Reading about this BMW 3-series vs MK4 Mondeo stuff is really funny. When all the motoring magazines at the time of launch of both these cars heaped praise on them both, calling the 3-series best in class for a small size exec saloon, and the Mondeo best for the large regular hatch/saloon class, what the hell difference does a badge make. I've owned cars from Yugos to BMW's/Jags in my time, and enjoyed nearly all of them. Currently in our household there's a Porsche, Skoda and a Ford; they're all good cars.
One thing I would say is that last winter on a very snowy road, I was driving to work in a Kia 4x4 (good car by the way, though obviously a BMW X1, X3, X5 driver won't think so), the car in front of me that ground to a stop up a hill was one of the latest 3-series. I obviously drove round him in my 4x4, and the bloke behind me in a Mondeo also drove round him, front end snapping from side to side, it was pretty funny really (neither of us stopped to give the 3--series driver a lift, guess our cars weren't "premium" enough!)
Have you ever driven a Mondeo?
On a visit to UK in 08, I was looking for an Audi at auction; they wheeled in this 05 TDCi estate. A quick glance, and 3 seconds later I owned it at 3500 pounds.
Before the auction I had never even heard of a Mondeo. But its looks stunned me. It had 78000 on it, I drove it all over the EU to Turkey, and it was so good I shipped it to NZ. I parted with the car in 2011 April with 120000 on it. It did 5L per 100 and 6L per hundred at 130km/h on the autobahn.
It never cost me a cent, and was a better car than my 500SL Mercedes ever was.
They are starting to really hold their price, because of the reliability and fuel economy.
They are a better car and better looking than a BMW, and anyone who says au contraire is just swayed by the badge.
I had mk1, mk2 and mk3 Mondeos; all good cars. But they are very basic vehicles. I used to laugh at BMW and Mercedes drivers for just buying "the badge" until I drove my first BMW (an E46 328i SE), and then it's fair to say I "got it".
As I got a bit older, I started buying nicer cars, and got into Porsches and as well as BMW "M" cars, of which I own several, but like most people I need a daily driver. I always buy quite old cars for this job, but just recently started using a BMW 320d (Compact - yes the poor mans 3 Series! Although with a 911TT, in the garage I don't pay much attention to doubters). This car is now 11 cars old, but does 40-50 MPG and has a 150 BHP and does 0-60 in 8.3 seconds.
Around the time I bought this, I looked at Mondeos again, but even 2008/09 models were producing 140 BHP and over 9 seconds to 60. Quite simply Mondeos are okay and well equipped etc., but they are not in the same class as BMW - not even BMW's that are now old cars like mine - not if you want a driver's car. Anyone who has driven and owned both will understand this. Prestige car haters will say I am full of it. But this is the reality of it.
People who have never had so-called prestige brands (or have had one lemon) will always be trying to belittle owners of cars like Audi or BMW etc. and come up with all the specs that clearly show that a more average car has more horsepower, better 0-100 km/h times, higher top speed, lower price, etc.
I'm living in New Zealand, and until Japanese used import European cars were more common, people sneered at BMWs, for example, saying "I'd never be caught driving one of THOSE." From the outside looking in. But now that you could get them in good shape from Japan for very good prices, even people in lower socio-economic neighbourhoods are driving them. They're so common they don't even get stolen.
Only after actually owning one can you actually "get it." Only after you've been stuck in traffic for months, or driven on our country roads will you realise that the badge is really just a badge, it's the little things about the car it's affixed to.
I'm not talking about being able to buy these cars new or even slightly used - we can't afford those here. But cars that are brought in at 8-10 years old (simple, non-complicated models) give a truly affordable way to be able to check what these cars are all about, THEN judge them.
I have just changed my BMW 3 Series for a Mondeo diesel for a few reasons.
The Mondeo has a lot of space. I can now transport bigger items.
I loved my BMW, but it did have many problems; niggling and annoying things like sensors going wrong and those dash lights coming on, aaargh. But I just kept repairing it. After 90,000 miles (only) it was time to let it go.
The Mondeo is a 2.0 TDCI, has 110,000 miles and drives really good. I get 55 MPG easy and I can cruise at 80mph at ease.
The only thing that I miss from my BMW is the handling; it was like driving a car that was glued to the road; loads of fun.