In spite of the problems I've had with this car, I'd still buy another one. All have been fixed quickly and efficiently by the dealer and a courtesy car provided whilst the work is completed.
The TDCi engine is quick and economical. I've seen 42-48MPG over the last 10,000 miles. The engine is quiet and refined when warmed up, but is a bit clattery when cold. The facelift cars (late 2003 onwards) TDCi 130 engine is slightly revised and is quieter when cold and a bit more refined.
Interior trim is off good quality with no annoying squeaks or rattles. Only criticism is the seat fabric marks easily if it gets wet - solved by spraying with Scotchgard. The dealers recommend you have this done at a cost of about £100, the same stuff is £4 a can and 2 cans will do all the seats and the carpets - once treated water and other spills bead up on the surface and wipe away with a damp cloth. The seats offer lots of adjustment and are very comfortable. Rear seat space is acceptable, but not as roomy as the Citroen C5 I used to drive.
The handling is excellent for a big car with lots of feedback from the controls. The ride is well controlled on the Zetec with sports suspension - some say its firm, but I find it's a good compromise because you don't get body roll to same extent you do in a Passat or Vectra, and its still not as firm riding as a Focus.
Spec on the Zetec is good, but later cars come with climate control, cruise control and a trip computer.
The overall running costs of the Mondeo are fantastic - average 44MPG means the fuel bills are low, but insurance is also cheaper than its competitors, the servicing costs are under half that of a Passat at my local Ford dealer, front tyres last nearly 30k which is excellent for a FWD diesel car and parts and labour rates are much lower than other makes. Depreciation is an issue buying new, but there are loads of nearly new Mondeo's in car supermarkets that make much better sense.
One thing to watch is the Mondeo is a big car - it's a fair bit longer and wider than the previous model and it can be tight to park in narrow spaces found in multi-storey car parks. Rear visibility isn't great when parking so parking sensors are well worthwhile going for.
I will almost certainly be buying another Mondeo TDCi when I come to change - the new 2.2 ST TDCi is excellent and should make an excellent used buy at 2 yrs old.