Ford Mondeo Vignale 2.0 TDCI 180 Powershift Estate
The idea of a premium Ford Mondeo costing over £30,000 and bringing in new company car buyers to the brand wasn’t universally welcomed at launch last year. But the plan appears to have worked, with 650 Mondeo Vignales finding homes across the UK.
Well, Business Car Manager is lucky enough to get the opportunity to check out what these new buyers can experience, as we’ve now added a Ford Mondeo Vignale 2.0 TDCI 180 Powershift Estate to our long-term fleet.
To get the full Vignale buying experience, I picked up our car from the local Ford Store that sells Vignale models – Gates of Stevenage.
During a full and thorough handover, Oliver Hunt and Greg Albone from the Vignale sales team were able to give me some background on the sales made so far.
Greg told me that Vignale buyers are mainly from other brands and one SME he dealt with was with Volvo beforehand. Another had multiple car brands as they are ‘car people’. Greg explains, “he has a Bentley and a Porsche, but he says that he drives the Mondeo more, as it’s got all the latest technology on it, which you lose out on with other models.”
“There are no options with the Vignale, it all comes as standard! It’s a simple package and in a way it gives you the flashy build quality that you want out of a car, but without being too much in your face. It’s understated and that’s what we’re finding is attracting company car buyers at the moment.”
Vignale if anything, is getting us into those areas where other people are going to see the cars and think crikey that’s really good
Greg goes on to tell me another example of how the Mondeo Vignale proved to be a perfect fit for an SME.
“A small building business we work with, wanted to be able to turn up on site in something respectable. At the same time, like a lot of other small businesses, they wanted a balance between having a nice car and one not too flashy.
“This buyer was not a Ford owner beforehand, but he said to me the other week it opened his eyes to what Ford have to offer now – it’s not the same as it was many years ago. We gave him an Edge while his Mondeo was in for servicing and he was really impressed with it. Vignale if anything, is getting us into those areas where other people are going to see the cars and think crikey that’s really good.”
So the future is bright for the company driver, but is likely to get even brighter when more Vignale versions join the range.
“I think when we get the Vignale version of the Edge, it’s going to change perceptions of the brand even more than the S-Max and Mondeo models have. We already have people coming in looking at the Edge that are also considering the Range Rover Sport.
The aim of the Vignale sub brand is to take comfort and refinement up a notch and after a couple of long drives, I think they’ve succeeded
“Vignale creates a real desire within the brand that’s not been there before and those that buy, want and appreciate that personal service and the personal touch.”
So, back to our Mondeo Vignale and after a month behind the wheel, how am I getting on? The aim of the Vignale sub brand is to take comfort and refinement up a notch and after a couple of long drives, I think they’ve succeeded.
One of the most memorable drives, was a family trip to see the in-laws in Cambridge, where at the end of the hour’s drive, with the stereo off, my previously arguing children and tired wife were sound asleep when we arrived.
I’ve never had that in a car before! Part of this was down to tiredness, but I reckon I’ve also got to thank the Ford engineers’ obsession with refinement, for my peaceful drive!
The acoustic glass definitely reduces wind noise and although it’s so subtle, I’ve not consciously monitored it, the clever Active Noise Cancellation system is obviously doing its bit to reduce the typical diesel thrum from that 2.0-litre TDCi engine. Although my favourite interior feature are those super comfy, super supportive, super luxurious, quilted leather heated and cooling front seats.
Other Mondeo Vignale niceties that get a thumbs up from me, include the latest SYNC 3 infotainment system, with its easy to operate touch screen and the punchy Sony sound system.
Being the estate version of the Mondeo, practicality is its middle name and that massive 525-litre boot has proved to be particularly welcome with my family!
All this refinement works well with the 180PS 2.0-litre TDCi engine and Powershift six-speed automatic transmission. Speed builds quickly, with the gearbox making swift, smooth changes. It is good on diesel too, with a 53.3mpg combined figure and just 119g/km emissions equalling a 25% charge.
The Mondeo is no sports car, but with precise, responsive steering, plus fluid, composed handling and a comfortable ride even on the standard 18-inch alloys, no drive is ever dull. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this Mondeo will deal with the coming winter months.
Ford Mondeo Vignale 2.0 TDCI 180 Powershift Estate – the figures
|Doors and body style||Five-door estate|
|Engine/gearbox:||2.0-litre four-cylinder Euro 6 turbo diesel/Six-speed automatic|
|Company Car Tax at 20% yearly/monthly:||£1,628/£136|
|Company Car Tax at 40% yearly/monthly:||£3,256/£271|