1.6 TDCI 115 ECOnetic Titanium X Hatchback
car drivers are finally
waking up to the fact that the cleaner
the tailpipe emissions of their
company cars, the less personal
Benefit-in-Kind tax they pay.
But many are still unaware that BIK
tax goes up again next April...
BIK HAS BECOME THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE for business user-choosers: as the
worsening economic climate puts more pressure on family budgets, this in turn
is forcing company car drivers to move into less taxing cars.
Ford, with over 90% of their new Mondeos going to fleets and business user-choosers,
has responded with the introduction of two lower CO2 emission powerplants to
the popular five-door hatchback and estate range.
With auto stop-start as standard, the two new engines are the 1.6-litre 160
Ecoboost petrol unit (149g/km of CO2 emissions, BIK rate of 19%, and annual
road tax of £130) and the future best-selling 1.6 TDCI 115 ECOnetic turbodiesel
with CO2 emissions of just 114g/km (13% BIK and First Year road tax of £0, rising
to just £30 per annum for the second year onwards). This diesel unit means Mondeo
Man can now drive a larger car for the same taxation costs as a new diesel Focus
or even a diesel Fiesta.
the first eight months of 2011, private sales slumped by 16.3%. But fleet sales
have risen by 3.3% and now account for 52.9% of all new cars registered in the
The five-door, five-
seater Mondeo hatchback
with the 1.6 TDCI
114bhp turbodiesel and
Titanium X trim costs a
and reflects the current
sales situation where
fleet managers are
choosing higher grade
cars for their drivers as a
perk to offset downsizing
to a smaller engine.
As the old saying has it:
its a good deal when all
In the upper-medium sector, Vauxhall's Insignia is the clear market leader having
notched up 31,000 registrations from January to the end of August but the trusty
Mondeo is still more or less holding its own with 16% of sales in this sector.
While some new cars users have downsized to reduce their tax liabilities and
to improve fuel economy, others cannot for a variety of reasons
needing a larger car to carry passengers or they just like the extra space and
comfort, especially if they are high-mileage company car drivers.
They may also like the higher levels of equipment associated with big cars although
smaller cars are increasingly being fitted with high-tech driving aids to make
downsizing less painful.
I have just had an extended spell behind the wheel of the well-specced five-door,
five-seater Mondeo Titanium X hatchback running the 1.6 TDCI 115 (114bhp) turbodiesel
The price of this model is a competitive £24,295 and it reflects the current
sales situation where fleet managers are choosing higher grade cars for their
drivers as a perk to offset downsizing to a smaller engine. As the old saying
has it: it's a good deal when all parties benefit.
Residual values for higher grade models fitted with lower emissions are also
better because when these models enter the used-car market, demand from retail
customers is expected to be strong. Higher residual values also mean lower lease
and contract hire rates so that too is good news.
Seventy-two percent of Mondeo customers choose the five-door hatchback models
(£17,705-£27,855) over the cavernous estates, which also have the new 1.6-litre
engines. Estate prices start at £18,995 and top out at £27,800.
Because it is so well known I'm not going to dwell on the core appeal of the
Mondeo suffice to say that it offers a very roomy interior, is
great to drive, comfortable, has loads of standard equipment and it now looks
Titanium X spec is a company car user's dream, providing all the features to
make a working week less stressful behind the wheel. For a start, you get an
upgraded interior with leather upholstery, two-way electrically-adjustable front
seats, power windows and door mirrors, AirCon with climate control, heated/cooled
front seats, Quickclear front windscreen, parking sensors (front and rear),
advanced Bluetooth with voice recognition, cruise control with speed limiter,
auto headlights and wipers, DAB radio and multi-speaker sound system, on-board
information computer, electronic stability programme and an intelligent protection
system operating a comprehensive array of airbags.
addition there are a number of extra-cost options and option packs including
touchscreen navigation and driver assistance features such as blind-spot alert
and lane departure warning.
Whilst the performance
is never going to excite,
the fuel economy
showed more promise:
the average 48.6mpg
during my various test
motorways, A and B roads and the usual and unavoidable stop-start town
traffic is not to be sneezed at.
Plus theres the potential
to cover over 1,000
miles on a single tank
Comfort and convenience functions aside, the heart of owning or running this
Mondeo is all about its frugal and less financially taxing engine.
With 114bhp and 199lb ft of torque coupled with the high gearing, performance
is best described as 'functional'. And with a six-speed manual gearbox, pulling
away from walking pace in second gear
for instance, a rolling move away from a roundabout
Constant gearchanging is called for to keep the engine in its optimum power
band on winding roads or to pass slower traffic. However, once at cruising speeds
on major open roads or motorways, the performance is fine and relatively quiet.
Whilst the performance is never going to excite, the fuel economy showed more
promise: an average 48.6mpg covering motorways, A and B roads and the usual
and unavoidable stop-start town traffic.
This figure is nowhere near the official Combined Cycle 65.6mpg which, as most
people now know, the industry obtains in rolling-road laboratory conditions.
However, another figure
114g/km of CO2
is a definite upside: £0 road tax in the first year followed by £30 per annum
for the second year onwards. And the icing on the cake for company car drivers
a very low BIK tax penalty of just 13%.
Against? Sluggish acceleration, especially from low speeds. And while the real-life
fuel economy does not match the official figures, it's
still impressive for a car of this size and spec.
On the plus side, this ECOnetic Mondeo is effectively the 'Little and Large'
of the new car market: low tax, large comfortable interior space and a huge
boot (540 litres) plus the potential to cover over 1,000 miles on a single tank
Ford Mondeo 1.6 TDCI 115 ECOnetic Titanium X Hatchback |
Maximum speed: 112mph | 0-62mph: 11.5 seconds | Overall Test MPG:
Power: 114bhp | Torque: 199lb ft | CO2 114g/km