2003 Ford Mondeo Trend 2.0 TDCI 115 BHP from Belgium


Dull, but worthy


Small rattle from the driver seatbelt holder.

General Comments:

Car's design (both inside & out) is very bland. The recent 2005 face lift looks a lot better and the interiors in sporty versions can be quite OK, but unfortunately this is just a run-of-the-mill 2003 Trend.

More on the interior:

- Seats are good if not the best (try a Volvo sometime) and driving position is well adjustable

- Plastics are actually not *that* hard, but just look very cheap

- Fit and finish is beyond reproach, very solidly built

- Came with a pack with auto wipers, auto lights and dimming rear view mirror - all are perfect except the lights which sometimes take too long to switch on (already dark)

- Obviously the car is very roomy (not to say huge), with good seating space for 4 adults and a generous boot

- Radio quality is OK, but the possibility to plug an MP3 player into the glove compartment and play it on AUX is fantastic

Road handling is good - excellent steering feel (many 'premium' car manufacturers, Audi most notably, could learn from this), very safe behaviour on the limit (really no need for ESP) and strong brakes. Mine lacks a bit of incisiveness at times, but that is probably due to 16" steel wheels.

Comfort is another strong point, somehow the card manages to combine good road holding manners with good filtering and firm, but comfortable suspension.

Engine is OK in 115 BHP TDCI version, with the 5-speed manual fun to use (plus as engine noise is OK and there is enough torque a 6th is not really required). Biggest complaint would be that they did not fit a variable turbo to this version of engine, which results in a very predictable turbo 'spike' somewhere over 2000 RMP, with very little on offer below. Not a storming engine, but perfectly reasonable for everyday (highway) use.

Summary: A car that doesn't appeal to your (or at least my) emotions in any way, but can't be faulted objectively. For the money, it would be hard to find a better transport. Note that I say transport, because as a car enthusiast this is definitely not a car I would get if it were my money (but (un) fortunately it is not). Still, the basics are so good that I would not be entirely unconvinced by a smart-looking, facelift 2005 2.2 TDCI (155 BHP) in Titanium trim (but then again, probably not).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 31st October, 2005

2003 Ford Mondeo TDCI ESTATE 2.0 from Netherlands


Very good


- water pump for cleaning rear window has been replaced 3 times

- rear wheel brakes got stuck, right wheel at 108000 and left at 129000


General Comments:

The car is very good and there is still warranty on the car (two years unlimited mileage) and I had no other problems.

This Mondeo is the 115BHP version which is very vivid and quick.

It is fitted with the top of the range navigation system (7") and I got addicht to it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th August, 2005

2003 Ford Mondeo Ghia X 2.0 TDCi turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Excellent value for money


Steering "clonking" when pulling away. Adjusted by dealer at service, and no longer a problem.

General Comments:

53 Mondeo Ghia X TDCI 130bhp 6.

I have to say that I am extremely impressed with the way Ford have packaged this vehicle. I did a lot of research before parting with my cash, and the choice was between a Mazda 6 and the Ford.

When you look at the reliability index, the TDCi came close to the Mazda, and then I discovered that Mazda are using the same Ford diesel unit.

I saw a Mazda 6 and Mondeo in traffic, and could compare the physical size of both cars; the Mondeo is bigger, and so I made my mind up that you get more for your money with the Mondeo.

The Ghia X has some nice toys and features that I would expect to see on more expensive cars, and the overall layout, aesthetics and quality of the interior has brought Ford out of the "middle of the road" reputation.

Driving shows this to have a nicely torqued acceleration, and the 6th gear gets you cruising at 85mph at 2500 revs, nice and quiet.

Suspension is set just about right for comfort, but for my tastes it's a shame they haven't put the sportier Zetec S suspension on to give you crisper handling when it matters, but comfort over handling will always be a compromise.

The fuel consumption is extremely pleasing, for me I average about 45mpg and most of my commute is motorway, so hit the cruise control and start saving money. The key to this is keep the servicing up at the specified intervals, otherwise your consumption dips noticeably.

Servicing costs don't hurt too much, first 2 are £165, and then the big one will be in the region of £220.

The only criticism I can find is that 4th is a little flat, windscreen wipers are a bit feeble, and the Stereo/CD sound quality could be better (my 1996 Peugeot 405 GTX stereo knocks socks off it).

My view is that the Mondeo has been around for a while, driven by many a road warrior, and Ford have listened to the feedback over the years, made adjustments and refinements that are sensible, pleasing and good value for money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th June, 2005

28th Aug 2008, 18:15

I daresay Bentleys and Astons are more fun to drive than a Ghia X 130, which I have as well, and it's an excellent car for what it.

The original owner was comparing two similar cars, and that was a useful review.

29th Nov 2008, 13:41

I have owned a Mondeo a year now and they are good to drive, and the torque that diesel 130 engine produces is great.

I have being reading the reviews about Mondeo vs Vectra, and I have driven both as I have had a Vectra SRi CDTi before the Mondeo. The Vectra was a good car, solid engine, but the build quality makes the Vectra 2nd compared to the Mondeo. I think the Mondeo is the class leader; Vauxhall should follow Fords lead and improve on build quality, because the Vectra is a good car, but the Mondeo is great.

8th Sep 2009, 07:53

I have owned a Mondeo 2L Ghia TDCi for 7 months now, and have found it very reliable, gives good MPG; I average 40 mpg.

Lots of toys and gadgets, and the performance can be electrifying for a diesel!

Only problem I have is I don't like the ride height, which I'm having dropped 30mm and stiffened up. Also putting 18" Focus ST alloys on, hopefully this will keep me happy!

Only part to go wrong was a split intercooler hose, which cost £45 for new one from Ford, which I fitted myself.

These pipes are common for going, just because of the pressures they handle. Hope my comments are of some use.

8th Sep 2009, 07:59

One other thing to mention is the totally wrong 0 - 60 time given for the 2L TDCi, given as 9.8s. I tested this with two of us in car and clocked a fraction under 7s. Think it's capable of 6s with one up no problems!

22nd May 2010, 06:14

I have a Mondeo mk3 Ghia X, and it is very good because of the gadgets. Also it's very fast, and I would recommend that you buy the Mondeo as it is a good car. Hope this helps.