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Diesel Mondeo is still king of high mile club

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Diesel Mondeo

IT'S the economy, stupid.

Yes that famous quote from Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign has never been more relevant in the automotive world, but one wonders has it gone too far?

Some die-in-the-wool tree huggers – a potent sect of nutters, which it seems, Ian Mallon has just signed up to (see hybrid review) – would have you burned at the stake for even contemplating a mode of transport using an internal combustion engine.

Today the CO2 count is king and if one is not residing in Tax Band A one is nothing more than a common commoner.

But buyer beware as this whole emissions snobbery could very well turn into one royal pain in the backside.

 

Call it a conspiracy theory if you like but there is a maintenance timebomb ready to go off. It's been primed since mid-2008 and is sure to explode any time soon.

That costly little booby trap goes by the name of DPF or diesel particulate filter.

Now to the great unwashed – namely you and me – the DPF is the wondrous part in an oil burning engine that drives down emissions making in most cases diesel cars greener than their petrol equivalent.

 

TEMPERATURE

 

Basically this filter gathers the nasty soot caused by exhaust gas and stores it in a filter to be burned off later as the engine gets hotter.

Because they go hand-in-glove with stop/start, rush-hour commuters don't get the car to the optimum temperature and they clog.

Unfortunately a huge chunk of Irish motorists who don't do traditionally big miles opted for diesels because of the cheaper price tag and could be heading for trouble.

The AA in the UK is reporting a massive increase in DPF-related problems which if untreated can cause total breakdown.

A good 40-minute blast up the motorway at high revs generally does the trick, but because the technology is so new, only time will tell.

Thankfully petrol is the new diesel and becoming far more refined.

Ford's new award-winning 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine is a prime example and generates so much power, the turbocharged, three-cylinder 98bhp unit will take pride of place in the new Mondeo next year and still in Tax Band A.

Until then the uber efficient eco diesel is your only man.

The 1.6 litre Eco is the biggest seller, returning an astonishing 66mpg and CO2 count of 112g/km. We tested the more powerful 140ps 2.0l TDi which is no shrinking violet either.

The extra grunt had little or no bearing on the fuel consumption and because it spent most of the week on a motorway we averaged well over 50mpg. The comfort with the Titanium spec made the more mundane jaunts (one from Wicklow to Belfast) almost enjoyable.

The Mondeo range starts at €26,995.

• A couple of weeks ago we ran an article on Black Box technology. In it we incorrectly linked AXA with Crash Ingenium, the firm who supplied the device we tested. They use a different device. We are happy to clarify this.


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