Above problems aside, I love my Mondy! This growling tarmac terroriser is comfy, fast, smooth and handles amazingly well for such a big barge. Combining the attributes of a load-lugging workhorse, comfortable family carrier and performance chariot with a low used buying price, good reliability and reasonable running costs, I have yet to find a better all-round estate car. Build quality is generally good and the interiors are extremely hard-wearing.
Overall it has stacks of interior space but rear passenger legroom has been sacrificed somewhat (saloon and hatchback versions seem a tad better) to provide the vast payload area in the back. If you need to regularly transport adults in the back seats, check this out. Rear headroom, on the other hand, is fine - unlike the saloon and hatch.
Either the auto box has been improved in recent years or it suits the V6 engine better, as gear changes are noticeably smoother than the 2-litre version I owned previously.
Fuel consumption is a laudable 27mpg for mixed driving conditions - not bad for a vee-six self-shifter.
Although the standard aircon was uprated to a climate control system in 1999, this doesn't compensate for penny-pinching in other areas on these later Mondeos (which presumably occurred as a result of pressure to reduce list prices in the UK). The useful graphical information display is gone and the smart leather steering wheel of yesteryear is now downgraded to the standard "plastic" one. The top-of-the-range 7000-series radio-cassette has been replaced by the lesser 5000 unit, though thankfully the 6-disc CD-changer has been retained. The tactile nature of the "leather" upholstery makes it feel a bit cheap, to be honest, but it seems very hard-wearing. Perhaps these disappointments are trivial and, either way, the car is still loaded with electrical goodies! However in comparison to previous years, the 1999 model doesn't quite meet the prestige feel one expects of a Ghia X (If you're happy enough with standard aircon, a low-mileage 1998 model is arguably preferable). Nevertheless it is still way more aesthetically pleasing than any Vectra I've driven!
Although let down by poor quality in a few small areas, the Mondeo estate is a wonderful machine.