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Awards 2008 - Business Car of the Year: Ford Mondeo

Date: 22 January 2008

Ford Mondeo

Last February, the front page of this very magazine proclaimed Ford's new Mondeo as the most important business car of the year, and it's the one that has made the biggest impression in the industry.

And it's clear to see why. The latest generation of the model that, to many, symbolises the company car is bigger and better than ever. Fleet business accounts for around 70% of Mondeo volume in the UK, which is a market that takes almost a third of the Mondeos sold in Europe.

It's on the inside that the Mondeo has taken the biggest leap forward, presenting a level of interior quality that could put to shame some of the prestige brands that the big Ford can now argue it competes with. Standard kit now includes ESP anti-skid control and cruise control on every model.

The sheer size of the car is also an important point. It's had a growing spurt in the model changeover and there's now all the room four large adults could ask for, as well as almost enough space for a small town in the boot. And that's just the hatchback, which, admittedly, will again dominate sales, though Ford is hopeful the estate will grab a greater percentage of sales with this new model. There's also a saloon, though that's the runt of the litter in the UK, even if our continental cousins prefer it to the hatchback.

The Mondeo also unveiled Ford's Easyfuel system, a device that prevents the misfuelling of a diesel version. AA figures suggest a car is misfuelled around every three minutes, leading to hassle and potentially thousands of pounds of expense. Ford's system stops a petrol nozzle from entering the fuel pipe.

The engine range is as economical and tax-efficient as any of Ford's rivals and, with the Mondeo building on the success of last year's business car of the year - the excellent

S-max - who would bet against the new Fiesta, coming in September, continuing the momentum of transforming the Ford brand?