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ford mondeo AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky
AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

Gather around, and hear the tale of an ancient form of transportation. It had four wheels, and four doors. We called it… the sedan.

Back in late March, Ford announced that the Ford Mondeo, the sedan of the world, will be discontinued as of 2022. The reason? Crossover vehicles are taking over.

So, let’s take a moment to remember another dearly departed sedan, the Ford Mondeo.

Ok, But What Is a Ford Mondeo?

The whole idea behind the Ford Mondeo (from the Latin “mundus,” meaning “world”) was that it would be the universal Ford vehicle. Unfortunately, the Mondeo name did not follow the model in its journeys around the world.

In Europe, drivers have enjoyed five generations of the Ford Mondeo. It’s been produced at Ford’s Valencia, Spain facility, and sold over 250,000 models in the fourth generation alone.

Over the years, the appearance has changed significantly, with the first two generations using the CDW27 platform, the third generation using Ford’s EUCD platform, and the fourth generation bringing in the CD4 platform.

In the United States, where rebadging is a way of life, these vehicles were known as the Ford Contour, the Mercury Mystique, and the Mercury Cougar.

Over the years, the name plate updated a bit, and finally the name “Ford Fusion” stuck just long enough for Ford to decide to phase out the Fusion lineup in North America in 2018.

Inside the Ford Mondeo

For those who have never experienced the Ford Mondeo, it’s actually a pretty cool car. Over the past four generations, the car reviews and accolades have been highly complimentary. In fact, the only real problem is that it’s a family car, instead of an SUV or crossover, since those models are currently taking over the world.

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Current models are essentially an all-new car. Drivers have a choice of body style, with an elegantly deluxe sedan that has recently had a major facelift, and a hatchback that’s somewhat reminiscent of the BMW 1-series. Maybe it’s the European influence in the styling, but both Mondeos have a refined, luxury look.

To combat nasty emissions, the European lineup features a choice between two powertrains: a Mondeo hybrid and a 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine. The hybrid includes a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle engine paired with a 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery. Both options offer superb fuel economy with lowered emissions, both of which Europe takes very seriously.

The new Ford Mondeo has all the fantastic bells and whistles that sell cars, too. This includes optional Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, adaptive cruise control, Intelligent Speed Limiter, and the Ford SYNC3 infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen and compatibility with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Mondeo model lineup includes the Titanium, ST-Line, and Mondeo Vignale, because European trim names just naturally sound cooler.

Despite all of these truly desirable features, Ford of Europe has discovered the same thing we discovered in the U.S. years ago: The appetite for a family car is waning. Even an AWD hybrid hatchback can’t distract from the draw of the mighty crossover.

So, What Does That Leave Us With?

If you’re looking for a hatchback, Ford of Europe has you covered. The Fiesta, Ford Focus, S-Max, and Galaxy are all alive and well. Even if they tiptoe the line between SUV styling and family car, the European Ford website refers to them as “cars.” Fair enough.

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The true SUVs in the European lineup are the Kuga, EcoSport, and Puma.

Comparatively, in the U.S., Ford’s only “car” option is the Mustang, as the 2020 Ford Fusion is slowly trickling out of the collective consciousness. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an SUV or crossover, you have the choice between the EcoSport, Escape, Bronco, Bronco Sport, Edge, Explorer, Expedition, or the new electric plug-in Mustang Mach-E.

Is the family car a thing of the past? Well, not yet, at least not in Europe. But, with the Ford Mondeo making its global exit, we’re certainly hastening to a world in which drivers have a choice of a crossover or a crossover. Long live the family car, and rest in peace, Ford Mondeo.

This post was originally published on May 11, 2021.

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