1998 Ford Mondeo 2.0 Zetec 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Best car ever made



General Comments:

This is in my opinion the best car ever made.

Comfortable, fast, frugal, safe.

Goes, stops and turns brilliantly.

Bootspace generous.

I have nothing bad to say about this car, very sad to see it go.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2003

1998 Ford Mondeo LX Estate 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland


Absolute bargain! Loads of car for the money


Starter motor occasionally fails to engage. I believe this is a common problem. Will be repaired under warranty.

No other known faults, but I've only had it 6 weeks.

General Comments:

Fantastic value for money. Being on a tight budget, I set out to purchase the most car for the least money. I paid £3295, which I think is an absolute bargain for a car just over 4 years old. I pity whoever paid £16k for it new though!

The ride and handling are a revelation compared to my previous car. You hear bumps rather than feel them. On 'B' roads it goes exactly where you point it. I've not reached the limit of adhesion (yet!), even on wet roundabouts. Feels very nimble for such a big car.

The driving position is spot on, mainly thanks to the rake and reach adjustable steering wheel. The seat gave me back ache to begin with, but is fine now. No lumbar support adjustment on the LX.

Very impressed with the Zetec engine. Plenty of power and incredible flexibility. Fuel economy seems good for a 2 litre. Not measured it accurately as yet, but seems slightly better than the Cavalier it replaced. I've read some reports critizing the engine for sounding 'gruff' when pushed. In my experience, in normal driving you can hardly hear it; open the taps and it sounds quite meaty!

Interior seems well put together. Very nice switch gear. Seat fabrics look as though they may not be very durable in the long run, but fine at the moment.

Equipment level is reasonable. It is a late '98 model, so it has air con, CD player and heated windscreen. Also has front fogs, which I've yet to see on another LX.

It lacks some of the little touches my Cavalier CD had, such as electric mirrors and rear windows, lumbar adjustment, wood door trim, rear head restraints, but the air con, CD and heated front screen compensate. Swings and roundabouts, really.

Lovely colour (juice green), but seems to scratch very easily.

Massive load area. With the seats folded it's like a small van.

Over all, I am very pleased with my car. I've always been a 'Vauxhall man',but although I don't believe the Vectra is as bad as made out (saying that, I've never driven one!) there's no doubt in my mind that the Mondeo is the better car. I think the comments on this site bear this out. It's just a shame there's so many of them on the road!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th May, 2003

11th Mar 2006, 19:26

I have now owned this car for three years, so I thought it was high time I added some comments with the benefit of hindsight!

It has now covered 92,000 miles (26,000 with me) and has proved a very reliable performer.

At 83,500 miles, the lambda sensor was replaced following an MoT failure on emissions. Before the sensor was replaced, it was only achieving 21mpg around town. Average fuel consumption now is around 25mpg around town. It is far better on a run, but I don't do many of them! Also at the same mileage, both front suspension lower arms were replaced, due to the lower bushes 'debonding'. This is a well known weak spot on the mk1 and 2 Mondeo.

At approximately 87,000 miles, the battery was replaced.

At around 90,000 miles, the starter motor solenoid failed. The motor was replaced with an exchange unit.

It has just sailed through its latest MoT, at nearly 92,000 miles. There are just two problems with the car at the moment - a knock from the front suspension, which is suspected to be the anti-roll bar links, and a front wheel alignment issue (outside edge of the near-side tyre wears prematurely - probably a legacy of a kerb strike a couple of years back).

It is still on its original exhaust system, although it did need a new length of flexi-pipe, and a new tail pipe welding on last year.

I stand by most nearly all of what I said in the original report. Performance and economy are as good as you can expect for a car of this age and size. I do find the driving seat a little uncomfortable on a long run, probably because this model doesn't come with lumber support adjustment. Also, being grey, the seats do look a little grubby now.

Body wise, the car is still in good shape. There is just one spot of rust, on the top of the sill, just forward of the near-side rear wheel arch. I wish the paint wouldn't scratch when you look at it though!

Depreciation is shocking, although not too much of a problem to me, as it had lost about 80% of its new price by the time I bought it anyway!

To summarise, whilst the Mondeo is perhaps not the most exciting car in the world, I don't believe there is anything better for the same money.