Monday, March 2, 2009

Ford XR-5 Turbo and Ford Mondeo





Let me reveal this right away that I have always loved the Holden vehicles. I always loved the way they looked and always kept ridiculing Ford for their proud and loud cars that would undoubtedly slip on the road as Holden takes the inside edge and scream, “Follow me till the coda”. I did not expect this. Actually, I did. But, I did not expect the change to be so drastic that I switch to the other side. This blue oval has won my heart – Ford’s Mondeo XR5 Turbo – the sporty Mondeo.

The muscular wheel arches over the 18 inch alloys, a decent body-kit and hatch-like body lines collectively make it an exceptionally good looking car. God, I feel like just walking around it again and again and praising its good looks. But, how good is this German engineered, Belgian made Mondeo?

Just as fantastic the shell is, so is its’ semi-sporty, semi-luxury interior. Where most of its competitors namely the Mazda 6 fail in interior quality, the Mondeo excels there too. The leather seats, the overall colour combination makes you feel to keep gaping at it for hours. This basically sets a bench mark in quality and style satisfying both the sporty and luxury conventions of a car under AUD 40 - 45,000. The Human Machine Interface (HMI) is a full-colour display occupying the dashboard along with the other setting buttons are very smartly placed and gives undoubtedly an impression that this car was designed by someone who highly regarded the convenience factor and not just their provisions. The space provided in the car is like space. Yes, I mean this. The leg room, the head room, the boot space which can further be increased by folding the rear seats really spoils you. It also comes with a decent Sony cd-mp3 player enabling iPod connectivity. The dual-climate control, variable heat seats, one-touch powered windows, parking sensors feels like a justification for its price, doesn’t it?

This car carries the engine from Volvo which is also used in the Focus XR5. 217hp is delivered by this 2.5 litre twin-cam, 20-valve and five-cylinder turbo engine. So, since the same engine occupies Mondeos’ bonnet, you must be thinking that the zeal is all lost. Not entirely. Even though the car is 238kgs’ bigger, the torque has been upped to 320nm@1500-4800rpm. Hit the “Ford Power” ignition button and the car lights itself to life. Now, the question is how does this drive? Is it all show and no go?

It is undoubtedly less responsive and quicker than the Focus XR5. Thanks to the availability of torque at such low revs, over-taking is far from being an ordeal. It reaches 100ks’ in 7.3 seconds and drives up to 240ks. The grip is superb and the presence of seven airbags, good and reliable ABS and ESP system and the 5-star Euro NCAP crash test results urges you to push the car to its limit as you are confident that nothing shall happen to you.

Many did complain of the rearward vision of the car. And, I must agree as well. The spoiler blockades the vision. Since, the clutch is light enough I don’t think anyone would complain of Fords’ harsh decision to provide this edition with 6-speed manual gear box only.

The Mondeo XR5 shall cost AUD 41,990. For two-five thousand more, you would not want to buy the pointless Mazda 6 Sports Luxury hatch. You will be narked to learn that the Mazda 6 has the same engine as the Sports Luxury hatch. I can’t help but think, then why should I buy the expensive one? The only difference is the body kit and some sporty interior.

Engine, suspension and seats are the major differences between the XR5 and a standard Mondeo. So, it is kinda hard to settle that if the XR5 behaves well so should the Mondeo. But, picture this, the XR5 with its low-profile tires, sporty suspension is better and comfier than its rivals – Mazda 6 Sports Luxury Hatch and Honda Accord. That is simply unbelievable but true. Let me simply put it out - even a standard Mondeo is sharper and smoother that its’ rival the Mazda 6, which was conditionally comfy. It is better than the Camry which was comfy but the moment you took a turn there was some inexcusable body roll experienced; very soft suspension.

The only trouble we had with the standard Mondeo was its performance figures. Yes, you can change the temperature, the song on your CD and call using your phone with voice commands. But, the price tags begin from AUD 29,990 to 37,990 (diesel). The Mazda 6 costs almost 2 grand less. Mondeo runs for 10.5ks’/litre and the Mazda runs for 11ks’ despite being 158hp and 208nm that is 12hp and 18nm lesser than the Mazda 6. But, then it is to be reminded, the standard Mondeo is a 2.3litre unlike Mazdas’ 2.5litre. The car is clearly slower than the Mazda and its engine performance is comparatively sad.

