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.
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
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.
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.
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.