Ford's Mondeo was tested a year ago and the results were published last November. Then, Ford promised improvements and this latest test tracks changes made after the results were originally published. The Mondeo performed well but was criticised by testers because its body became unstable during the frontal impact and because high loads were transmitted to the driver's and passenger's chests, increasing injury risks. Otherwise, it gave balanced occupant protection in the front and side impacts, particularly for children in the rear.
The restraint system now keeps the driver's head and chest away from the steering wheel but instead he suffers fairly high chest loads. Hard points under the steering wheel posed a risk to his knees and upper legs, although modifications improved the protection available. The centre rear seat is equipped with a three-point belt that protects far better than a lap-only belt.
The Mondeo comes equipped with thoracic and head curtain airbags. These worked well in protecting the driver and the head curtain would also provide protection to rear passengers.
The 18 month-old was put in a rear-facing restraint and the 3-year-old in a forward facing one. Both worked well in protecting the children during the frontal and side impacts. However the pictogram on the end of the passenger's facia warning of the danger of a rear facing child restraint in the front passenger's seat could be misunderstood. It was backed, however, by a written warning label, in English, French, and Spanish, which was fixed to the passenger's sun visor. This label was visible with the sun-visor in the stowed position and mentioned the possibility of death or serious injury if a child was placed up front in a rear-facing restraint.
The pedestrian protection was assessed using the old procedure and the Mondeo has not been re-tested using the new one. For that reason, scores and other details of the car's performance are not given opposite.