/c $8,750 04 Kia Pregio Commercial Van Diesel, 5 speed, very tidy $9,250 02 Mitsubishi Verada Ei Sedan 96,000kms, alloys, auto, p/s, a/c $9,500 99 Mercedes-Benz Vito Van 2.0iManual, dual side doors, alloys $11,000 01 Mercedes A160 Hatch Economical 1.6ltr, T-bar auto, excellent test $12,000 97 Honda Prelude VTi-R Coupe 109,000kms, 5 speed, immaculate sports car $14,000 01 VW Bora Sedan 109,000kms, auto, p/s, a/c, alloys $14,000 04 BA Falcon Ute V8 engine, T-bar auto, alloys, chrome roll bar $14,000 99 Courier 4x4 D/Cab Turbo diesel, 5 speed, p/s, a/c $15,000 05 Ford Courier 4x2 D/Cab 72,000kms, 5 speed, p/s, a/c $18,000 03 BA Falcon XR8 Ute 101,000kms, auto, 19" alloys $22,000 GRAB A DRIVE AWAY DEAL TODAY! DRIVEAWAY CLEARANCE SALE 2026895-36 Cnr Harrington & Bathurst Sts, Hobart Ph: 6237 1199 Prices don't include the 3% g/ment stamp duty or the $23.90 transfer fee.. www.autorent.com.au Auto, p/steer, c/lock, air cond, 1 yr warr Like new, 1.3L, 5 spd man. Airbags, keyless entry + immob, air cond, CD, 1 yr warr 1 owner, low km, 5 spd man, air cond, pwr wind, c/Lock, airbag, CD. 1 yr warr Auto, pwr wind, cruise ctrl, airbag, keyless entry + immob, CD, 1 yr warr Ride high -- auto, keyless entry, immob, pwr wind, CD, 1 yr warr 4 BRAND NEW TYRES! 2.4L auto, airbags, cruise, tint wind, immob, air cond, nudge bar! 1 yr warr Immaculate 2.4L auto, airbags, cruise ctrl, keyless entry + immob, air cond, CD, 1 yr warr ALSO AVAILABLE - Huge range of later model cars including 07/08 Toyota Corolla hatch, 05 Nissan X-Trail, 06 Hyundai Accents & Elantras, 06 Nissan Tiida, 06 Grand Carnival - 8 seater, 06 Toyota Camrys. 97 TOYOTA COROLLA HATCH Just serviced - Quality traded cars! 06 TOYOTA YARIS HATCH 04 KIA RIO LS HATCH/WAGON 03 HYUNDAI SONATA V6 SEDAN 03 HYUNDAI SANTA FE AWD WAGON 04 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER 4WD WAGON 04 HYUNDAI SONATA SALE PRICE $7,990 SALE PRICE $12,490 SALE PRICE $8,490 SALE PRICE $8,990 SALE PRICE $12,500 SALE PRICE $15,990 SALE PRICE $10,990 FREE -- 1 YEAR WARRANTY* (free warr on these 7 advert cars only*) COME VISIT US SOON WE'RE OPEN ALL WEEKEND TRADE-INS WELCOME
August 29th 2009
September 12th 2009