Ford targets premium buyers with their luxury trim level, writes Suzanne Keane
What is it? The eagerly awaited new Ford Mondeo arrived on our shores late in 2014 and the “Vignale” model is intended to attract drivers looking for a little more luxury and exclusivity – the Mondeo Vignale will only be available at specialist Ford Stores (4 in Ireland) and comes with lifetime collection and delivery for servicing requirements.
Styling? The new Vignale keeps all the styling features that make the Mondeo a great looking car with a few additional touches on the outside – but at this premium level the choice is between a saloon or estate version with the hatchback being dumped.
Under the Bonnet? Our test car was powered by a 2.0L 180bhp diesel engine which will consume 4.5l/100km and cost just €200/year on road tax.
What about inside? Inside the cabin is where the Vignale trim changes can really be seen – hand stitched leather seats are a Vignale exclusive along with an 8” touchscreen and Active noise control. The leather wrapped dashboard does add to the luxurious feel but the model tested was a Saloon version which actually made the cavernous boot space a little awkward to use – unless you only travel with carry-on luggage it could get annoying!
On the Road? Thankfully the suspension set up in the Vignale Mondeo is just as impressive as it is in the standard version – once you’re behind the wheel it’s hard to tell the difference apart from the extra 30bhp. Like a standard Mondeo the Vignale is surprisingly agile for its size. Adjustments to the suspension have really improved driving dynamics and on windy roads it feels sporty without being harsh – this is due to the use of Integral Link Suspension which retains lateral stiffness to enhance steering and handling at higher speeds while reducing the impact of bumps inside the cabin because the rear wheels move backwards on impact and for a little more kerb appeal this model comes with 18 or 19” Vignale exclusive alloys.
And Safety? The Vignale is available with all the usual Mondeo safety systems such as inflatable rear seatbelts, Adaptive LED headlamps improve night driving by adjusting to suit the driving environment depending on speed, light conditions, steering, distance from vehicle in front and wiper speed.
Options? The engine choice for the Vignale includes 2 petrol options – both 2L Ecoboost and in 180 and 240PS. There will also be 2 diesel engine options in both 180 and 210 PS (both 2L). Standard features include Sync Gen 2 with 8” Touchscreen, Keyless Entry & Start, Full leather Trim, 18” Alloy Wheels, Leather Wrapped Dash, Rear-View Camera, Auto Lights/Wipers, Lane Keeping Aid & Traffic Sign Recognition and Cruise Control. The test car was also fitted with Inflatable Rear Seat Belts , Active City Stop, Blind Spot Monitoring, Satellite Navigation and 19” Polished Alloy Wheels.
Will it break the bank? Prices start from €43,900. Automatic versions will cost €2,000 more and an additional €3,000 will get you an All-Wheel Drive version. The model tested cost €46,585.
Verdict? A quick glimpse at the brochure highlights that with the Vignale Ford are selling a lifestyle rather than just a car. The Mondeo may be the best handling car in its class and the Vignale does offer a more luxurious experience – however you may spend your time explaining why it’s not just another Mondeo.
Why you’ll buy one? Handling; Styling; Service
Why you won’t? It looks just like a Mondeo; Premium Price
Peugeot 508 RXH
Ford Mondeo Vignale 2.0 Duratec 180PS
Engine: 2.0TDCi, 180PS @3,500 400NM @2,000
Max speed: 225 km/h
0-100 kph: 8.3 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 117 g/km (€200)
Model price range: €43,900 (Model tested €46,585)
No of Doors: 4 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.5l/100km
Boot Capacity Seats up (down): 429l (with full size spare)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
Wheelbase: 2850 mm
16th March, 2016