Friday 20 April 2018

Ford Mondeo Vignale: 'What do you buy if you have €43,900 burning a hole in your pocket?'

Ford Mondeo Vignale
Ford Mondeo Vignale

Geoff Frazer

What do you do if you’re in the market for a luxury salon and have €43,900 burning a hole in your pocket?

In the past you’d have been straight down to your local Audi or BMW dealer, no doubt, but now Ford is giving you another option, with an executive car offering a high level of luxury and comfort and an equipment list as long as a supermodel’s inside leg measurement.

This posh Mondeo is absolutely packed with kit – an infotainment system with an eight-inch display, Bluetooth, rear view camera, leather-wrapped dash, keyless entry and start, automatic wipers and lights, traffic sign recognition and an impressive Sony sound system all come as standard.

The cabin is definitely a very relaxing and luxurious place to be. The laser-cut leather seats are particularly impressive, but rather surprisingly some of the other materials are of the hard scratchy plastic variety.

In the back there is more than enough room for two large adults, but like every other Mondeo the transmission tunnel does intrude into the cabin. On the outside, the car is different from the rest of the range, with loads of extra chrome trim and Vignale badges.

With its trademark hexagonal grille it definitely looks classier than a normal Mondeo, and when it was parked in Dublin it drew a surprising number of admiring glances from passers-by.

The model we tested had the 2.0 litre TDCi 180PS engine which was smooth enough but not overly quick.

On the move it’s simply a Mondeo, which means it handles and rides well, corners securely and is comfortable on all but the most uneven of surfaces.

Ford is marketing the Vignale as more of a luxury sub-brand than a new trim level. Buy one and you’ll get personal customer and account managers. Pull in at one of the Vignale showrooms and you’ll probably get a fancy pastry with your coffee.

It is a good car, no doubt about it, and will definitely impress many loyal Ford buyers.

However, at the end of the day, most drivers will feel that at this money it lacks the overall quality of an Audi or BMW – and that is something that no amount of extra chrome will change.

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