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Launched in October 2000, and seen as the second generation model, this Mondeo was considerably larger than its predecessor. Although Ford abandoned its New Edge design theme for the Mondeo Mk3, it still borrowed some styling cues from the Ford Focus Mk1, giving it an overall effect which many critics felt was more restrained and mature than the Focus, if much less distinctive. Two of the old car's biggest weaknesses, the modest rear legroom, and uncompetitive diesel version were addressed by a longer wheelbase and the new Ford Duratorq diesel engine. The basic chassis and suspension design was carried over from the previous generation, which meant that the car continued its predecessor's reputation for class leading handling and ride. This Mondeo came to Mexico, replacing the North American built Ford Contour, and was sold from 2001–2005, when the Ford Fusion (Americas) replaced it.
Following the standard setting interior of the Volkswagen Passat Mk4 in 1996, Ford paid a great deal of attention to the Mk3's interior and was the first mainstream manufacturer to react to the new standard set by Volkswagen. Ford dispensed with the rounded American style interior of the Mk2, and developed a more sober 'Germanic' design, which not only seemed more sophisticated but, more importantly, was of a higher quality due to the use of more expensive materials.
As with its predecessor, passive safety was a major selling point of the 2000 Mondeo. With an even stronger bodyshell, Ford introduced its so-called "Intelligent Protection System" (IPS), which used an "intelligent" array of sensors based on a neural network, to decide the best combination of safety devices (traditional front passenger airbags, side airbags and curtain airbags) to deploy for a given crash situation. To enhance active safety, all models were fitted with anti-lock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution, with electronic stability program (ESP) available as an option. Ford's marketing of the time claimed the Mondeo was 'One of the safest places to be'. However, EuroNCAP testing of the Mk3 found that it protected worse than most key rivals (Opel Vectra, Citroën C5, Toyota Avensis, Volkswagen Passat), achieving a lower-end 4 star rating. Ford redesigned part of the car and it was re-tested, but the higher-than-average risk of chest injury to the driver in the frontal impact remained.
The Mondeo established itself as Britain's most popular automobile in its class and held this position every year from 2001 onwards, though this size of car has fallen slightly in popularity during the 2000s. This version of the Mondeo has never come higher than sixth in the SMMT's official list of the top selling cars in the UK each year. In 2003, it came tenth in the list.
For the Mk3, the Zetec engine was dropped, while the all-new 1.8 and 2.0 L Duratec engines were introduced. The standard 2.5 L V6 engine was carried over, while a 3.0 L version was developed for the ST220 model.
Unfortunately, there was a design flaw with the new 1.8 and 2.0 L petrol units with the butterfly valves in the inlet manifold, which could cause severe engine damage when they failed. The plastic components of the butterfly valves wear out too quickly and when loose enough can result in them falling apart and releasing metal and plastic parts into the engine cylinders, potentially causing severe engine damage. The part was revised by Ford in late 2002 and this prevented the problem from occurring in later engines.
The archaic Endura-E 1.8 L turbodiesel engine was dropped, and replaced by a more sophisticated 2.0 L 16v Duratorq common rail (TDCi) unit with a variable geometry turbine. This clever turbine system allows a certain amount of overboost, giving an extra 10% or so of torque for short periods. This engine, known within Ford as the "Puma"-type Duratorq, was first seen in the Ford Transit in detuned form.
A new automatic transmission was added to the range called the Durashift. This unit has five gears and may be shifted manually or shifted like an automatic.
In June 2003, the Mondeo was given a very mild upgrade, the new models being identifiable by the larger chrome honeycomb grille, a new central dashboard made from higher quality materials, with electronic climate control, either a standard Ford radio, Sony radio, or a GPS radio/CD player, which also has climate control built into the unit in lieu of the space taken up by the unit. The Durashift automatic is now available with steering wheel control. The petrol engines were revised at this stage also — the new SCI (common rail) version of the 1.8 L Duratec engine was introduced, which generates 4kW (5 PS) more than the standard unit. In addition, equipment was upgraded across the range — with trip computer now standard on all models, and cruise control is also standard in selected trim levels and markets.
In 2005, there were two new Duratorq common rail (TDCi) options, a 2.2L with 114kW (155 PS) and a detuned version of the 2.0L with 65kW (89 PS). Also, the Seat Belt Warning System was added and is now standard, with an audible/visual warning signal reminding the driver to fasten his/her seat belt. The styling was upgraded again, the most notable difference being tweaked taillights.
- 1.8L (1798cc) Duratec Straight-4, 110 PS and 122 lbft
- 1.8L (1798cc) Duratec Straight-4, 125 PS and 125 lbft
- 1.8L (1798cc) Duratec SCi Straight-4, 131 PS and 129 lbft (SCi)
- 2.0L (1999cc) Duratec Straight-4, 145 PS and 140 lbft
- 2.5L (2495cc) Duratec 25 V6, 170 PS and 162 lbft
- 3.0L (2967cc) Duratec 30 V6, 204 PS and 207 lbft
- 3.0L (2967cc) Duratec 30 V6, 226 PS and 210 lbft (ST220)
- 2.0L (1998cc) Duratorq Straight-4, 90 PS and 155 lbft (TDDi)
- 2.0L (1998cc) Duratorq Straight-4, 116PS and 207 lbft (TDCi 115)
- 2.0L (1998cc) Duratorq Straight-4, 131PS and 244 lbft (TDCi 130)
- 2.2L (2198cc) Duratorq Straight-4, 155PS and 265 lbft (TDCi 155)
Pages in category "Mondeo Mk3"
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