Buyers guide: Ford Mondeo

21 Sep, 2009 3:17pm

It's Britain's family favourite and there are loads about, so how do you ensure you get a good one?

If you are after a large family car, then the latest Ford Mondeo should be at the top of your list. With strong dynamics, generous kit, a spacious cabin and top build quality, it leaves rivals trailing. Better still, its popularity means that used buyers have plenty of choice. Our guide shows you how to pick a good one.

The fourth-generation Mondeo was launched in 2007, with a choice of 1.6, 2.0, 2.3 or 2.5-litre petrol engines, along with 1.8 or 2.0 TDCi turbodiesel units. There was also the option of four-door saloon, five-door hatchback or five-door estate bodystyles, plus a choice of Edge, Zetec, Ghia or Titanium X trim levels. In March 2008, the green 1.8 TDCi ECOnetic and flagship 173bhp 2.2 TDCi arrived.

What to look for
Of the three bodystyles, saloons are worth the least, while the desirable estates fetch the highest prices. The smooth and torquey 2.2 TDCi unit is the pick of the engines. If you’re trading up from a third-generation Mondeo, make sure you can live with the much bigger dimensions of the newer car.

Vauxhall’s Vectra is the main rival. It’s plentiful, cheap, well equipped and generally reliable. But it’s not as good to drive, and the cabin is bland. The Rover 75 is worth a look for its value, comfort and reliability. Also consider Skoda’s Octavia, which boasts excellent quality, practicality and driving dynamics.

There has only been one recall for the latest Mondeo. Issued in May 2009, it affects any 2.0 TDCi car built between November 2008 and March 2009. The problem centres on the braking system losing its power assistance when the engine is warming up. There’s no danger of brake failure, but stopping distances could be increased.

How much?
Average mileage fourth-generation Mondeos start at £10,000, which nets a 1.6-litre 56-plate hatchback with 30,000 on the clock. Around £11,000 will secure a 2.0 Edge hatch or Zetec saloon. A similar amount buys a 56-plate 1.8 TDCi hatch, and £12,000 gets the keys to a desirable 2.0 TDCi. High-spec Titanium models start from £13,000, rising to £22,000 for an 09-plate Titanium X Sport. Expect estates to fetch £500 more than hatchbacks.

Model / 58-2009 / 08-2008 / 57-2007 / 07-2007 / 56-2007
1.6 125 Edge / N/A / £12,495 / £11,195 / £10,895 / £10,495
2.0 Zetec / £14,295 / £13,450 / £11,995 / £11,695 / £11,250
2.3 Ghia auto / £15,495 / £14,495 / £12,995 / £12,595 / £12,095
1.8 TDCi 125 Zetec / N/A / £13,595 / £12,195 / £11,795 / £11,395
1.8 TDCi 125 Tit. X / £16,795 / £15,795 / £14,195 / £13,695 / £13,195
2.0 TDCi 130 Zet. auto / N/A / £14,895 / £13,395 / £12,895 / £12,395
2.0 TDCi 140 Ghia / £15,995 / £14,995 / £14,195 / £13,395 / £12,495

Running costs
All Mondeos need a service every 12,500 miles or 12 months, whichever comes sooner. Service costs vary according to mileage, but you’ll pay between £190 and £235 each time. You shouldn’t struggle to find a dealer, either – the blue oval has 781 sites across the UK.

Under the bonnet, all engines in the line-up are chain driven, meaning that there’s no need to budget for a replacement cambelt. However, the air-conditioning system will need attention every three years, with a recharge costing around £80. The brake fluid needs renewing at two-year intervals (£40), while fresh coolant should be put in every four years, also at £40.

Model/Pence per mile / % price retained after 3 years / Annual road fund licence
1.6 125 Edge / 7 / 45 / 41 / £175
2.0 Zetec / 8 / 49 / 41 / £215
2.3 Ghia auto / 9 / 57 / 39 / £215
2.5T Titanium X / 14 / 64 / 37 / £215
1.8 TDCi 125 Zetec / 7 / 46 / 42 / £215
2.0 TDCi 130 Zet. auto / 8 / 52 / 41 / £150
2.0 TDCi 140 Ghia / 9 / 50 / 41 / £150


Part / Dealer price / Independent price
Front brake pads (axle set) / £53.03 / £26.95
Brake disc (pair) / £110.40 / £43.95
Door mirror glass (electric) / £33.87 / £17.99
Radiator / £205.18 / £154.95


The fact that badge snobs overlook the multi-talented Mondeo is great news for used buyers – because it ensures this family favourite is now within the reach of those on a budget.

Key points to watch out for

The windows can open by themselves once the car has been parked and locked up. However, you’re unlikely to be able to check for this fault while on a test drive.

Key fob
Remote central locking fobs can be temperamental, so try locking and unlocking the car several times. A replacement battery is a cheap fix, but a new unit is costly.

Some cabin fittings are proving fragile, despite generally decent build quality. Cubbyhole lids are vulnerable, while icons can also wear off the stereo buttons.

The top of the rear bumper can be easily damaged when items are loaded into the boot. Small scratches should polish out, but deeper gouges will require attention.

Disqus - noscript

Ford Mondeo are diesel leaks waiting to happen and potential fire hazard.fuel leak off pipes have perishable o rings and diesel leaks and hot engines is a potential fire waiting to happen. Injectors failures are common plus DMF &Clutch failures also common &Expensive deep pockets and patience will be required.Nice cars but not reliable and prone to common faults above and Fords do nnot like recalling cars even though faults above are very common and diesel leaks are dangerous.

Correction - Only the mk3 uses a timing chain. The mk4 Mondeo uses a belt which usually has a 125.000 or ten year interval.

The 2.0 and 2.2 tdci are actually Peugeot psa hdi engines and require a cambelt change every 10yrs or 125k.
It's an infinitely more reliable engine than the Puma tdci camchain driven lump found in the mk3 Mondeo.
The 10 yr interval cambelt change is a relatively easy job and not mega expensive and is a small price to pay for the added reliability associated with that engine. If serviced properly it's not unfeasible to take this engine beyond 300k miles.

I think you are confusing the mk3 Mondeo tdci engine which is a completely different unit to that found in the mk4.
the mk4 mondeo shares the same engine as the Peugeot 407 and Citroën c5. The psa hdi dw10 engine is one of the most reliable common rail engines you can get. The 2.0 140ps is the pick of the bunch.

Unfortunately all modern diesels suffer from dmf failures as they all use them. The dmf failure rate is nowhere near as frequent as it was on the mk3 Mondeo though.
And clutches, well they do eventually go.