We know the family favourite Mondeo is great to drive, so a plusher, better equipped version should tick all the boxes. But does it?
You might think this Vignale model is little more than a very opulent Mondeo, but that would be to do this car something of a disservice. Ford has, after all, put in a lot of effort into bringing refinement up to full Luxury segment levels. Acoustic glass, double glazing and extra noise insulation all play their part here. So does an ‘Active Noise Cancellation’ system where microphones inside the cabin detect engine noise levels then transmit a nullifying counter-frequency through the upgraded speakers. It’s all very effective.
As for engines, well most users will want the 2. 0 TDCi 180PS diesel unit, the only Mondeo Vignale variant offered with the option of manual transmission and AWD. Most users will stick with the 6-speed PowerShift dual-clutch auto ‘box, a perfect partner for the torquey TDCi powerplant that delivers 58. 9mpg on the combined cycle and 124g/km of CO2 in this guise. Alternative powerplants include a 210PS 2. 0 TDCi Bi-turbo diesel and a 240PS 2. 0-litre EcoBoost petrol unit. Plus green-minded business buyers can also consider a Hybrid option with a combined 187PS output and the option of running for short distances on electric power only.
Ford bills the Vignale very much as a standalone model and justifies that with a package of subtle but significant exterior upgrades. Whether that’s quite enough to justify the premium being asked for this Mondeo variant is a call you’ll need to make yourself, but if you’re prepared to indulge in the details, you may find yourself admiring this car’s quietly opulent demeanour.
The whole interior’s apparently pieced together by six dedicated Vignale craftspeople and certainly feels quite special. The lovely smell of this plush ‘Tuxedo’ leather upholstery strikes you immediately, the hide laser-cut with a quilted finish that mimics the hexagonal design of the front grille.
Look around you and the classy touches continue. More premium leather wraps the instrument panel and the central armrest and even the door panels feature it, complete with the ‘Tuxedo’ quilted stitching. Other Vignale touches include special ambient lighting, a unique keyfob, a rear view camera and a 12-speaker SONY DAB stereo system you access via the central fascia 8-inch ‘SYNC 3’ infotainment screen, there to play its part in reducing button clutter and giving the cabin a cleaner, smarter feel.
Of course you could argue that much of the interior plushness could be duplicated on a German premium-badged compact executive model, if you were prepared to spend enough on it. What you couldn’t duplicate in a car like that though, is the experience that the Mondeo Vignale offers in the rear.
Quite simply, it’s much more spacious in the back. Three big adults across the back seat is a squash that’s only slightly improved if you opt for something mainstream. Here though, it’s no problem at all, with superb space for shoulders thanks to the class-leading width of the cabin.
On to bootspace, also more generous than you’d get in premium-branded German rivals. On the estate version, there’s an optional powered tailgate and it rises to reveal 500-litres of capacity – which curiously is actually 25-litres less than the four-door version can offer.
If you’re carrying something really bulky and need to push forward the 60:40-split rear seats, the station wagon bodystyle comes into its own, offering a total of 1,605-litres with the mini-spare fitted.
In every conceivable area where the Mondeo excels, the Vignale takes it to a higher level.
Will this car’s extra brightwork and bespoke cabin be enough to compensate for the lack of a premium bonnet badge? That’s your call of course, but if you’re secure enough in yourself to make it, then we think you might enjoy a Vignale. It’s a finer kind of Ford.