After much discussion and speculation, and not to mention debate in our forums, Sime Darby Auto Connexion has finally launched the Ford Mondeo for Malaysia. Currently Ford’s leading model for our market, the Mondeo is the fifth model launched by SDAC this year following refreshed versions of the Focus, Ranger, Escape, and Everest.
“We are delighted to introduce the new Mondeo in Malaysia to provide an attractive option for discerning motorists looking for a large family sedan. The Mondeo is acclaimed for its driving dynamics, safety performance, and interior package,” said Auto Connexion Managing Director, Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman.
Driving the Mondeo is Ford’s 2,261cc Duratec HE inline-4 engine. The 16-valve all-aluminium powerplant produces 159hp @ 6,500rpm and 208Nm @ 4,000rpm. Hardly ground-breaking figures, but the Mondeo does have a trump card in having the only 6-speed automatic transmission in its price segment.
As per any car with dynamic orientations, disc brakes are standard all-round, as are independent suspension. The front wheels are held in place by MacPherson struts, while the rear gets the trademark Ford Control Blade multi-link suspension.
In line with the design language sported by recent Fords, the Mondeo is penned with bold design lines dubbed the Kinetic design language by Ford. Characteristic features of this look include the signature lower trapezoidal grille and swept-back headlamps giving an unmistakable family resemblance with the Focus.
If you paid close attention to the Mondeo’s pictures, particularly on the roof section, you would notice that the rubber lining that usually runs along the flanks of the roof are conspicuously absent. These linings are usually used to cover spot welds of the roof panel to the chassis, and in the Mondeo’s case, Ford uses a technique called ‘laser brazing’ which joins the panels in a more aesthetically pleasing way.
Standard features on board the Mondeo include auto cruise, steering mounted audio controls, and parking sensors situated front and rear. Installation of the rear sensors are particularly neat, being integrated to the unpainted diffuser, giving the rear a clean look. A notable feature included in the Mondeo is Ford’s Easyfuel capless refueling system, which actually incorporates a built-in mechanism to prevent inadvertent filling of the wrong type of fuel.
In the aspect of safety, potential customers of the Mondeo would be happy to know that the car is rated 5 stars by Euro NCAP. In the event of an unfortunate accident, seven airbags stand ready to deploy to cushion occupants from harm. Adding to the protection is that the steering column and pedals are also designed to collapse away from the driver, minimizing his/her potential injuries.
Driving electronics come in the form of Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). Also, when sudden and heavy braking is detected, the hazard warning lights flash immediately, alerting cars closing in from behind.
Overseas reviews quoted by Ford rate the Mondeo as comparable in terms of dynamics and quality to German offerings such as the BMW 3-series, and Mercedes C-class. Viewed in that light, and also the fact that the Mondeo is fully imported from Belgium, SDAC’s asking price just shy of RM180k makes for fantastic value.
Unfortunately for Ford, most average folk on the streets, and this includes our forummers, compare the Mondeo against Japanese D-segment competitors, most of which do not stray far beyond the RM170k mark. Judging from comments in our forums, SDAC certainly have their work cut out for them.
Depending on which angle you view it from, the Mondeo is either a major rip-off, or a fantastic bargain. Until we get the chance to put it on the road, this is an argument which we will leave it to you, the readers, to decide.
More to come…
At the launch of the Mondeo at KL Hilton earlier today, SDAC confirmed plans of bringing in the S-Max MPV and Fiesta next year. Also in the pipeline is the diesel-powered Focus TDCi, while new versions of the Ranger, Everest, and Escape are also set for introduction.
The Mondeo goes on sale immediately with the following OTR prices inclusive of insurance:
– Peninsula: RM 178,888.00
– East Malaysia: RM 180,870.70