Years built: 2007 to Date
Bodystyles: Four-door saloon, five-door liftback, estate
What is it?
It’s the car that once we all owned but which now so many of us have forsaken for the likes of a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4. It’s staggering to think of but the Ford Mondeo has fallen so far from its one pre-eminent place in the sales charts to the point where Ford actually had to shut and move a European factory to make the next-generation one viable.
The good news is that, in spite of the mass defection to the premium German brands, the Mondeo remains a plentiful sight on Irish roads and forecourts so there are tonnes to choose from. Better still, Ford knew by the time of the current model’s release in 2007 that it would have to compete head on with the much more expensive premium brands, and so it designed the Mondeo to be able to do so. So this is a supposedly humble family car with handling and dynamics that are easily the equal of anything with a BMW badge, for around €10,000 less than an equivalent Beemer - plus it comes with vastly bigger cabin and boot space too.
With an all new Mondeo on the way, there has never been a better time to get out and buy a current model, especially as it remains at the very peak of its talents three-quarters of a decade on from launch.
Which one should I buy?
There’s a very simple answer here and it’s the 2.0-litre diesel. More recently there has been a 1.6 TDCI diesel version, which can actually make quite a canny buy as it’s in Band A for road tax, is very economical and can push the Mondeo along just fine in spite of its meagre power output. The 140hp or 163hp 2.0-litre TDCI is still the better bet though – barely any less economical and with plenty of grunt for hauling that big, spacious body around. Pre-2008 and the changeover to Co2-based tax, the Mondeo was most popularly bought with a 1.6-litre petrol engine but these are best avoided unless you’re only doing mostly short, urban hops – the performance is a bit breathless and the fuel economy suffers badly on the open road.
Most Mondeos around are straightforward four-door saloons but it can be worth seeking out the somewhat rarer five-door liftback or, better yet, the exceptionally spacious estate if you’re after something a bit more practical or you have a fetish for shopping at IKEA.
How much should I spend?
Around €17,000 for a 2011 2.0 TDCI saloon, preferably in high-spec Titanium trim.
Here’s one we found:
2011 Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCI 160hp Titanium, Ford Main Dealer, one owner, 135,000km, €17,950
What goes wrong?
While it’s a decent engine, and is also used in several Peugeot, Citroen and Volvo models, the 2.0 TDCI did develop an odd tendency to cut out or stall unexpectedly. It can be fixed with a software patch from a dealer but it’s worth keeping an eye out for.
Speced-up models with keyless entry and starter buttons sometimes develop a fault whereby the doors won’t open, the engine won’t fire or both. It tends to be an intermittent fault if it is there though, and therefore can be difficult for a dealer or mechanic to track down.
Have a good poke around the cabin too and look for signs of abuse or disintegrating seats or trim – Mondeos are built tough but many have been used and abused as high-mileage company cars and the cabins can sometimes reflect this.
This was the first generation of Mondeo for which there was no performance variant. Previous Mondeos had had the ST200 or ST24 model to pick from if you wanted something a bit more
thrilling than standard. There is a sleeper model in the Mondeo range though, if you can find one – briefly, in 2007-2009, there was a model which used the 2.5-litre turbo five-cylinder engine taken from the Focus ST. It wasn’t an overt performance model but boy, could it shift along. Worth
tracking down if you fancy a performance hit and you can afford the fuel and tax bills.
And don’t forget: For ultimate peace of mind, whichever Mondeo you settle on, make sure you get its background checked out with Motorcheck.ie.