2015 Ford Mondeo Vignale – What Autocar Says

It’s faint praise time for Ford again. Autocar have tested the Vignale version and came to a predictable conclusion. Yes, they like it but they still think you should buy a BMW 5 instead. Auto Express take an even harder line.

2015 Ford Mondeo Vignale
2015 Ford Mondeo Vignale

You can read the entire Autocar article yourself by clicking on the link above. What struck me was that the Vignale is clearly the Ghia X for our times. The key mistake they have made with this car is that it is lacking a distinctive, mechanical difference from the Titanium spec models that sit below it in the model hierarchy. I would dearly have liked this car to come with a V6 and not just the 2.0 litre petrol and diesel units offered, the very same devices found in the considerably cheaper models in the Mondeo range.

On the plus side, the car does look very appealing, inside and out. Where Ford have tried to make a difference is in the colour and trim selections and in the dealership experience. The upholstery is rather lavish, there are lots of toys and if the car needs a service someone will come and get the vehicle for you.

Another one for Myles Gorfe? The Ford Granada Ghia X aimed at the same market as the Vignale does now.
Another one for Myles Gorfe? The Ford Granada Ghia X aimed at the same market as the Vignale does now.

This is what Autocar say “Refinement is excellent. Road noise is reduced anyway thanks to the enclosed cabin inherent to the saloon body, and this was always one of the most refined four-cylinder diesels in this class, but the Vignale is BMW 5 Series and Audi A6-style quiet, with very little wind and engine noise and only a distant burr of tyre noise even at high speeds.”

Auto Express explain part of the rationale for the Vignale here: “As crazy as the idea of a £31,295 Mondeo may sound, dig a little deeper and the notion isn’t as wild as it would first appear. A huge proportion of Ford’s larger models – think Kuga, S-MAX and Mondeo – are purchased in their range-topping trim. The Blue Oval even introduced a new flagship Titanium X Sport trim on the Kuga because of customer demand, so evidently there are buyers out there who have a taste for something more premium with a Ford badge on the nose.”

The fly in the ointment is the quantitative factor. For the same money, Autocar reminds you that it is possible to buy a well-specced BMW 520d. This is where I feel that Autocar undersells the Mondeo. A mid-range BMW 520d is a very ordinary sort of car. Every corporate car park is full of them in black, silver and black. Anyone who can afford the Ford is getting a car they probably won’t lose in the car park and which looks to me like it has a real feel-good vibe to it.

Yes, the car uses some of the same interior bits made to suit the lower price point of bog-standard models. But only the most annoying kind of person will be troubled by this. At a qualitative level, the Vignale is smooth, refined, dynamically capable and unusual. While the ordinary Mondeos the Vignale is based on are not really capturing my imagination, this car does have something cheerful about it, which I commend. If you liked the Jaguar X-Type, then this car has much of the same emotional appeal. I know some of my colleagues here will be choking on their coffee and tea….

You can see a short film about the car here.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

10 thoughts on “2015 Ford Mondeo Vignale – What Autocar Says”

  1. Old Father Time has been especially kind to those late-era pre-Scorpio Granada’s, hasn’t it? That one looks especially fine in black. I read the same Autocar piece and concluded a similar bias. But while I have little doubt the Ford would be a nice place to while away the miles (or should that be Myles?), I would find myself unable to countenance the slab-sided appearance of the thing. Nevertheless, in a couple of years time, once the savage depreciation has kicked in, the Vignale would make an excellent used buy – assuming anyone buys one in the first place.

    I can also attest to the fact that a bog standard 520d is very much vin ordinarie to drive, having had frequent use of an E60 derivative. Nothing wrong with it, but absolutely nothing to hang your hat on either…

  2. This will make a lovely second hand buy for someone one day … I agree with you Richard, it at least needs a V6, or some other unique drivetrain to give it a chance. I suspect that the whole Vignale “experience” thing will have withered within a couple of years, especially if they don’t sell many. This will leave buyers further disaffected that the ownership promised by Ford will be undermined. I wish them well, because I like the Mondeo in particular, but I fear this is a doomed venture.

  3. I guess the Vignale has got AWD as distinctive mechanical feature.

    That being said, while I like the appearance of the ordinary Mondeo, the Vignale looks wrong to my eyes. The lines in the sideview don’t add up, the chrome bottom feature line does look like some cheap aftermarket trim as do the ridiculously huge surroundings of the pseudo-daytime running light housings at the front. For me it looks a bit vulgar altogether.

  4. I also feel a V6 should be offered. Even if you don’t choose it, it seems to make the point that it is an upper market car. I was very fond of my Mark 1 Mondeo V6, although since I deliberately looked for a rare non-Ghia version, I probably don’t have the Vignale buyer’s mindset. Regarding reviews, it must be hugely dispiriting for the team that build cars like the Mondeo to read a list of pluses in a car’s favour, then have it tailed with ‘but we’d still choose a 520 for better residuals’. Journalists will defend themselves by saying they’re only telling us how it is, but in doing so they reinforce the situation. A Martian would look at a Mondeo, an A6 and a 520 and see no hierarchy at all but the pecking order of the front driveway and the workplace car park dictates otherwise.

    There’s nothing like a chart to show up scary sales falls, so here is the one where I have added Mondeo and Insignia sales to the mid-size premium cars we featured the other day. Insignia is at least mixing it with the German Big Three, but Mondeo’s horrific descent looks set to pass the XF on the way up at the present rate.

  5. I’m sure it’s a more than decent vehicle to travel long distance in comfort, but I find it hard to warm up to it. Probably because there’s nothing particularly endearing about the current Mondeo, unlike the Insignia.

  6. Daniel: yes, it is slightly vulgar but I find that appealing. It’s like a British tweed coat where the colours clash a bit. Too much of that is tiring but in small quantities it can be fun. I also like a bit of deadly austerity too so in the same moment I can admire a late 90s Audi A6 and also a full-on Ghia X Ford.
    All-wheel drive is a mechanical difference, yes, however do you not think drivers want something more obvious? The Ford Fusion comes with some fat engines so it should not have been too difficult to make a V6 available, especially after waiting three years to synchronise the US and EU models.
    I hope Ford succeed with this anyway as it’s a bit of choice and colour.
    The journalists’ critique about residuals is a self-fulfilling prophecy by now, as Sean says. I wonder if the price guides are now not market reporting but market-shaping.

    1. Speaking of colour, have they already said what’s on offer?

  7. Maybe a very good and exclusively equipped Ford will find some customers – selling cars at he highest end of the price range is always a good deal for a car company.
    But – i cannot imagine my local Ford-Dealer solving Smartphone-problems or explaining leather qualities while sitting in a stylish showroom…

    The most interesting points of the Mondeo Vignale are the Active Noise Cancellation – this could be a really strong point for comfort-junkies. And of course the interieur styling – i hope they will have some more options of the leather-steppings than these “universal-car-seat-heater-style-steppings”….

  8. That made me giggle. You have put your finger on what they reminded me of.
    This concept depends on the soft factors: can Ford run an enclave within the dealer network where the sales-staff have have a different attitude. It’s one thing to train the sales-floor staff but asking the mechanics to differentiate between Ka customers and Vignale customers will be a tall order. I know how to do it, if Ford is interested though not for the UK market.

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