The last car test that Teknikens Värld performed in 2014 included three highly interesting cars: the new Ford Mondeo Estate (Turnier in Germany), new Volkswagen Passat Estate (Variant in Germany) and Volvo V70. All three cars performed well except for one thing, the weight of the Ford Mondeo.
According to Ford’s official figures, aka the vehicle’s registration certification, the Mondeo Titanium Estate 2.0 TDCi 150 bhp S6 MPS has a curb weight of 1 601 kg (3 530 lbs). When we put the car on a crested scale, it turns out that the Mondeo weighs 1 880 kg (4 145 lbs). In other words, 279 kg (615 lbs) more than Ford claims. The curb weight is 17.4 % more than indicated.
If you load the car to the max, in the belief that it is okay, you actually commit a crime because the car’s total gross weight is exceeded. Even worse, it can also be dangerous which our moose test shows. In an evasive maneuver the new Ford Mondeo Estate can not handle 279 kg (615 lbs) of overweight (an overweight that is not an overweight according to the car’s registration certificate). Not even when driving straight ahead the Mondeo Estate handles the overweight in a good manner. The rear wheels scrape the wheel arches.
It should be mentioned that the new Mondeo Estate performs a good result in the moose test when the load is only 100 kg (220 lbs) above the actual maximum load limit. That is 179 kg (395 lbs) less than the vehicle registration allows you to load.
A month ago we discovered the same problem with the new Mercedes C 220 BlueTEC Estate (T-Modell in Germany). It weighs 245 kg (540 lbs) more than the car’s registration certificate says. Mercedes-Benz in Sweden realized the problem and says they are now going to change the practice of weights. You can read more about this in the latest issue of Teknikens Värld, available in stores now and also available for online order.
What is curb weight?
The Swedish interpretation of the concept curb weight is a vehicle, that is ready to run, with all fluids and full tank plus a driver weighing 70 kg (154 lbs). The EU version of curb weight is a vehicle, that is ready to run, with all fluids and 90 % full tank plus a driver weighing 68 kg (150 lbs) and luggage weighing 7 kg (15 lbs). Both variants are very similar, normally, the difference is 1-2 kg (2-4 lbs).
What is gross vehicle weight?
Gross vehicle weight is the limit of what the vehicle may weigh with a total of passengers and cargo load included.
What is maximum payload?
Maximum payload is the difference between curb weight and gross vehicle weight. That is how many kilos/pounds you can load into the car.
What does the Swedish law say?
When the gross vehicle weight is exceeded, the vehicle becomes illegal to drive because it is considered that you have exceeded the maximum payload. The excess weight is converted to a percentage relative to the maximum payload – a percentage which then provides the basis for the punishment. Up to 20 percent overload will give you a fine of SEK 2 000 ($260 or €210). The police then make an assessment if you can continue to drive or if you have to unload.
If the overload is between 21 and 30 percent the fine will be SEK 2 500 ($325 or €265) and you have to unload before you can drive any further.
Between 31 and 40 percent overload the fine will be SEK 3 000 ($390 or €315). If the load is above 40 percent it will be SEK 4 000 ($520 or €420).
The Swedish Transport Agency will also make a decision if the driving license should be revoked.
When over 40 percent overload the driving license is always revoked, normally for two months.
When the Ford Mondeo is loaded with 729 kg (1 607 lbs, according to the cars maximum payload), that means an overload of 38.3 percent.
The Ford owner thinks he is following the law but could lose the driving license if the police stops him. It can also lead to a warning. But the fine is there, always.