Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Unsurprisingly, due to the petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, Ford Mondeo saloon performance is geared more for lower-speed efficiency rather than brisk driving.

Hybrid-only from launch

While other European markets, where four-door saloons are more popular, can buy the latest Mondeo in booted form with petrol and diesel engines too, in the UK it’s hybrid all the way.

Up front is a 2.0-litre petrol engine, with modifications to optimise its running harmoniously with the electric motor and battery pack which lives under the boot floor.

The Mondeo saloon’s electrical systems and other ancillaries such as air-con, are designed to run off the high-voltage battery supply rather than in a conventional way, allowing the engine to shut down more frequently and consequently reduce fuel consumption in the process.

On board are two electric motors, with one assisting the petrol engine in driving the front wheels, the second tasked solely with recuperating braking energy and sending it more efficiently back to the battery pack.

While the electric-only range is theoretically limited to approximately three miles, with a top speed of 85mph, most of the time you’ll be driving with the petrol engine and electric motor working in unison, not that you’ll notice much difference, the engine cutting in quietly and seamlessly.

Take the Mondeo saloon hybrid away from urban environments and it becomes noisier though, thanks largely to its CVT automatic gearbox. It’s programmed to have six artificial gears but when your right foot calls for more power, the engine revs are out of sync with the car’s rate of acceleration, sounding like you’re experiencing a slipping clutch.

Combined performance from the 184bhp drive train results in a top speed of 116mph, although peak torque is only 173Nm at a high 4,000rpm, meaning a 0-62mph time of 9.2 seconds.

Again, this is due to the Mondeo saloon’s efficiency brief – the non-turbocharged engine runs to a fuel-saving combustion pattern known as the Atkinson cycle, which doesn’t bestow it with much urgency lower down the rev range – that’s where the additional power from the electric motor is especially useful.

Ford claims overall efficiency scores of 67.3mpg, but at urban speeds it’s a much more impressive 100.9mpg, when the engine’s able to shut down more frequently allowing the Mondeo to run in electric-only mode.

Previous generations of the Ford Mondeo saloon have been blessed with handling traits that satisfy more enthusiastic drivers’ needs but, chiefly due to a new electric power steering system, that’s been diluted somewhat in this iteration.

Although the steering is accurate and quick to respond, there’s less feedback through the wheel itself than before, meaning you’re less confident about pushing the Mondeo through more challenging bends.

That reduction in driver satisfaction is amplified further with the hybrid model, which doesn’t handle as well as petrol- and diesel-engined Mondeos.

Taller sidewalls on the tyres may moderately improve ride comfort over broken, gnarly road surfaces but they’re less grippy than the standard rubber and promote a touch more body roll in corners if you tackle them with too much vigour.

Despite having over 180bhp available, it doesn’t feel especially quick either and when you do try to up your pace, the CVT gearbox allows engines revs to rise at a rate that’s incongruous with the rate of acceleration.

Brakes tend to be a bugbear with hybrid cars too and the Mondeo saloon suffers with the same affliction, albeit less pronounced than on many others. Because the braking energy is recuperated and stored as electricity, the first portion of pedal movement marks the beginning of the energy harvest rather than the main braking effort. Depress the pedal further and more significant deceleration begins, but the transition between the two stages is jerky and difficult to ease in progressively.

The hybrid power train of the Ford Mondeo saloon is best suited for city driving, a fact reinforced by its handling traits.