Mondeos are still good value, but are now becoming retro-cool
23 October 2018

Farewell, then, Ford Mondeo. Apparently, the Blue Oval is just going to make trucks and Transits.

I’d be happy if it just stuck to small (Fiesta), medium (Cortina) and large (Granada), plus coupé (Capri). That is pure nostalgia speaking, though – and, in fairness, it does seem as though the Mondie will be around for a while yet, as saloons will only be off the menu in the USA from 2020.

Even so, I did spend some time on local radio lamenting the fact that you don’t see really old Mondeos for sale any more. And then I came across what must be the most expensive Mk1 Mondie you can possibly buy.

AWS Engineering is selling its Super Touring car. Apparently, the owner, Alan Strachan, worked on the cars back in the day and is selling his Rouse-built car for just £65k. The upside is that it’s ready to race.

Find a used Ford Mondeo on PistonHeads

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Ford Mondeo

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That’s the used supercar Mondeo sorted, so what should we look for next? The Mondeo really is the spiritual successor to the Cortina and Sierra, except that it is actually comfy and nice to drive.

So are there any real Mk1s around? Probably, but a 137,000-mile 1.8-litre automatic from 1993 in faded red paint is probably the least desirable spec on earth. The asking price of £300 seemed optimistic, especially as there was no ticket.

Typical of the worn out, I did find a one-owner Mk2 2.0 Zetec from 1999. It was up for £265, and had 153,000 miles under its well-worn wheels and an expired MOT. No mention of why that might be. Presumably the owner has expired too. It had rusty wheel arches and many miles of gaffer tape to hold the bumpers together.

More sensible is to look for Mondies that don’t need work but are ready to work. Around £5000 strikes me as a solid budget and for that you can get a 2013 1.6 TDCi Eco Graphite. I found one with 10 stamps, 116,000 miles and a fresh clutch and flywheel. You should get 60mpg out of that. Plus, if you wanted some room, then a same- year estate in basic Edge spec and standout plastic wheel trims with just 88k miles can be yours.

If that’s a bit too sensible, then how about a 2007 2.5 Titanium X with 63k miles in a racy red, apparently called Colorado? £5000 isn’t that cheap, but it’s a very comfy way to get around. Actually, for £3000, you can get a 2.0 Zetec with 66k miles with a service and a new set of discs. That is what incredible value these models are.

It will be a shame when the Mondeo goes because everyone would prefer a 5 Series, A4 or C-Class, so enjoy it while production lasts.

Of course, even when all you can get from Ford are trucks and personal mobility solutions, you will still be able to buy Mondeos for the next 20 years at proper used vehicle outlets.

What we almost bought this week: 

Alfa Romeo 159 - Every time an Alfa 159 appears, we get a pang of desire. It looks fantastic for what’s supposed to be a boring mid-range executive car. We’d love for them to be a bit cheaper, though. Look out for front subframe corrosion, and on diesels make sure the particulate filter isn’t clogged. Be wary of dual-mass flywheel failures on 2.0 diesels too.

Tales from Ruppert’s garage: 

BMW 320 Automatic, mileage 81,430: It should not need saying that I use my cars. The BMW was bought to do long journeys and it just did 325 miles in a day. Proper modern motorway stuff. Starting from stone-cold remains problematic, though. Consequently, we are off to see a well-known specialist in a few weeks’ time.

Meanwhile, the Cooper goes in for a once-over to look at the overheating issue, so more on that to come. The Flying Pig needs an MOT and I’ve found a specialist with all the proper diagnostic gear who will also do a service. Oh, and the Lorry needs an MOT. So it will be a busy and expensive time.

Reader’s ride: 

Nissan Primera: You might remember David Gaunt because, in 2015, we featured his 2002 Nissan Primera estate. He says: “After three years of happy use and solid reliability, I decided to replace it... with another Primera. Why not? I love these cars.

