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More costs less in Mondeo.

The new Mondeo will cost an average of pounds 300 less than the current car, model for model, according to prices announced by Ford. They start at pounds 14,995 for the Edge 1.6-litre 110bhp five-door hatchback and rise to pounds 24,195 for the 2.5T 220bhp Titanium X estate.

The new cars also come with pounds 700-worth of extra equipment, including electronic stability programme, a category 1 alarm, Isofix child-seat fixings, steering wheel controls, driver's knee airbag, "follow me home" lighting and, unique to Ford, Easyfuel.

This feature prevents drivers putting petrol into a diesel-powered car or vice versa. It is estimated mis-fuelling affects more than 150,000 UK drivers every year.

The Edge replaces the LX series and in addition to the new standard equipment has air conditioning, cruise control, leather steering wheel, CD stereo with an MP3 connection socket, seven airbags, electronic brake assist, powered front windows, remote central locking, quick-clear heated front windscreen and powered and heated door mirrors.

Zetec prices range from pounds 16,695 for the 1.6-litre 125bhp saloon and hatchback to pounds 20,745 for the 2.0-litre TDCi 130bhp estate. Over the Edge's specification the Zetec adds 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, air conditioning with dual EATC, leather gear knob and power rear windows.

The most popular model is expected to be the Zetec five-door 140bhp TDCi diesel, which will cost pounds 18,395.

Ghia prices range from pounds 18,445 for the 2.0-litre 145bhp saloon to pounds 22,195 for the 2.5 220bhp estate. The Ghia also has 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, power fold door mirrors, a Sony stereo with six CD in-dash auto-changer and "submarine" lighting.

At the top of the range the Titanium X series has a start button, adaptive front lighting with cornering lights, blue tinted glass and the new Ford Convers+ premium instrument cluster with a 256 colour display. Prices for the Titanium X range from pounds 21,245 for the 1.8-litre TDCi 125bhp five-door to pounds 24,195 for the 2.5 220bhp estate.

The new Mondeo is available to order now and will take to the roads in a few weeks. It is the latest in an onslaught of new models, after the recent arrival of the stylish coupe cabriolet version of the best-selling Focus, which has a clever folding steel roof arrangement and comes with a choice of petrol and diesel engines.

Prices start at just pounds 16,795 for the 1.6-litre model, which offers a combination of 115mph performance and 40mpg economy.

Despite being a roadster when the electrically-operated roof is down, the car is a full four seater and all versions come with air conditioning, stylish alloy wheels, four electric windows, a CD sound system, remote central locking and the reassurance of side airbags.

The Focus CC may be sporty in looks and character but it has a low insurance rating of group eight for the entry-level model and group 11 for the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel versions.

Other sporty models in the Ford stable include the ST versions of the Focus and Mondeo, which are both capable of passing the 150mph mark.

The Focus ST is the ultimate hot hatch, with its 2.5-litre turbocharged engine generating 222bhp, which sends the car leaping from rest to 60mph in just six and a half seconds.

This is proving to be a hugely successful newcomer for Ford, as is the acclaimed S-Max MPV model at the opposite end of the size scale.

The seven-seat S-Max ( like the Galaxy ( is among the most manoeuvrable and driver-oriented of the people-carriers and this is reflected in its unprecedented sales success. It comes with a choice of 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrol engines and Ford's impressive 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre turbodiesel units.

Despite being large enough to carry seven people in comfort, the six-speed 2.0 TDCi model is capable of topping 120mph and offers economy in excess of 40mpg.

THE Ford S-Max has been voted Car of the Year 2007 ahead of eight finalists that included the rival Citroen C4 Picasso and Skoda Roomster.

The final eight were short-listed from an original list of more than 40 contenders that had been introduced during the preceding 12 months.

The Car of the Year is an international award judged by a panel of 58 motoring journalists from 22 European countries.

The S-MAX took the coveted title ahead of the Citro'n C4 Picasso, Fiat Grande Punto, Honda Civic, Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 207, Skoda Roomster and Volvo C30.

With UK sales of more than 4,000 since its launch last summer, the S-Max is one of Ford's most successful vehicles ever.

Available in LX, Zetec and Titanium variants, the S-Max shares the same technology as the new Galaxy, including an optional active suspension system. Both vehicles have a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating.

The 2007 award is Ford's fifth Car of the Year win, with the original Ford Focus last collecting the award in 1999.

The company also won the title in 1993 with the first generation Mondeo and in 1981 with the Escort.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 17, 2007
Words:859
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