2003 Ford Mondeo Ghia 2.0 TDCI (130ps) from UK and Ireland
Nothing else comes close for value, comfort, performance and economy!
Air-conditioning stopped blowing cold two weeks after delivery.
Rear suspension bushes cracked at 35k miles, although this is a common problem on <2005 Model Year mondeos.
Minor fuel leak from filter inlet at 35k.
All of the above faults were sorted quickly by the dealer under warranty.
I bought it the mondeo after having looked extensively into other cars in the class such as the Vectra, Avensis, Octavia, Primera etc. Although excellent in other ways, all of these other cars seemed to lack the solidity and quality interior feel that I value inside the car; after all, that's where you'll spend most of your time!
The torque output of the diesel engine is monumental, storming the car up hills, and still providing adequate acceleration in 6th gear past 90mph and well beyond.
I achieve around 47mpg on average (the manufacturer's stated figure). It drops to around 40 if you hammer it around town, or rises to 60+ on a steady motorway run.
I think Ford's 0-60 figures for this car are overly modest (9.3s). As the engine loosened up between 10-20k, I'm certain it has dropped below 9 seconds now, which considering the economy is incredible.
Aside from the gadgets, the interior of the car is very practically laid out, and the boot space is enormous with the seats down. The front seats have a good deal of adjustment and are very supportive. I've never experienced any backache from them, even on 5+ hour journeys.
The Mondeo is lacking some comforts such as rear passenger air vents, but sheer value for money, the Mondeo is a hands-down winner over other cars in this class: Automatic lights, wipers, excellent Sony 6-disc stereo, cruise/climate control, electric seat height, electric folding mirrors, heated windscreen... to name just a few - I am yet to find another manufacturer who can match this spec for the money.
Ford's interior quality has come on a long way in the last 3 years; panel gaps are tight and everything feels very solid and robust, while still looking classy, although I do think the use of the "wood" trim could have been thought out a little better.
Handling: Again, excellent for a car of this size. I have driven a few so-called "hot hatches" which would be put to shame by the mondeo's handling. (Quality tyres are essential to this!). The car can be thrown into corners with great confidence; there is minimal body roll and loads of feedback through the steering. I have never been able to unsettle this car, even on the sharpest of corners.
Shocking depreciation and badge-snobbery are probably the worst features of this car, but that's great news for the 2nd-hand buyer. I paid £13k for my Mondeo less than a year old, with only 8,000 miles on the clock. Considering this is a £23k car new, that makes me a very happy 2nd-hand buyer!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th February, 2006