Have this car on long term hire due to a recent change of circumstances at work, and a wait until my new car is ordered in September. I started with a Golf which was lovely, but dumped me by the roadside with total electrical failure the second day I had it - it was replaced with the Mondeo.
I drive a lot of different cars (Vectras, 406's, Accords, Passats, Golfs, Audi A3/A4 etc) and find that I don't usually get attached to them. In the Mondeo's case, I am seriously impressed with the car, and will miss it when it goes back next month. The biggest surprise is the quality - I can't believe the leap forward Ford has made on build quality and interior ambiance. It's as solidly put together as the Passat or A4 (yes, really. Try for yourself), with an interior that is both stylish and quite upmarket. Little touches like the chrome rimmed, slightly retro dials, the high quality switchgear and the gorgeous metal insert steering wheel are a welcome change from the acres of bland plastics found in many cars of this type. It also has the biggest range of adjustment on seats and steering wheel I have ever seen. Anyone could get comfortable in this car.
On the road, the Mondeo is also very impressive. It feels a big car when you first get in it, but once rolling, it is actually more agile and poised than the smaller Golf was. The suspension is superb, soaking up bumps effectively, but allowing very little roll in the corners. Steering is a little light, but soon weights up when you feed in the lock. The downside is it can turn you into a hooligan on a twisty road, but it's a small price to pay.
The 1.8 engine struggles a bit in this size of car, but it's quite smooth and refined. Performance is adequate - no more, no less. It can feel a bit gutless if you need to accelerate in the higher gears, but it is a superb motorway cruiser. 100 mph is "no need to raise your voice" quiet. The TDCi and 2.0 variants I have since driven are much better in this respect.
Spec is superb, as with all cars like this nowadays. I really don't understand why someone would buy the Mondeo Ghia, when an LX like this has (excellent) air conditioning, CD player, 4 electric windows, remote locking, electric mirrors with heaters and remote stereo controls.
The car will go back before it clicks over 9,000 miles, so I won't be able to comment on dealer servicing etc, but I can say that in 5,000 miles (in just 6 weeks), nothing has broken, stopped working or fallen off. There is no indication that it will either.
I am so impressed with the car that I am seriously considering choosing one when my permanent car choice comes through next month. I will be looking at the TDCi though.