Ford Mondeo

The Essentials

  • Price from £18,100
  • What Car? says: 5 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 65.7mpg
  • What is it? Get past the sales rep image and the Mondeo is a brilliant all-rounder and one of the best family cars around.

Great

  • On the road it's one of the best in the class
  • Affordable enough to soothe the bank manager
  • You're unlikely to be wanting for space

Gripes

  • It's a common sight on the road and resale values suffer
  • Some plastics don't feel as high quality as we'd like
  • It's a big car to park and manoeuvre
  • Drive

    Sweet, powerful engines and optional sports suspension to improve an already great drive

  • Inside

    Comfortable, hugely adjustable, but some plastics a little hard and shiny

  • Safety

    If you're going to crash, the Mondeo's a good place to be

  • Reliability

    Unlikely to let you down

  • Space

    With the seats down the boot gives MPVs the sweats

  • Standard and extras

    Loads of standard kit and tempting options

  • What's it like to drive?

    With umpteen engines to choose from, it's easy to get bewildered. Don't be: there's no need to look past the 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel, which is smooth, flexible and affordable to run. The 1.6-litre diesel is even more frugal, but with just 113bhp it struggles to haul around heavy loads.
    The ride is smooth and relaxing - great news for passengers and the dog - but the Mondeo is no wallowy barge. In fact, it's great fun when you want it to be, with tight body control, sharp steering and plenty of grip. However, the Mondeo is very big, so not the easiest to manoeuvre.

  • What's it like inside?

    The Mondeo is vast inside, wherever you sit, which makes it an ideal car for a family. If you're petite, you may find the high window-line makes you feel claustrophobic, but there's lots of seat adjustment to raise you higher. Wide-opening doors make it easy to get granny in and out, and there's heaps of room for rear passengers. Thanks to split-folding rear seats, the boot is extremely ample, too.
    Ford hasn't skimped on equipment: all models come with air-conditioning, cruise control, remote central locking, powered front windows, a heated quick-clear windscreen, Bluetooth phone connection and a CD player with MP3 connectivity. The dashboard has a soft-touch covering and all the switchgear operates with slick precision, although the stereo and sat-nav systems are decidedly outdated.

  • How reliable is it?

    Unlikely. Everything feels solid and well screwed together, and the Mondeo scored above average marks for mechanical reliability in the most recent JD Power ownership satisfaction survey.
    All cars come with electronic stability control and seven airbags, including one for the driver's knees, which all helped contribute to an impressive Euro NCAP crash test performance: the Mondeo scored five-out-of-five for adult safety and four stars for child protection.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Mondeo is one of the best family cars money can buy, and you won't pay anywhere near the brochure price thanks to the huge discounts available from Ford dealers and online brokers. It's just as well, though, because resale values aren't very impressive.