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Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6, Opel Insignia Sports Tourer: VW Passat chasers in competition

Achim Hartmann
Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6, Opel Insignia Sports Tourer
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F rank Sinatra has a cold. So in 1966, when Gay Talese wanted to interview him. Sinatra lets him get rid of again and again on the grounds that he has a cold. Instead of talking to him, Talese then spoke to many people around the entertainer and wrote a report from it that the 'Esquire' named the 'best story of all time'. We do not have such bold expectations of the effectiveness of this test, but there is a parallel. Although this is about Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6 and Opel Insignia, the VW Passat always sneaks through the backdrop. It has beaten pretty much everything that can be compared with it.

But Mondeo, 6 and Insignia want to be more than runner-up in the middle class and with their own accents of the Passat's sum-of-its-properties strategy drop. Appearance of the new Ford Mondeo tournament, the facelifted Mazda 6 station wagon and the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer with redesigned diesel.

Ford Mondeo tournament with 180 hp

The new Mondeo started off ideally Not. It has existed in the USA since 2013. In Europe, however, the plant in Genk, Belgium, where the Ford Mondeo was actually to be built, was closed. As a result, the market launch of the mid-range station wagon was delayed by two years. And you notice that in some points of the Europeanized version of the Ford Fusion.

It no longer looks as brand new as originally thought. Two years ago, the Ford Mondeo would have impressed more with its extensive assistance arsenal. Today this is just as standard in the middle class as the complex infotainment with touchscreen or digital instruments. The data from the on-board computer flickers over them, with which the characteristics of the adaptive dampers can be called up. Via steering wheel buttons - yes, there are simpler options.

The biggest innovation is the seat belts with integrated airbags in the rear for 300 euros. Whereby they roll out bulky and buckle up and are not suitable for all child seats. The rear, on the other hand, is ideally suited for adults, with the standard seating area unchanged at 74 centimeters. You travel on a well-formed bench.

The Mondeo accommodates the driver and front passenger equally comfortably and undisturbed, even if the massive A-pillars restrict the feeling of space. In general, the Ford Mondeo is a stocky car, with 1,735 kilos it is enoughMaximum weight medal only just about the Opel, weighs around a hundredweight more than its predecessor. This is also due to the increase in size, whereby the new one is 3.7 centimeters longer, but the trunk is 37 to 135 liters smaller than its predecessor.

The Ford Mondeo's handling talent is also smaller than before. He still offers precise feedback in the direct steering, turns safely, but now less jagged around bends, gives in to understeer earlier. The new cosiness is positive when it comes to comfort - an important point. Except for a gentle bobbing on long bumps, it tirelessly bounces over bumps.

Due to the insulation, the rumble of the turbo diesel only penetrates gently inside. At 7.2 l /100 km it remains pleasantly economical for 180 hp, but despite the friendly support of the precise, suitably stepped six-speed gearbox, it lacks the vehemence that one expects from so much hp and 400 Nm. One of the great strengths of the new Ford Mondeo are the brutally slowing brakes, which ultimately bring it victory. The Mondeo is a good car. Two years earlier it would have been an even better one.

Mazda diesel turns over 5,000 rpm

One There had not been a more certain winner for a long time. We thought. After the comparison drives, the Mazda 6 was clearly ahead. But then the readings came from the brake test, and the station wagon rattled through. Even from 100 km /h, the Mazda needs 5.7 meters more than the Ford Mondeo - when it is stationary, the 6 still has 38 km /h on it. The difference increases from 130 km /h to 9.1 meters and 48 km /h. The 6 was noticed with a slight delay in the last comparison test with the Opel Insignia (issue 2/2014). Now that costs 16 points in the safety chapter and victory.

So it is completely incomprehensible that Mazda did not improve the brakes during the facelift in March. Otherwise Mazda has visibly refreshed the 6 after three years. It now shines from LED headlights, which can also shade the oncoming traffic in the high beam, shows speed, navigation and warning information in the head-up display and is furnished with much higher quality interior. And all of this as standard in the festively decorated Sports Line. The fact that the 6 is 181 kilos lighter than the Opel despite being fully equipped shows the lightweight construction expertise of Mazda engineers. This also includes the packaging of the 6 - despite the shortest dimensions, it offers the most space for passengers and luggage. And the 14: 1 low compression 2.2-liter turbo diesel. In combination with the smooth, well-graded six-speed box, it starts powerfully, pulls energetically, turns cultivated and over 5,000 tours. The 6 significantly outperforms its rivals in terms of temperament and undercuts them in terms of consumption.

It lacks the slightest in terms of comfort. With 19-inch wheels, it rolls harshly, shakes short bumps and gets stucklong better gone. With the tight coordination, the 6 sweeps courageously and agile over country roads, but with bland feedback in the actually precise steering and with clear rear-end pushing when the load changes. On the other hand, the ESP regulates strictly during the driving tests - the reason for the poor driving dynamics times.

Otherwise, the 6 is up to date, with a comprehensive arsenal of assistance and clever ideas such as the rear seat backrests that can be remotely unlocked or the one that swings up with the tailgate Load compartment blind. A winner - almost.

Opel with SCR catalytic converter to the Euro 6 standard

More than almost the Opel Insignia misses victory. But it is catching up - with the new two-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. Well, the almost new one, because in terms of bore /stroke and in the depth of its block it is still the well-known A20 that GM once developed with Fiat. Now it is called B20, has new combustion chambers, optimized intake ports, an injection system with 2,000 bar pressure, a turbo with variable charger geometry for faster response and an aluminum cylinder head with a plastic valve cover and better insulation for more effective noise insulation. Balancer shafts strive for finer manners, with the SCR catalytic converter the engine complies with Euro 6.

All of this moves the Opel forward. Which is less evident from the fact that it sprints from standstill to 100 km /h 0.3 seconds faster and sprints more quickly than with the old 163 hp engine, because here it is only enough for the weakest performance - also because of the high weight . Much more significant are the advances in running smoothness and power development. The diesel starts homogeneously, pulls strongly, runs up to 3,000 rpm much more refined than before. He still doesn't like to turn over that, so hook up the next of the six gears and continue with the force from below. At 7.2 l /100 km, the new engine is at the same level as the old one, as well as that of the Mondeo and 6.

The Sports Tourer in this generation can no longer compete with their space, front and rear passengers sit comfortably, but much more cramped. The smallest maximum volume also remains behind the enormous tailgate. The Insignia also lags behind in terms of operation. The shaky touchpad of the new infotainment is only available for a surcharge of 120 euros, which you should save urgently.

You don't need the 980 euros for adaptive dampers either, the Sports Tourer bounces comfortably and fully with the basic setup . This is how it works on the country road, where it curves rather calmly and with little feeling in the steering. In addition, the long brake pedal travel, which has recently attracted attention in many Opel test cars, is irritating.

The 6 counters the low price of the Insignia Business Edition with better equipment. So it is only enough for third place for the Sports Tourer. No reason to be cold - with this diesel it is the best Insignia that has ever existed. Or,to quote Sinatra: The best is yet to come.


engineering kitchen

2022-03-03 03:10:45

Opel=Peugeot=Fiat=Premature Engine Failure

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