May be it is time we conceive the “cheap and kinda worthy” factor. In this case, we would suggest buying the Mazda. But, what if you want to portray yourself as being radical and a smart buyer?

In such case, we would recommend the Mondeo. Why? You get much more goods to play with for just an extra grand. It is better looking, it is more comfy, it is sharper and it is cool as Bond’s been driving this, hasn’t he?

Now for the harsh truth – despite the small price difference and slightly bad performance, we still think Mondeo rules this segment of cars. Two impressive models!!!


Copyright © Ajey Padival 2008 (Brisbane, Australia; +61-434360675; ajeypadival@msn.com)

Images clicked at Geneva Motor Show 2007

14 responses:

Rikkij said...

I like the car! but then I'm only dreamin. You must really love cars to study them so and do such a good job on reviews. Later, Rick

Brosreview said...

@Rikkij - Thanks for reading. It is a very pleasing car, frankly.

Umm, yea I am very much into cars. It runs in the family where I have got relatives who are into the rally scene as drivers.

Brosreview are a group of 10 car enthusiasts scattered all around the globe. We collectively test cars and I, Ajey, put our thoughts on paper. So, you can call me the writer. We've been doing this since 3-4 years now.

But, it is quite difficult to gain recognition in this field. We applied to quite a few magazines but got rejected as they wouldn't accept us as a group. I, got an opportunity as an individual to review cars. But, since I was in a different country, I had to decline the offer.

Please feel free to check our older car reviews in this blog. We've been told that they are a great read (even for the ones who aren't interested in cars).

Thank you for appreciating the review Rick!!!

The Write Girl said...

Hey Brosreview,

Those are pretty sick cars! I like your blog. I will definitely check it out. Also, thanks for visiting my site. I appreciate it.

Take care

Brosreview said...

@The Write Girl - Sick? I am doubting that word usage. Ahem. Well, thanks for visiting my blog too.

A'Jay said...

Awe Bros my mate... must be a testostrone thing...but Im grinning cause you love it...x

Brosreview said...

@A'Jay - Haha. Thank you!!! x

Shadow said...

cool cars. you've done your homework...

now me. my eye's on the nissan 370z to be released later this year, cause if it's anything like my 350z it can only be great. and of course the nissan gt... but at a estimate of 1.3 million rand, i just don't think so!!!

but we've decided something else altogether. gonna pay off my 350z by october, then take her in and remove all the limitors and release some extra horsepower and carry on enjoying her. don't need new debt, she's just about mine anyway, and I LOVE HER to bits!

judith ellis said...

Nice! Really nice! We have a good family friend who is a SVP for Ford. I'll have to direct him here. He will enjoy this! I don't have any testostrone (I think :-)) and I love the words and pics! But then again, if this matters, I have seven brothers and probably came to love cars because of them.

John O'Leary said...

Woah, what eclecticism. Interesting blog. I'm out of my league on car talk tho. My first short was an old 56 VW bug with a tiny rear window. The next vehicle I owned was a 74 Pontiac Safari wagon that comfortably seated eight. (They were CHEAP in the late 70s!) I had mannequins propped up in the front seat when I drove alone so I could cruise in the car pool lanes in Connecticut.

Brosreview said...

@Shadow - Thank you. Oh yea, the 350Z is a good car. In terms of looks, I still prefer the 350Z over the 370Z.

But, I reckon, we'll be testing the 370Z sometime soon. I shall post the review once done.

Getting rid of the limiter and driving the 350Z will make you stick to her. My friend here has stripped it off and installed two turbo-chargers. And, the car is completely insane.

No doubt you love the car!!!

Brosreview said...

@Judith - Thank you. Oh yea, please, spread the word. Your friend will enjoy reading this one. I don't think you necessarily need to be a male to love cars. Having seven brothers in the family inevitably induces that interest and like for cars. That's for sure!!!

Brosreview said...

@John - Haha. Thanks for reading!!!

Walker said...

I'm old.
I fine the new cars so smooth and sleak.
Molded
The hAve the perfomace and the efficiency but lack character.
Just my opinion.
Like I said, I'm old but it does look a little like a 1949 Mercury

Brosreview said...

@Walker - I have been told the same by a few elderly ones. And, I think I will agree to a certain extent that cars today lack the character factor. So, you are not alone on this one.

Thanks for reading.