1998 Ford Mondeo LX 1.6 from UK and Ireland
A lot of car, for not a lot of cash!
Power steering cooling pipe burst. Easy and cheap to replace.
The bumpers are quite weak, and split and crack with ease.
Firsty let's put some preconceptions to one side.
Number 1: The 1.6 Zetec engine is NOT underpowered.
Despite the weight of the Mondeo, the 16v Zetec engine pulls like its bigger brother, the 2.0 Zetec. This is mainly due to a brilliant gearbox, a gearbox that has no problem climbing step hills or cruising quietly on motorways, wether it be fully laden or just with driver in tow. Also the way it goes from 25mph to 60 mph in 3rd gear is quite astonishing, leaving bigger engined car for dust.
The Zetec engine is very reliable; mine doesn't use a drop of oil of water, and I cover nearly 200 miles week.
As far as economy goes, you can expect a general mpg of around 40, dropping to around 35 if you do a lot of city driving.
Sadly the size of the engine means that you have to pay the higher road tax bracket, however as the car is only insurance group 7, insurance costs are not to high.
Number 2: Mondeos are dull boring cars to drive only suitable for 35+ Dads.
Wrong. The handling and feel of the car is very sporty. The steering is very precise, and you never fell afraid to take corners at speed. Despite being front wheel drive, the car handles more like a rear wheel drive, with understeer never being an issue.
The throttle is very responsive and the car has really good brakes.
Also being front wheel drive and having all that weight means doing burnouts is very easy, as when you pull off at high revs all the weight goes to the back of the car, with nearly no weight on the front wheels they spin quite spectacularly.
As I have already mentioned, the gearbox is brilliant.
Number 3: Mondeos look dull and boring inside and out.
A Mondeo can be as personal and exciting as you want it to be, due to its popularity scrap yards/breakers/Ebay all have parts from higher model Mondeos.
So it's easy if you want to install a leather interior or wood effect dash from a Ghia model.
Alloy wheels, spoilers, you get the idea.
As standard the LX comes with a nice bit of kit, electric windows, power steering, drivers airbag, ABS, steering lock, immobilizer and alarm.
Most will come with a sunroof and a good stereo. Both the tape and CD players that come standard give good sound quality. But if you want to replace the tape deck with the CD player, prices on ebay are around £20-£30.
As a last point, it is worth mentioning the sheer size of the interior, I'm over six feet tall and I have yet to be uncomfortable behind the wheel of my Mondeo. Its party piece however, has to be its boot. As with all MK2 hatchbacks the boot space in the Mondeo will put most estate cars to shame.
I can think of no reason not to buy a MK2 Mondeo, especially as prices for a good one will really only range between £750-£1100.
I cannot recommend this car highly enough, if you buy a good one, you won't be disappointed.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th June, 2009
A 1998 Mondeo LX did not come with ABS as standard.
I got my Mondeo 2.0 LX as a former hire car, with all of 11000 miles on the clock at 8 months old.
In the 10 years since, I have found the bumpers are very fragile, the window washer connection tube can be temperamental, and the nearside rear seat belt locks in the down position.
At 91000 miles, I am still on the original exhaust and clutch. The Mondeo remains an outstanding drive, which costs me about 300 pounds per year in service costs, including MOT.
My only criticism would be the lack of designer 'add ons' available (though as previously mentioned, there are plenty of second hand bits and pieces from higher models available).
An outstanding car, which I intend to drive until it stops. After which time I will enjoy the improved (if that is possible) Mk 3 Mondeo.
Oh yes, the depreciation ensured my 8 month old car with 3 years warranty was about 60% of the new price (9000 pounds with floor mats, from 16500 pounds new).
I never said the LX had ABS, I simply said the brakes were very good.
As standard the LX comes with a nice bit of kit, electric windows, power steering, driver's airbag, ABS, steering lock, immobilizer and alarm.
Yes you did.