“I found this beauty less than 10 miles away. Granted, it did need a new clutch, but the sellers paid half towards it. It is a 2004 SE 1.8 with the luxury of a sunroof! Everything works and it had 72k miles and one owner. All for £495. Incredible value. What a car!”

Reader’s questions: 

Q. Now the nights are beginning to draw in, I’ve noticed my car’s headlights aren’t great. I’ve seen these LED alternatives online. Should I try those? Bob Averbrook, via email

A. Unless your car came with them from the factory, the answer is no. It is illegal to use parts that are not designed for on-road use (most LED bulbs say they are for off-road use only) and do not comply with construction and use requirements. You run the risk of dazzling other road users due to your headlights not having been designed for the different light pattern of an LED bulb. Besides, the distance the light travels isn’t any greater due to the uncontrolled scattering of light. Buy a quality set of halogen bulbs and ensure the surface of your headlights is free of excessive dirt or is not cloudy. MA

Q. I’m getting a newer diesel car and it has AdBlue. I’m worried about how long it will last and where you get it. Can you help? Paul Oakes, via email

A. There are a number of places you can get AdBlue, so don’t worry about availability. Your local dealership can either refill your car for you or sell you a bottle of it. It will most likely be cheaper to go to a motor factor or a petrol station where 1.5- and 10-litre bottles can be bought. If you’re planning on doing lots of miles, it might be worthwhile buying 10 litres when there’s a sale on. MA

Read more

Ford Mondeo review

Used car buying guide: Ford Fiesta ST

Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 19 October

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Comments
14

23 October 2018
Good riddance to the Mondeo - my MK3 tdci was the most disgracefully unreliable car I've ever had, and the reason why I will never ever buy a Ford again. Injectors, fuel pumps, dual mass fly wheels, you name it - at one point the dealer had the car for 9 weeks before they could get it to run right. Cynically engineered with a manufacturer who couldn't care less? That'll be the Mondeo.

23 October 2018
Lovema75 wrote:

Good riddance to the Mondeo - my MK3 tdci was the most disgracefully unreliable car I've ever had, and the reason why I will never ever buy a Ford again. Injectors, fuel pumps, dual mass fly wheels, you name it - at one point the dealer had the car for 9 weeks before they could get it to run right. Cynically engineered with a manufacturer who couldn't care less? That'll be the Mondeo.

We had an s max which was same generation as your mondeo mk3 and we had problems with power steering, electrics and eventually dual mass flywheel, traded it after it became undrivable . It was a great design ruined by terrible engineering. Such a shame as I look at the current good looking Mondeo and think I'd rather drive one of them than be a sheep in a german barge if I needed a larger saloon/estate , but is it worth the risk?

FMS

23 October 2018
Lovema75 wrote:

Good riddance to the Mondeo - my MK3 tdci was the most disgracefully unreliable car I've ever had, and the reason why I will never ever buy a Ford again. Injectors, fuel pumps, dual mass fly wheels, you name it - at one point the dealer had the car for 9 weeks before they could get it to run right. Cynically engineered with a manufacturer who couldn't care less? That'll be the Mondeo.

 

No love, though much blinkered ignorance. You base your future no Ford buying decision on a much older car, when you might like to know that Ford cars now are good value if haggled hard and inexpensive to run. Fleet buyers do not stand for shoddy goods and their cars would not sell in the numbers they do if that was to be the case. Think again, change your mind or miss out.

23 October 2018
FMS wrote:

Lovema75 wrote:

Good riddance to the Mondeo - my MK3 tdci was the most disgracefully unreliable car I've ever had, and the reason why I will never ever buy a Ford again. Injectors, fuel pumps, dual mass fly wheels, you name it - at one point the dealer had the car for 9 weeks before they could get it to run right. Cynically engineered with a manufacturer who couldn't care less? That'll be the Mondeo.

