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New fab Mondeo Estate is something to sing about 

THE arrival of my Ford Mondeo Estate test car coincided with a trip I had planned that weekend.

And although it was just a short distance from my home it took me along some fabulous roads for putting cars through their paces.

That’s not just my opinion but one shared by one of Scotland’s famous racing drivers – three-times World Formula One champion Jackie Stewart.

While working with Ford he was often up in Perthshire driving on the roads around Gleneagles Hotel.

I was fortunate enough to get some first-hand driving experience from Jackie and that included being chauffeured by him as he displayed his skills on Knockhill Racing Circuit and then tutored me from the passenger seat when I took the steering wheel.

That was back in the mid-eighties when we were sampling various Ford Sierras on track and road.

There was no Knockhill visit for me on this occasion as I drove to my destination in the small village of St Fillans.

But the excellent winding roads down in the Glen allowed me to find out just how good the fifth-generation Mondeo is.

It’s a stylish looking big family car and the load-lugging estate model looks just as smart as the saloon.

There is a wide choice of diesel and petrol engines – as well as a hybrid – and there are four specs – Style, Zetec, Titanium and luxury Vignale.

The test model was a 2.0 litre 177bhp Duratorq TDCi Titanium PowerShift Auto.

All models come with stacks of standard equip-ment and the test car didn’t leave you short of goodies.

These included start button, DAB satnav, auto headlights with auto high/low beam, front fog lights, LED tail lights, lane keeping aid, SYNC 2 voice control with eight-inch colour touchscreen, cruise control with speed limiter, dual auto temperature control and power folding door mirrors.

You can always add extras and there were a few neat ones on the test car.

The 19-inch alloys were attractive and a Titanium X Pack – priced at £2,000 – brought LED headlamps, leather seat trim, 10-way power front seats, heated front seats, keyless entry and privacy glass.

There was also a £450 advanced version of active park technology option featuring perpendicular parking for those who might struggle to reverse the estate into tight spaces.

It was just an overnight trip my wife Jackie and I were away on so there was still lots of room in the big luggage area – 500 litres expanding to 1,605 litres with rear seats folded.

Comfort was good in the high-quality interior and there is lots of elbow, leg and headroom in the rear, even for tall passengers.

The full-length panoramic sunroof – a £900 option – also brought lots of light into the cabin.

With a top speed of 135mph, the Mondeo cruised along quietly and smoothly at motorway speeds

It is quick off the mark, taking just 8.7 seconds to reach 62mph, and there was lots of mid-range power from the super diesel engine.

And there are also excellent economy figures of 56.5mpg combined, 51.4mpg urban and 61.4mpg extra urban.

New suspension design definitely brings greater comfort and handling.

The Mondeo Estate might be a big car but it proved to be pretty agile on the super winding roads with good, precise steering.

The six-speed automatic box is ideal for the powerful engine and changes were smooth and quick when needed during our enjoyable drive.

We have been treated to some surprising warm weather this autumn – not quite on the scale of the Canaries – but it was a welcome bonus as we reached our destination.

The Mondeo Estate looks a certain hit – although it wasn’t the only star performer to visit our overnight stop.

We were staying at the Four Seasons Hotel which offers tremendous views of Loch Earn and the mountain landscape – and was also a stopover for the Beatles in 1963.

The Fab Four had a two-night stay there while performing in Edinburgh and our chalet at the top of the wooded hill behind the hotel was the same one that John Lennon and Paul McCartney stayed in.

It was time for us to ‘Get Back’ in the morning, heading towards Crieff on those winding roads and enjoying more driving in a Mondeo Estate that Ford can happily be singing about.

The test car – without options – costs £27,165.