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Ford Mondeo HEV Estate

I woke up this morning to discover that it’s been raining.

Nothing new there, then.

It hasn’t stopped bucketing it down in my neck of the woods for about three weeks now.

I’m not far from the sea here in Essex but it makes me wonder why people want a house with a sea view.

Blimey, all you have to do is open the curtains in the morning and everywhere looks like the sea at the moment.

That’s how wet it’s been.

I got a painful (for Mrs Motormouth) and embarrassing reminder of how damaging too much rain can be when I took delivery of a Mondeo estate from Ford.

How it didn’t crumble into a rusting pile of metal was a tribute to its build quality because it arrived on The Sumptuous Drive That Leads To Fowler Towers in the rain and it left a week later still in the rain.

The only way I could have stopped it from getting a permanent soaking would have been to put a roof over it, but as I didn’t have to put any petrol in it, it never got near the five minute sanctuary of a petrol station.

That’s because it was, like most new cars these days, a hybrid.

This morning, as I write this piece, someone at Ford will be cursing me as they try to clean it.

It went back splattered in mud, outside and inside, and that was a shame because it was a top spec, luxurious Vignale model.

Let me explain.

One night I took Mrs Motormouth out to show her a spectacularly decorated house, emblazoned with Christmas lights and complete with what looked glass reindeers lighting up the front garden.

Suitably impressed, I turned round in the entrance to the local golf club, which involved going over its grass verge.

That wasn’t just a mistake. It was a catastrophe.

As soon as the Mondeo’s front wheels touched the verge I was lost.

They sank into clogging mud like the Titanic in the dark.

In fact that’s a very good example because, like a ship, the Mondeo was also silent due to its electric engine spinning the wheels deeper into the ground, which was actually a bog.

Bravely, some could call it stupidly, Mrs Motormouth tried to help by getting out of the car and pushing it.

Not a good idea with a giant 16 feet long motor that weighed 1,800kg.

The last I saw of her then was flashing through the brightness of the car’s headlights as she slipped to the soaked earth.

Eventually, we abandoned the car and got a lift home from my mate Leo at the golf club, who arranged for the car to be dragged out by a tractor the next morning.

I really liked that Mondeo … especially before I had to pick my way past the mud on its once brilliant blue door scuff plates every time I got into it.

It’s so beautifully kitted out in the inside it reminds you of a posh modern hotel.

From its quilted, black leather seats with white sides (they were when it arrived) to its steely silver dashboard and door tops it could have been a limo taking you to the palace.

The whole atmosphere was lit up by a colourful display of red, green and silver from the dashboard, filled up by instruments with blue needles.

Even at, er, 80mph (that’s a guess) it was silent, and at night I loved its dazzling blue cornering headlights which lit up every bend in the road ahead.

These, of course, are none of the reasons why reps will be presented with a Mondeo estate once they get a patch of their own to sell incontinence pads and raised toilet seats to care homes.

All these things take up room and that’s something the Mondeo has by the bucket load. In fact there’s 1,630 litres of luggage capacity.

Open the tailgate, electric in the plush Vignale, and there’s a near four feet deep (120cm) boot for packing in pill boxes and jar openers, while lowering the rear seat backs completely flat opens the door to a huge 6ft 8in (208cm) deep vault capable of holding the big stuff, like grab handle samples, bed rails and, of course, big button phones.

There’s more storage space under the boot carpet.

I should have put some swimming trunks in there.

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IMAGE RATING

Ford Mondeo Vignale HEV Estate.

REAR MIRROR MONSTER: Sea of a grille has seven levels of waves, but there’s no cliff face behind them, just a gently sloping beach that rises to the fields. That’s how swept back it is. No monster but undeniably beautiful.

BACKSIDE BEAUTY: Rounded rear end curves in from the sides, where giant tail lights slide in from behind the wheels to pierce the centre of the boot like a knife. Not at all workmanlike for Roger Rep, as you’d expect from a Mondeo estate, or fussy. Just pretty.

PLAYTIME PLEASER: Touch screen sat nav with 8in multi-device screen, dual-zone climate control, trip computer, cruise control with speed limiter, black and white padded seats, heated and electric at the front, heated steering wheel, heated windscreen, 19-inch 10-spoke alloys, heated electric folding door mirrors with blind spot warning and puddle lights, speed limit display, front and rear parking sensors with reversing camera, electric tailgate, keyless entry and start, cornering headlights, Sony CD stereo with Bluetooth, twin USB and SYNC 3.

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NAUGHTY NIGGLES: Rear door pockets are just big bottle holders, which seems a waste of all that space.

TASTY TOUCHES: Secret storage box in the fold out rear armrest will give the kids somewhere to hide their favourite toys. Rear gets a USB point, too, while the front one glows in the dark. Door mirrors fold in when the car is parked.

FAST OR LAST: Quick when you need it to be but at its best as a silent long distance load lugger.

WONGA WONDA: Kitted out and finished just as well as expensive up-market limos, it makes you wonder where posh car makers get their prices from.

WOULD CHANTELLE LIKE IT? Chantelle’s a big Ford fan and loves the Fiesta, but the Mondeo is way beyond her size bracket.

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