We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For There's plenty of useable space and practicality, it's excellent to drive, and prices are cheap

Against Diesel engines are desperately sluggish and unrefined. V6 engines need revving hard and are thirsty

Verdict A great drive and decent practicality, all at excellent prices

Go for… 2.0 LX

Avoid… Any diesel

Ford Mondeo Estate
  • 1. The boot space is bigger than a Vectra's, but smaller than a Laguna's or 406's
  • 2. Mondeo is an effective estate without losing any of the driveability of the hatch that it's based on
  • 3. Diesel engines can be unreliable if the service intervals are not observed
advertisement

Ford Mondeo Estate full review with expert trade views

With the Mondeo, everyone concentrates on how well it drives - and quite rightly so. This is the best-driving car in its class.

Yet, the most impressive thing is that Ford has created an effective estate without losing any of the driveability of the hatch that it’s based on. No matter how much you’ve got in the back, you’ll still enjoy driving it. Admittedly, the ride is a bit firm, but it’s a fair price to pay for the excellent handling.

There’s nothing much wrong with the cabin, either. Thanks to the various adjustments on the seat and wheel, the ergonomics are spot-on.

By the standards of its day the cabin is pretty spacious for passengers, and the maximum boot space of 1558 litres is more than you’ll get in a Vauxhall Vectra. However, it’s not quite as big as the Peugeot 406 or Renault Laguna.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Last Zetec models have larger alloys and sports seats/interior

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

There’s a simple rule to follow when picking engines on this Mondeo: only petrol and no more than four cylinders. The diesels are too unrefined and the V6 petrols too expensive to run.

Of the rest, the 2.0-litre is the best, because it’s got useful extra shove over the 1.8. If you regularly carry heavy loads, the 1.8 and the 1.6 are a bit weedy.

Whatever trim you’re looking for, always try for a model from after February ’98. At that point, the range was revised and the specification improved across the board, with most models getting air-con as standard.

Don’t bother with the entry-level Aspen, though. It’s just too basic. At the top of the range, GLX, Ghia and Ghia X add increasing levels luxury (sunroof, four electric windows and leather upholstery), but they're needlessly dear - you’ll find pretty much everything you need on LX.

Trade view

John Owen

Dated now, but still offering reliable good-value family transport. Cheap to mend

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The sheer number of Mondeos means there’s a huge choice available, so prices are cheap.

With any of the four-cylinder petrols, you’re looking at miles per gallon in the low- to mid-30s. The diesels, strangely, don’t better that by much, returning just over 40mpg. That’s very disappointing when a contemporary diesel Passat estate gives over 50mpg. On the other hand, the petrols’ economy compares well to rivals such as the Vauxhall Vectra and Peugeot 406.

Insurance is no great worry, with the most basic cars sitting in group seven, and only the V6s above group 12. The Vectra and Laguna are much the same, but the Mondeo has a slight advantage over the 406 and Passat.

According to Warranty Direct, the Mondeo is cheaper on average to repair than the Vectra and 406. It’s also a considerable help that independent labour rates for Fords are among the very lowest.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Last Zetec models have larger alloys and sports seats/interior

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

Mondeos are basically very tough cars, and can cope well with whatever owners throw at them. The Warranty Direct Reliability Index puts the Mondeo ahead of contemporary rivals, such as the Vectra, Passat and Laguna, and shows that later cars are better than the early models.

At all ages, though, it’s the suspension that gives the most problems. It's responsible for over a third of claims to Warranty Direct on ’93-’96 cars, and almost half on the later models. The brakes, too, may require attention, the diesel engines can be weak if the service intervals are not observed, and the cambelt can break if it isn't changed on time.

On the other hand, the petrols have proved very tough, and owners are almost all very positive about the car. The only problems reported are quite minor and, as proved by Warranty Direct’s figures, generally quite easy and cheap to fix.

Trade view

John Owen

Dated now, but still offering reliable good-value family transport. Cheap to mend

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014