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What Ford is Doing Right in Europe, Lesson 12: The Mondeo Sedan, Hatchback, and Wagon.
While Ford’s big move–oh sorry, Bold Move–in America was reverting back from the Five Hundred to the Taurus name for it’s volume sedan, Ford of Europe is doing truly exciting things. We’ve all lusted over the Euro Focus for years, and have accepted that we may never get a compact car quite that nice. But now we don’t want the Fusion, either. The Mondeo–which goes on sale summer ’07 as a sedan, five-door hatchback, or wagon–is as gorgeous as it gets in the mid-size segment. Its interior is great, too, and features seven air bags, soft ambient lighting, keyless go, and a useful information screen centralized in the gauge cluster. Stability control and capless refueling are standard, and hill launch assist, adaptive cruise control, and eighteen-inch wheels are among the many appealing options.
Engines for the new Mondeo range from a small, efficient 1.8-liter diesel to a five cylinder gas unit rated at 200 horsepower. All engines will be available with the choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The driving experience should be similar to that of the award-winning S-Max from which it borrows much of its architecture, but the Mondeo also benefits from a lower center of gravity. It’s painful seeing such appealing products coming from Ford overseas, when the company is facing such strife here at home. There is hope though–the Mondeo is one of a number of products that Ford is considering for future U.S. sale. It seems to be working for Saturn, and from the looks of the Mondeo, it could work for Ford, too.