Ford want a slice of the luxury car market and their answer is Vignale.
The aim of Vignale models is to take refinement and comfort up a level, which is why Ford is marketing Vignale as more of a luxury sub-brand than a new trim level.
So what better model to build this new brand within the Ford brand on than the Mondeo. Ford claim each model is hand finished by dedicated craftsmen.
This week I am behind the wheel of the new Mondeo Vignale Hybrid. The Mondeo Vignale HEV is a self charging Hybrid and this week I found out just what it offers.
This is Ford’s first mainstream hybrid car.
So has it any street cred?
All in all it looks rather classy. There are many design additions from the Vignale front grille to the chrome side strips to distinguish it from a “normal” top spec Mondeo.
This new Mondeo Vignale HEV would look perfect parked in the VIP section of the best hotels. It looks very upmarket and has real presence.
What’s it like inside?
Climbing inside the well-appointed cabin shows Ford hasn’t cut any corners when it comes to execution.
From the laser-cut leather trimmed seats to the soft-touch instrument panel, there’s a greater sense of attention to detail than you’ll find in a standard Mondeo.
The cabin is huge, very roomy and nicely kitted out. Standard equipment is very comprehensive and too numerous to list here.
You also get a fabulous amount of really useful driver aids and other goodies including, 18 inch alloy wheels, Front fog lights, Dual Zone Climate Control, SYNC Gen 2 with 8” Touchscreen, Heated windscreen, Lane Keeping Aid, Traffic Sign Recognition, rear view camera, Automatic lights and wipers, Power-fold mirrors, Front and rear parking sensors, and keyless entry and start.
The driving position is perfect helped by the electric height adjustment for the drivers seat.
I am not so sure I like the quilted look to the standard leather upholstery.
What is under the bonnet?
The Mondeo Vignale Hybrid is powered by a 187 PS 2.0 litre petrol and two electric motors driven by batteries that are self charged by brake energy regeneration and the petrol engine itself.
Performance is good though the petrol engine can sound coarse at times.
You also loose a bit of boot space to the batteries. The auto gearbox is excellent. I drove the car as I wished, no holding back for efficiency and for example over 350 km the Mondeo Vignale HEV covered 127 km on electric power only which is excellent.
The car needs no plugging in it does it all itself. In a world where frankly the electric only car infrastructure is no where near good enough a self charging hybrid such as the Mondeo Vignale really is ideal. Over my weeks test the petrol engine burned 5.7 litres per 100km. Road tax is €180
Will I enjoy driving it?
The suspension soaks up all road imperfections with ease.
Handling is equally impressive. This big car is very stable in all road conditions and you really would have to drive in the extreme to unsettle the car.
So does the Mondeo Vignale HEV deliver on its promise of hand crafted luxury? In many ways yes.
As a hybrid it really does work and as its self charging there is no range anxiety.
Prices start at €32,745 for the HEV Titanium including government rebate, the Vignale as tested costs €35,420.