Used car of the week: Ford Mondeo Estate

* Used models from £7500 * What Car?'s estate car of year a record five times * Practical estate car that's also good to drive...

Used car of the week: Ford Mondeo Estate

The new Ford Mondeo Estate impressed when we drove it in October ahead of its arrival in the UK in December. It offers a massive amount of space and is very good to drive.

However, if you're after an estate car, don't overlook the outgoing model. It was our favourite estate car for five yours on the trot and there are plenty of good used examples at great prices. Here's what we recommend.

Our pick Ford Mondeo Estate 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec
Prices from £7500

Why should I buy a used Mondeo Estate?

The Mondeo Estate offers a lot of room for passengers and a their luggage, making it a great car for a family.

Despite its size the Mondeo Estate feels sporty to drive; the steering is responsive, the handling sharp and the ride well-controlled. It also makes an amazingly comfortable cruiser, with a supportive driver’s seat and a generally hushed cabin that helps makes motorway trips relaxing.

Which model should I choose?

Our favourite model is the 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec. The 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine is smooth and delivers all the power you’ll need while returning a combined 47.9mpg and emitting 156g/km of CO2. Also, servicing and repair costs are low and insurance premiums are reasonable meaning that overall running costs are decent.

Zetec is our preferred spec because it comes with everything you need including air-conditioning, Bluetooth, cruise control and a heated windscreen.

If your budget will stretch to it, we'd recommend choosing a face-lifted model which was available from the end of 2010. The face-lift improved fuel economy and added upgraded materials to the dash.

How much should I pay?

A pre-facelift 2010 model with about 50,000 miles on the clock can be yours for just £7500. If you're after a face-lifted model you c'an get an '11/11 model that's done about 35,000 miles for £11,000. Check the What Car? classifieds for Ford Mondeo Estates.

What problems should I look out for?

There are no widely reported reliability issues with this age of Mondeo.

If you're considering putting a rear-facing child seat up front, make sure that the car was fitted with the optional deactivation switch for the front airbag.

Cars with 2.0-litre TDCi engines built between November 2009 and March 2010 had a recall to fix the anti-lock brakes. Check that this work has been carried out.

Listen out for squeaks and rattles coming from the suspension. It could indicate a problem.

As with all estates, check for damage to the boot. Years of loading and unloading can take its toll on the trim.