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What Car? says

5 out of 5 stars

For The Mondeo is a spacious, practical and versatile car. It's also cheap and drives well

Against It’s noisy, and large-wheeled versions give an overly firm ride

Verdict It’s cheap, well built, reliable, spacious, and - best of all - superb to drive

Go for… 1.8 LX

Avoid… V6s

Ford Mondeo Hatchback
  • 1. Wide cabin and generous head- and legroom in the back means you can get five adults inside in comfort
  • 2. The engines are largely trouble-free if they are maintained properly
  • 3. Electrical gremlins are the biggest source of trouble, so make sure everything works properly
  • 4. Suspension problems are among the most frequent causes of warranty claims
  • 5. The boot is spacious, and the hatchback gives tremendous access
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Ford Mondeo Hatchback full review with expert trade views

For all its space, practicality and versatility, it’s the way the Mondeo drives that sets it apart from rivals. It hides its size well through an almost perfect blend of supple, well-controlled ride and crisp handling, topped by great feel through the controls. Wind noise at speed is the only disappointment.

In terms of everyday usability, it’s up with the very best. With reach and rake adjustment on the steering wheel, as well as height adjustment on the driver’s seat, the driving position is spot-on for people of all shapes and sizes.

Thanks to the wide cabin, and generous head- and legroom in the back, you can get five adults inside. On all models, a split-fold rear seat and spacious boot give it top marks for practicality.

Equipment levels are generous, even on the most basic models, and build quality is also excellent.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Most sought after models are the Ghia X and Titanium

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The best bit about the Mondeo is its high sales as a new car, which means it’s widely, and cheaply, available on the used market. And, on top of that, you can get everything you need on even the base version, so there’s no point looking beyond the 1.8 LX, with its good performance and low running costs.

In common with all Mondeos, it has good levels of safety and security equipment, plus goodies such as a CD player, remote central locking and air-con. Stepping up through the trims brings things such as CD multichangers, alloy wheels and leather upholstery.

Also worth considering are the TDCi diesels. They’re much better than the Di units originally fitted to this car. However, they are dearer to buy and only make financial sense if you cover high mileages, when the lower fuel costs will offset the extra the car cost to buy in the first place.

The hot STs are decent performance cars, but ride more firmly and are expensive to run.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Good reliability and average repair bills - watch for electrical faults

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

Compared with many family cars, the relative undesirability of the name and its wide availability mean the Mondeo is a cheap used buy. And, once it’s taken that first major hit of depreciation early in life, the subsequent drops in value are much easier to stomach.

You should see well over 30mpg from four-cylinder petrol cars and close to 50mpg from the TDCi diesels. Both compare well to the competition, while insurance groups are also generally on a par, except on the most powerful models, the V6 petrols and 2.2-litre diesels.

The good reliability means you shouldn’t need to have the car fixed too often, but labour rates at dealers are acceptable anyway, so even basic servicing and maintenance won’t mean you have to delve too deeply into your pocket. However, things are better if you take the car to an independent, where you’ll find average costs among the lowest for any make.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Most sought after models are the Ghia X and Titanium

James Ruppert
Used car guru

In What Car?'s Reliability Index, Ford's performance has traditionally been rather disappointing, but the Mondeo is one of the company's better models, and when things do go wrong, the time and costs involved are not too bad.

According to the findings of the JD Power surveys, owners are basically satisfied with the car's quality and reliability, making this the second-highest rated Ford after the Focus.

Although faults are rare, Warranty Direct says that the most common are electrical, responsible for just over a quarter of all claims, but complaints about the suspension are not far behind.

The engines and transmissions are basically sound, although we have heard of some difficulties with the four-speed automatic transmissions on 2.0-litre petrol models, which can fail after 60,000 miles.

Some problems with injectors on the TDCi engines have been reported, but the majority of owners' comments have been almost uniformly positive.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Good reliability and average repair bills - watch for electrical faults

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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