 

No love, though much blinkered ignorance. You base your future no Ford buying decision on a much older car, when you might like to know that Ford cars now are good value if haggled hard and inexpensive to run. Fleet buyers do not stand for shoddy goods and their cars would not sell in the numbers they do if that was to be the case. Think again, change your mind or miss out.

A fair point you make, but I dont think it's a blinkered viewpoint - at the time the MK3 was current, wouldn't they have told you that it was thier most trustworthy model yet? It was a delightful to drive and good-looking, but poorly engineered. I wouldn't have minded so much if they held up thier hands and accepted some responsibility, but they just fight the customer tooth and nail. So that's why I won't buy another Ford - I don't take kindly to being held responsible for thier ineptitude!

23 October 2018

You want unreliability - take a look at VW, far worse than Ford. 

A mate of mine is the MD of a small company with half a dozen reps who are out on the road. Up until about 2008 they ran Passat estates as the reps cars - and got increasingly fed up with poor reliability and big repair bills. For the last 10 or so years the reps have been issued Mazda 6 estates which do serious mileage and don't incur repair bills beyond basic maintenance, tyres etc. 

23 October 2018
odie_the_dog wrote:

You want unreliability - take a look at VW, far worse than Ford. 

A mate of mine is the MD of a small company with half a dozen reps who are out on the road. Up until about 2008 they ran Passat estates as the reps cars - and got increasingly fed up with poor reliability and big repair bills. For the last 10 or so years the reps have been issued Mazda 6 estates which do serious mileage and don't incur repair bills beyond basic maintenance, tyres etc. 

Recently had my mechanic report back to me in disbelief that my 47k mile TDi had ate its water pump. A common fault, if the forums are to be believed.

But the media tell us that German is reliable.

The '6' will be on the ever-shrinking shortlist of my next car.

23 October 2018
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23 October 2018

Is it official that they are axing the Mondeo then? I'd read about Ford USA but Europe seemed to be undecided, they said the Mondeo was important and possibly could be shared with the Chinese and Australian markets.

 

A shame as the Mondeo and Mustang are the only products Ford sell that remotely interest me.

23 October 2018
WallMeerkat wrote:

Is it official that they are axing the Mondeo then? I'd read about Ford USA but Europe seemed to be undecided, they said the Mondeo was important and possibly could be shared with the Chinese and Australian markets.

 

A shame as the Mondeo and Mustang are the only products Ford sell that remotely interest me.

It seems to be, yes. The Mondeo is getting a facelift first, so it'll be around for a while yet; but after that, it is being dropped. I asked in my local Ford dealership and they confirmed it. Such a shame but perhaps once the current obsession with crossovers has passed, the Mondeo will make a comeback. The Focus will continue, however, and I have to say the new one is a lovely car, especially inside.

23 October 2018
TurtleGerald wrote:

WallMeerkat wrote:

Is it official that they are axing the Mondeo then? .....

It seems to be, yes. The Mondeo is getting a facelift first, so it'll be around for a while yet; but after that, it is being dropped. I asked in my local Ford dealership and they confirmed it. Such a shame but perhaps once the current obsession with crossovers has passed, the Mondeo will make a comeback. The Focus will continue, however, and I have to say the new one is a lovely car, especially inside.

Thanks TurtleGerald.

It makes sense from a business perspective, and other manufacturers have done the same (Nissan about 15 years ago with the Primera!). I just find it a shame, as big saloon/fastbacks are usually my favourite bodystyle (other than coupes), and having grown up with a Granada-loving dad for the first time it'll not be possible to buy a big (non-SUV) Ford.

I'm not sure about the Focus, personally I never really took to that 2 box vertical hatch shape that the original Focus popularised, and the current model looks a bit less sharp around the front than the outgoing model. Sorry.

There were rumours that Ford and VW were eyeing each other up for a get together like 2 drunk clubbers at 3am closing time, and VW are the kings of badge engineering, I wonder if any potential future big Ford could come from the likes of the Skoda stable?....

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