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Family car and compact executive

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Winner Family car and compact executive
Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Zetec 5dr
Year '07/07 Price 8600
When it arrived in 2007, the current Mondeo set the benchmark for new family cars, so it was only a matter of time before the Ford became our top used buy.

The Mondeo delivers everything you really need in a family car at a very affordable price; its good enough to keep the BMW 3 Series off the top step, which should tell you all you need to know. The Mondeos sharp exterior styling is matched by a well-designed and well-finished interior. Theres lots of rear leg- and headroom, and everyones well insulated from wind-, road- and engine noise, even at motorway speeds.

With 528 litres of boot space, only the largest loads should pose a problem, while the split-folding rear seats will help you accommodate longer items. Diesel power is the best option, with the 138bhp 2.0 TDCi offering the best blend of good performance and palatable fuel bills. Its also the most popular version, so youll be spoilt for choice.

Judge's view
Matt Sanger,
used car editor,
What Car?

Badge snobs should forget their prejudices: the Mondeo is easily the best value in this class. Despite its low price, the Zetec has all that you could need
in a five-door hatch.The 2.0-litre manages 47.9mpg and will cost 155 a year in road tax, although this goes up to 200 a year if you choose a car with the optional automatic gearbox.

The Zetec isnt at the top of the range, but it still comes with alloys, cruise control, MP3-compatible stereo, a heated windscreen and electric windows all round. Safety wont be a worry, either, because the Mondeo also comes with stability control, seven airbags and a five-star Euro NCAP crash rating.

The Fords popularity with company car drivers and fleet managers means theres a constant flow of decent used cars onto forecourts, and so much choice means prices are low. Ultimately, the Ford doesnt have the residual values of a BMW or Audi, but because youre spending less in the first place you wont lose out in the long run.

Need to know
Power 138bhp
Fuel economy 47.9mpg
0-60mph 10.5sec
Max speed 130mph
Insurance 19 Road tax 155
CO2 emissions 156g/km
Euro NCAP rating 5/5
Reliability rating 4/5
Service intervals 12,500 miles

Runners-up
Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi 130 Zetec 5dr
06/56, 5570
Great to drive and with a punchy engine: the previous Mondeo is a great family car for those with less to spend.
Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI 140 S
07/07, 8715
Last years class champion is still great value, and is big on style, space and ability.
BMW 320d SE
07/07, 11,500
Slick and sharp to drive: the 3 Series is on every middle-managers shortlist.
It should be on yours, too.