The Ford Mondeo is dead. Or it will be as of May 2022. And like buzzards circling over ailing livestock, the press is alive with stories of how Ford is killing off the once best-selling family car. The Mondeo has been with us for – and we’re sorry to tell you this, as it will force you into an existential crisis because you’re sure 1993 was only last week – twenty-nine years. That’s a long time. And over those years the Mondeo has been a best seller, it has been the automotive face of middle management, and it has been one of the most ubiquitous vehicular shapes on the road. It’s more than a car, it’s a friend. I familiar face in an ever changing world. Or something.
Sadly though, while the Mondeo is indeed still a common sight, it’s not been the fastest to leave Ford’s network of showrooms of late. Because people are largely morons, the new car buyer has decided that flabby, tall, SUVs are the way to go. These people are, of course, wrong. But, wrong though they may be, the fact remains that their money talks and as such, the Mondeo isn’t simply worth Ford bothering with anymore. Shame. We’re a bit sad about that.
So what are we going to do? Are we going to write a post like every other motoring outlet in which we talk of the Mondeo’s life and what it has achieved? No, of course not. If you want that, go and read Autocar. If you want an account of the Mondeos we have owned, however, then this is the post for you. We’ve had a few Mondeos over the years, and there has never been a better time to look back upon our time with them. Our Ed, The Pollitt, takes us through them.
The Mk1 1.8 LX
Bought this before I’d even passed my test, which was in hindsight a somewhat stupid move. Looked exactly like this, and stayed looking like this. Never did anything with it, other than sit in it and listen to the stereo because, well, I couldn’t drive it anywhere. In the end, it took longer than anticipated to get said licence, so naturally I swapped it for a Ford Orion. That was daft.
The Mk2 2.0 Zetec
Bought £600, I was overjoyed with this. Due to poor life choices and foolishly becoming a staff writer on a car magazine – also known as the lowest paid job in the world – I was very, very excited to buy a then ten year-old Mondeo. I had always liked the Zetec model, with its big factory alloys and luxuries like air-conditioning. However, this one was an utter dog. The brakes constantly bound, despite stripping and rebuilding them several times. And it never once drove in a straight line, leading me to believe it had been wrapped around some street furniture at some point. Sold it to a banger racer. No regrets.
The Mk2 2.0 Ghia X
Leather, functioning air conditioning, a spoiler that was held on by one bolt and some BluTac (no, really). I loved this car. I was working on Performance Ford at the time, so still had no money. As much as I would have liked to bring an RS Turbo to the ‘staff car’ table, I could not. All I could manage was a high specification saloon. I had a KILLER stereo fitted, and also a K&N 57i induction kit. But that was about it. I used it in a ‘cheap car challenge’ that we ran in the magazine for a few issues, in which I got to fling it around Bruntingthorpe a couple of times, which was fun. I then decided I was going to make it a sick stance car and even had some insane 19-inch three-piece Image split rim wheels made for it. But it never happened. In the end, my neighbour got bored of looking at it and so scrapped it (no, really). I got it back after the threat of Police intervention. I then ripped the engine out of it for my Escort track car (which never saw a track – I AM GOOD AT CARS).
The Mk3 ‘pool car’
Not mine, as such. It was a pool car at work. We had two before this, and they were both ace, even if one did smell a bit weird after my editor and I had to spend a night in it. Don’t ask. They both got a bit leggy though, and were replaced by two 2006 Mondeo ‘Edge’ models. Nice cars by all accounts. Well, one nicer than the other. You see, I may have stuffed one into the back of an Audi at some pace. So that was the end of that. Still, a good car to have a crash in. 10/10. Would crash again.
The Mk1 Somethingorother
Remember the Escort track car I mentioned? Well, it decided to eat its own oil pump in the end and coughed a rod through the block on the M25. Not fun. As such, I needed a new engine, so I bought this Mondeo automatic for scrap money and put the engine from that into the Escort. Well, I didn’t. Someone else did. I’m not bright enough to swap an entire engine. Once in the Escort, it did the business, until it started knocking like a bastard, so I sold the whole car for a grand.
And finally, the ST TDCi
Man alive, I loved this thing. A friend of mine bought it when it wasn’t all that old, and used it as his truly family bus for years. With 176k on the clock, he sold it to me for a mere £500. It needed some love, but it was running and driving, so I could have it as my daily and also as a rolling project. I cleaned it up, I gave it blackout headlights, I fitted an AirTec FMIC, it got a set of 19-inch Wolfrace Assassin alloys with Yokohama rubber, Bluefin re-map, a new exhaust and various other little bits and bobs. It was an absolute freight train of a car. More torque than a chat show host. I loved it. But alas, it failed an MOT spectacularly, so I had to sell it on. However, in an unusual twist for one of my cars, it actually lived on. It’s still out there, and now has over 200k on the clock. Proof, not that is was needed, that the Mondeo was and always will be a formidable force. Good cars. You should definitely buy one.