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.

General Comments:

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

19th Mar 2006, 16:40

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.

2000 Ford Mondeo LX 2.0 from Australia and New Zealand


Too unreliable


I have had the Ford Mondeo Station Wagon for almost three years. It was purchased second hand with 22,000 km on the clock, and I have added another 53,000 since then. The car had two years left on the warranty when I got it. After having the car one week, none of the doors would close, so the locks all had to be replaced. Several months later the drivers inside door handle had to be replaced.

Two years later (now out of warranty) the hand break needed to be replaced, the rear bearing was ready to collapse (caught this in time when I took it in because something squeaked when braking). The wheel would have collapsed soon. These two repairs cost over $1000.oo. One week later the clutch needed to be replaced. This is major labour as the engine has to be taken out, and the car has been in the garage for over a week, and will cost another $1000.oo to fix.

The car is great to drive when it is working; this car was a replacement for the Ford Telstar (which at the time was very similar to the Mazda 626). I had that car for about ten years until the automatic transmission gave way, and repairs would cost more than the car was worth then.

These recent repairs did raise some concerns on reliability of Ford Modeos, at least this model vintage. I talked to the two mechanics working on the car, and asked them if they would keep this car. They said even though it only has 75,000 km on it, I can expect expensive repairs to keep coming. They have seen this with other Mondeos and European cars in general. Even though they are Ford mechanics, the do not recommend Ford cars, and state I would be better off with a Japanese car that are far more reliable (there choice a Mazda 6).

General Comments:

The Ford Mondeo is a well designed car that performs well, but is let down by reliability problems, once there is 70,000 km on the clock.

Repairs are expensive.

Mechanics do not recommend these cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th June, 2004

12th Jun 2004, 06:18

I used to own a 98 Contour (the American Mondeo). I agree with your comments about the clutch. Ford took a 15 minute job and turned into a 8 hour job. This requires the engine to be lifted out of the engine compartment and the tranny to be taken apart (in order to get to it comfortably). Thanks Ford.

12th Jul 2005, 04:59

Odd, because here (UK), these are known for being solid, reliable, cheap to run workhorses. I know of several with well over 100,000 miles (160,000 km) that are still driven a couple of thousand kilometres around mainland Europe on holidays and don't give any trouble. What's more they're comfortable, well specified (particularly the later ones) and apart from some cheap looking dash plastics, as well built and durable as many more "prestigious" badged cars.

Of course, like every car ever built, they are prone to some common faults, and yes the amount of work involved to change the clutch is beyond a joke, but cheap Ford spares and relative mechanical simplicity means you need to be very unlucky to get a ridiculous bill. The Zetec, Duratec and turbo diesel engines might not be cutting edge, but all perform at least adequately, and all are utterly bombproof given half competent servicing. All should (and are known to) last 200,000 miles (320,000 k's) without major overhaul.

13th Jul 2005, 16:48

A Mazda 6 is a mondeo!

2nd Aug 2007, 09:49

I've had a 2.0 lx with the Mazda engine. It's been superb, and has done 83,000 miles. It drives superb, is a bit rattly, but it is chain driven after all. I'm a mechanic, and I swear by Fords to my customers. I tell to stay away from Citroen, Peugeot and Renault.