Ford Mondeo
Click to enlarge

The Ford Mondeo is now officially here in Malaysia, a CBU import directly from its production center in the land of fine chocolates, Belgium. There is only one model variant available for RM178,888 (OTR with insurance) and the following are the specifications:

  • 2.3 litre Duratec HE 161 PS at 6,500rpm, 208Nm at 4,200rpm
  • 6-speed automatic with manual shift control
  • 7 airbags including driver knee airbag
  • 8-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat
  • 5-Star Euro NCAP crash test rating
  • Steering wheel audio and cruise control
  • Ford EasyFuel – capless refuelling system
  • ABS brakes with EBD
  • Two ISOFIX mount points for the rear seats
  • 60:40 foldable rear seats to extend boot space
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • 3 year or 100,000km warranty

Ford Mondeo Interior
Click to enlarge

The Mondeo has a nice black interior with silver accents and red backlighting. The interior looks decidedly ‘younger’ than most of its rivals, it makes no attempt to drown you with wood or anything.

Note that in some of the photos after the jump you’ll see a big colour LCD in the instrumentation panel. Our Malaysian spec has a regular red and white multi-info LCD. The head-unit is an integrated 6-CD unit from Sony with MP3 capabilities. The gear lever uses the “proper” push to downshift and pull to upshift configuration for the manual shift controls.

mondeo-laser-brazing

The construction of the body also uses a technique called laser hotwire brazing, which Ford claims is a ‘first in segment’ application. This allows for a cleaner and seam-free method of joining the side and roof panels together. You can see the result in the photo above. There is no big gap between the area where the roof joins the side. Look at most cars and you’ll see a hollow channel there with rubber or plastic trim covering it.

Ford Mondeo Interior
Click to enlarge

This picture shows two things – first, the EasyFill fuel filler which does not require a fuel cap, first introduced in the production Ford GT. The filler fits snugly around the nozzle to prevent fumes from escaping while the car is being refilled, and since there is no fuel cap it eliminates the problem of drivers driving off without putting the cap back on.

The other thing is the fuel label – the Duratec HE engine in this Mondeo can take RON95. The engine’s torque output of 208Nm is on the low side for a modern engine – I would expect at least 220Nm from a 2.3 litre engine these days. The Duratec HE engine is similiar to the one in the Escape but does not have variable valve timing, but has a variable intake manifold.

ford-mondeo-rear

Nevertheless, many European mags are raving about this new Mondeo and some are even saying it beats the E90 when it comes to its drive. I am very very curious to find out if this is really the case. But in general European Ford cars have a reputation of great handling and drive feel as with the Focus that is already sold here. Ford plans to sell between 200 to 300 Mondeos a year in Malaysia.

Speaking of the Focus, a turbodiesel Focus TDCi with PowerShift twin clutch is due on our local shores in 2010. The Thai market already has this car. Also in store for us is the Ford S-Max and the Ford Fiesta – Ford seems to be really on a roll now, shifting its focus from a predominantly truck brand into a passenger car brand.

Look after the jump for more shots of the Mondeo.

[zenphotopress number=99 album=649]

[zenphotopress number=99 album=650]