2000 Ford Mondeo LX TD 1.8 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland
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
Thanks for the comments! Here is an update on the original review.
Car has now clicked over 110,000 miles and continues to be a very reliable and comfortable workhorse. A few issues have arisen, but nothing out of step with a six figure mileage.
Firstly, I suffered a breakdown. Well, to be exact, ran out of fuel with a quarter of a tank still showing on the gauge. It happened to be one time I hadn't reset the trip meter on refilling, so I didn't notice. The gauge seems fine in the top area of its travel, so I suspect it's just the sender playing up. Not an easy job to change, so I just use the trip meter now. It will still achieve an easy 550 miles on a tank, with 600 manageable if you're light footed. That's up to 45 mpg - not bad IMO for a big tank with an old tech and underpowered lump under the bonnet.
The front CV joints have started knocking rather alarmingly on full lock. Being a Ford, the parts are cheap enough (UKP 65 per pair for quality brand pattern parts including delivery), so I just need to make the time to do the work. It does involve dismantling the front suspension, but it shouldn't be too bad.
The sticking electric window has got worse to the point where it will not now close without manual intervention. It feels like the regulator bolts have come loose allowing the window to "skew" as it rises, and become stuck. Either that or the regulator is broken. Need to sort it before it burns out the motor.
Throttle cable is displaying signs of fraying on the pump end. Needs replacing.
Other than that it's still a very solid feeling car. Didn't use a drop of oil in the 6,000 miles between the last two services, and has always fired first go despite temperatures in these parts nudging -7°C some nights recently. It's more than a neighbour's Golf TDI mk4 has managed through this winter, put it that way. I just need to get these jobs done before they cause more problems.
I would still recommend the car - you just need to keep on top of the little bits as they start to go. Something I am pretty shocking at.