A worthy successor to the much loved Serria, the Mondeo was once voted the coolest car by a certain well known car program. Now in its forth incarnation it has been on sale since 1992.
Maximum # of Registrations = 893862
Latest # of Registrations = 417422
The Mondeo ST220 is one to look out for.
The second generation Mondeo came out in late 2000 and was a significant step up from its predecessor in design dynamics(especially the diesel) though Ford had learnt their lesson with the Sierra and kept the styling cautious. One of the big improvements was the dodgy Americanised interior which was ditched for some think with a much more Germanic feel. The bits that were carried over were the good bits, like the suspension which had won the mk1 many plaudits and remained virtually unchanged for the mk2. The ST220 came out at the same time as the standard car and featured an enlarged 3.0L V6 engine producing 226bhp. Performance was good though acceleration times can vary depending on who's word your believing, but is roughly in the seven seconds bracket, and the top speed... well that's something your never gonna do, right!
In 2003 the Mondeo was given a light dusting of a make over, there wasn't much to see on the outside but the improved dashboard does make the later models worth looking out for.
Overall the reaction from the motoring press and public alike was very favourable regarding the whole range though the ST220 received particular praise for its tractable engine, subtle sports styling and firm but supple ride quality.
Sadly its now time to broach the thorny issue of reliability. Although the Mondeo got good reviews in its early years, sadly time and mileage do creep up on the old girl and rob her of some of here youthful allure. The main problem is that she is a Ford and as is the case with all Fords, they ain't quite German! That is to say that the 100k miles self destruct button was never made an optional extra (it always came as standard) in the Ford range. I'm not saying that all Mondeo's are going to fall apart at the stoke of 100k miles but it does pay to be extra vigilant when buying one with higher miles.
A list of things to look out for are as follows:
Rear subframe bushes, they wear out usually about 100k and can be identified by a clonking noise and sloppiness in the steering. They are a garage job to replace.
Handbrakes like to stop working, usually to do with the cable get gunged up, which is a hassle to replace.
Front springs break a lot and the dampers can become noisy.
The engines seem to hold out well but a general feeling of wear does start to make itself felt through out the drive train on really big milers.
One last thing, sapphire blue seems the colour that commands the best resale values when buying a fast Ford so bear that in mind.
The prices for early 2001-2003 models appear to have stabilized and the value of the car is mostly dependant on its condition rather than age. We would advise a sub 80k mileage car to really guarantee future values. Dealers are asking upwards of £6k for low milers though there are some private examples for sale around the £3.5k mark for one with 80k.
Example for sale:
Sapphire blue 53 plate 49k miles excellent condition £3999 ono (Feb 2016)