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Just test drove a Mondeo ST220 & ST TDCI

Austineer Aug 29, 2005

  1. Austineer

    Austineer King of cabs ;) Audi A3 Audi Cabriolet Owner Group TDi


    After realising that I am need of a larger car I particularily wanted a hatchback rather than a larger saloon, so I decided to take a closer look at the Mondeo ST220 & ST TDCI. I test drove the both of them, of which they were both 9 months old had 9K on the clock and up for £15995. I thought I would write a review on my thoughts so hense the following:-



    Both cars a lovely blue and had the 18" multipsoke alloys which look great, the ST bodykit which also did look kind of good especialy for a ford. And a single stainless exhaust for the TDCI with the dual on the 220. Overall I thought a really nice looking car if you can look past the ford badge on the front.

    Internal:- Both cars had some nice subtle touches with the silver ford doors sils and the white dials with silver trim, a little silver trim around th gear stick etc. Pleasent enough but nothing of a wow factor.

    The seats although half leather & heated were just rubbish on the TDCI. They were sort of soft and comfy-ish but had no lateral support what so ever. They were just normal modeo seats with half leather.

    The 220 seats however were also heated but were full leather & fully electric recaro sport seats. The were extremely comfy and looked fantastic I must say. They are one of the nicest seats I have ever seen & sat in. I think they are the exact same ones in the new V8 S4. They were not quite as supportive as mine in lateral movement but I would take them anyday just for shear comfort.


    The car is fantasticaly practical in terms of leg room font and back with a giant boost space with a massive opening thanks to it being a hatch. About a foot longer and 3/4 foot wider then mine with a much higher roof line. Everything you would want from a family car.



    TDCI - Rubbish 1st gear which seemed to have no power what so ever. 2nd & 3rd had a great pull but would wheel spin quite easily because the front wheels just couldnt handle the torque at all. When it was up and running on a long straight it flew pretty well. 50 - 80 I reackon that it would easily give my car a good challange. However off the mark mine would just pull away easily due to the rubbish 1st gear **** traction and massive lag. Great power for overtaking on motor way but not very crisp for around town.

    220- Traction seemed far better. Though this no doubt was to due with the lower torque compared to the TDCI. The car still would wheel spin in 1st and second, though it wasnt too bad. Off the mark I must say that i was very disappointed with it. 0-30 felt like it took a week. It was faster that the TDCI but no where near as crisp or as quick as mine. This really supprised me. When running over 3-4000 rpm it had a nice bit of grunt. Silky smooth and refined much more pleasent that my turbo. Though again to my supprise it didnt have the pull (lacking in torque) that mine has. It was a fairly qucik car but I honestly thought it would have been a major contender or even faster (especially when rolling) against mine for outline speed, it just wasnt. It had a great noise which was matched by perefctly smooth and nice crisp 6 speed gearbox but lacked any wow factor. I think the TDCI was quicker from 50-80. I took her (220) upto 120 (private road of course) and it felt flat at a 100+ of which mine feels so much stronger at this speed, again to my supprise.


    I was really impressed with the TDCI's brakes they were realy sharp though lacked a little feel. More of an all or nothing type approach. The brakes on the 220 seemed to have a tiny touch more fee but didnt seem as sharp. I am not sure whether the brakes ares supposed to be the same but they did feel different. However braking overall was very impressive.


    I must admit that the last three cars I have driven before these two are mine, an E46 M3 & a E39 M5. This didnt help at all for me as the both cars seemed just rubbish in the handling department.

    I have driven a mondeo 1.8LX before and the TDCI was no better. Infact in some senses it was worse. The torque steer was frightening. Whilst gunning it round twisting streets the steering wheel was just fighting me all the time in every direction, mostly the opposite to which I wanted to turn it. The steering was way too light and overservo'ed and the body roll was abismal.

    Mine is a very stiff car but this must have been dropping 2-3 inches per side above what mine would do round the same corners. It just felt like a big unstable sofa. This car really did feel big when cornering. No fun and bloody dangerous if you wanted to get somewhere fast. When you did manage to get the thing (wheels) pointed in the direction you wanted to go and fought off the torque steer the thing understeered like mad to through another spanner in the works.

    The 220 was slightly better but I think this was mainly down to the fact that there is no where near as much torque steer compared to the TDCI. Other than that pretty much everything as stated with the TDCI goes. Its just a rubbish handling car. A sportyish hatchback then maybe. But still more of a sport cruiser. My car is quicker and I can hit most corners and great speed with the confidence that the car goes where I point the wheel, with the two mondeo's I never once had this same reasuring feeling and was quite frightend in trying to match the speeds around the corners that I would easily do in mine.


    Well I looked at the ST220 becasue it was suppose to be the best large sports hatchback in its class. I did really want to love this car and buy one as even though its a ford, it seemed on paper to have everything I wanted. A quick, large hatchbach that looked good. The ST TDCI I took just because i was thinking about the economy of the diesel for the same car.

    For me I would have choosen the ST220 out of the two. The car looked great outside (despite the badge) and had great seats with all the electrics you could ever want. Practical, supprisingly refined and comfortable. If it wasnt for the abismal handling I would have started to look at buying one today. However although I really could do with a bigger car I just dont think that I can compromise on the difference of handling from that to mine. I am thinking of just keeping mine and struggling on with the space issue. I just have to decide whats the most important, practicality or fun. So not just an easy solution after all, what a bugger.
  2. tdci + chip + suspention change = much better car /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
  3. marctwo

    marctwo Member

  4. technics100

    technics100 Active Member

    My brother has a ST220 and I have a 1.9 Tdi 130bhp with 2 tuning boxes in it, From rolling starts he can only get 1-2 car lengths to 120mph...He generally likes the car but can get 20ish mpg with his style of driving..
  5. RichA3Turbo

    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

    Remember the ST220 is normally aspirated....so wont have the torque that the 1.8T does...Even with the same power!

  6. mikeA2B

    mikeA2B Member

    I Nearly bought an ST TDCI but swayed to the Audi A4 2.5 V6 TDI, thank ****! the resale value is sad.

    And I think of this every time I blow them at traffic lights!!

    Nice lookin car tho!
  7. maxlbrown

    maxlbrown Deep Blue

    I had a brand new 1.8 zetec for a week
    Awful car the st are suppossed to be best in class. well its not the same class as either an audi or BMW

    My thoughts
    Traction was scary though good fun for destroying tires Lots of smoke and burning smells. Urm wheres the traction control ? It was fitted.

    the power gave up at 80 bit scary overtaking on the M4 really had to think about it

    Interior finish was cheap and sparse compared to better quality cars. I would be a bit miffed if i had spent good money on it.

    Best bits

    Boot was a reasonable size

    Gear change was nice and the brakes where good probably to good given the traction problem.

    Handling was mediocre at best.

    Stick with Audi or BMW

    the diesels still sound like a tractor when idleling even the new ones. the french now have better diesels than ford.

    the VW engine is still one of the best if you must have a diesel.


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