Ford Mondeo set to become an SUV?

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Words: Matthew Hansen
13 Jan 2021

It’s one of the sole remaining traditional three-box sedan and wagon platforms on the market, but that may not be the case for the Ford Mondeo.

Having been sold globally since 1993 as a mid-size sedan and wagon, the nameplate appears set to take on some big changes according to newly surfaced images — reportedly showing a mule of the next-gen model.

As seen on Auto Evolution, the images show a lifted mule with a sport-back-style rear end and high-riding belt-line. The high-riding silhouette paired to expectedly mid-size dimensions mean the next Mondeo could be a likely rival for another halfway-house SUV; the Subaru Outback.

Not much else can be clearly learned from the mule, given it is coated in camouflage and additional cladding designed to mask bodylines and the shape of its glasshouse. The outline of a large grille can be spotted, which might mean a departure from the current model’s elegant, minimalist, Aston Martin adjacent nose. It also appears to have some fairly generous cladding around each wheel-well.

It’s unclear whether the images signal a complete end to the Mondeo’s traditional sedan and wagon roots. Some have speculated that the model is likely to be called the Mondeo Active — a continuation of the nomenclature featured in the Focus hatch line-up. Note that even though there’s a Focus Active, there’s still a raft of standard Focus hatchback models, too. For now, at least.

It’s widely tipped that the model will share Ford’s relatively new C2 architecture, which debuted under the Focus and also features underneath the Escape. It’s subsequently been rumoured that the new Mondeo will share platforms from other models on the C2 platform.

The SUV-ification of the Mondeo would bolster an already fairly comprehensive SUV line-up at Ford. Currently the firm offers the Focus Active, Puma, Escape, and Everest locally — the diminutive EcoSport and pricy Endura having both been recently dropped.

Ford New Zealand’s website currently only offers the Mondeo as a hybrid in either sedan or wagon form, priced at $55,990 and $57,490, respectively. Until recently the firm had offered the Mondeo in a pure internal combustion Ambiente trim, as a sedan, hatch, and wagon.

The Mondeo appears set to be yet another car stymied by the lack of interest in sedans and wagons. In recent times the Hyundai Sonata, Subaru Legacy, Honda Accord, and others have all been removed from the local market, due at least in part to lack of sales.

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