It's Andre Zimmermann's first encounter with a car that's popular among people who spend lots of time on the road: the Ford Mondeo.
His test car has titanium fittings and a 110 kilowatt 2-liter diesel engine. It'll set you back almost 40 thousand euros in Germany. An equivalent VW Passat - which is the top dog in the sector -- costs around 5000 more. That's a considerable difference in price...one that might make you reconsider plumping for the market leader.
Andre makes a pit stop at a beverage shop. In passing, the Mondeo looks like it could provide a fair amount of storage, although it does fall about 100 liters short of the Passat. But facts and figures don't really say that much. What does that mean for everyday activities?
With the back seats up, Andre's managed to pack in six crates, and he could get in the other four if he lowered them. In most modern station wagons, he says, there's a mechanism in the trunk for that...sadly not here. But if you press this button twice, the trailer hitch pops out automatically. In most cars this isn't fully electric.
Another Mondeo highlight -- the spacious rear seats.
Andre is impressed by the amount of space. He says he always feels a lot taller sitting than standing, and here he has ample space back. It's really comfortable. But more important than that is the seatbelt. It's thicker than a normal belt and the buckle doesn't let you pull it up and down. That makes it a bit clumsy, he says, but there's a good reason for it: the seatbelt airbag. Andre explains that in case of an accident, a gas cartridge inflates this section, which helps prevent your ribs from breaking. And at 300 euros, it's a good investment, because who normally sits in the back? The kids!
It's an important selling point compared to the Passat, which at least nominally comes out on top. But you can't measure design, and he thinks the chrome grille really outshines the plain old VW designs.