The Mondeo, Passat and other models in the volume midsize segment have struggled recently because of the growing popularity of similar-sized models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Volume automakers are forecast to sell less than 500,000 midsize vehicles in western Europe this year, down from more than 800,000 in 2011, according to analysts at IHS Automotive.
However analysts say overall demand from fleets is expected to rise in Europe, which could give the Mondeo a boost. IHS estimates the Mondeo’s European volume could reach 100,000 next year, up from 44,992 in 2013.
A key addition is the Mondeo’s new higher powered 2.0-liter diesel. The addition of 10 hp, taking the engine to 210 hp, helps the Mondeo better compete against the Passat’s 2.0-liter 240-hp diesel as well as against premium rivals. Ford said the new diesel is built by its engine partner, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, at the French automaker’s plant in Herimoncourt, France. Ford will be the first to use the powerplant. Two single-turbo 2.0-liter diesels will also be offered.
Other new technology in the Mondeo includes the company’s Sync2 connectivity package, which features an 8-inch touchscreen mounted in the dash. The extra is standard on Titanium trim models and the hybrid Mondeo sold in Germany. Inflatable rear seat belts also will be available on the car, as will massaging seats and a heated steering wheel. According to Ford, wind noise in the cabin “is reduced to levels previously only experienced in the premium segment.”
With its new Vignale trim line, Ford hopes that the option of getting higher quality interiors and other perks will boost the Mondeo’s appeal with customers wanting a more premium look and feel.