Practical, capable, safe, reliable, good to drive and cheap
Radio/CD died due to an incorrectly rated fuse in one of the live feeds. 2 minute fix.
Air conditioning cutting out at idle due to idle speed setting too low. Simple adjustment required.
Drivers electric window sometimes sticks near the top of its travel.
Headlamp bulbs fitted incorrectly.
A great, cheap family hack. Very reliable too - the problems I have had were down to poor/non existent preparation from the dealer I purchased the car from, and incompetent previous maintenance, particularly as it would appear by the last owner who thankfully only had the car for 3 months. In basic mechanical terms however, it wears its 100,000 miles superbly.
The car is a bit sluggish, but as long as you keep the turbo spooled up, acceleration is more than acceptable. It's easy to catch the engine in a "dead zone" below 1800 RPM however, and this can make progress painful. Given a few miles however, you learn to drive around this, and I would say real road performance is somewhere between the 1.6 and 1.8 petrol models, although obviously delivered very differently to either. Handling, ride, steering feel and brakes, as with all Mondeos, still shames some of the current competition, and indeed the car still feels fresh and bang up to date on the road.
Fuel consumption and range is excellent with about 600 miles easily achievable on a tank, working out at around 45 mpg seemingly however hard or gently it is driven. The engine oil has not needed a top up yet, and all fluid levels are where they should be. Motorway cruising is effortless, with an absence of road and wind roar, and a suppleness to the ride that wouldn't disgrace a premium sector car. Over 85, the diesel rumble becomes intrusive, but up to and including this speed, noise levels are no higher than the petrol equivalent. Perfect for "kids in the back" motoring.
In practicality terms, the Mondeo is superb. The boot is huge, and the hatch opens wide to create a huge loading aperture which avoids the need to manoeuvre bulky items into the boot. With the seats folded, the Mondeo will swallow huge loads. In terms of rear seat accommodation, there is enough leg and head room for six footers to get comfortable, and the knee cutouts on the front seat backs provide valuable extra inches.
Seat comfort both front and rear is superb, and the driving position natural, with a massive range of adjustment including electric seat height adjuster, and a reach and rake adjustable steering wheel. Equipment levels are generous, even on this lowly "LX" model. The car has ABS, a Quickclear heated windscreen, traction control (not that it really needs it with 90 bhp), electric windows, power steering, a good quality CD player and air conditioning.
Downsides? Nit picking really to be honest. Although the build quality is superb (comfortably better than our old 1998 Polo), some of the shiny plastics used inside look a bit naff. This wasn't helped when the supplying dealer drowned everything in back to black when they valeted the car, making things considerably worse. The performance also isn't great, although it doesn't have any sporting pretensions so you can hardly complain. Other that that however, and with the price we paid in mind (UKP 2600) it is a seriously hard car to fault.
Highly recommended as cheap, safe, reliable, dynamically accomplished and well specified family transport. Far better than the used values imply.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th July, 2005