James Ruppert: why it's time to buy a Ford Mondeo

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That’s the used supercar Mondeo sorted, so what should we look for next? The Mondeo really is the spiritual successor to the Cortina and Sierra, except that it is actually comfy and nice to drive.

So are there any real Mk1s around? Probably, but a 137,000-mile 1.8-litre automatic from 1993 in faded red paint is probably the least desirable spec on earth. The asking price of £300 seemed optimistic, especially as there was no ticket.

Typical of the worn out, I did find a one-owner Mk2 2.0 Zetec from 1999. It was up for £265, and had 153,000 miles under its well-worn wheels and an expired MOT. No mention of why that might be. Presumably the owner has expired too. It had rusty wheel arches and many miles of gaffer tape to hold the bumpers together.

More sensible is to look for Mondies that don’t need work but are ready to work. Around £5000 strikes me as a solid budget and for that you can get a 2013 1.6 TDCi Eco Graphite. I found one with 10 stamps, 116,000 miles and a fresh clutch and flywheel. You should get 60mpg out of that. Plus, if you wanted some room, then a same- year estate in basic Edge spec and standout plastic wheel trims with just 88k miles can be yours.

If that’s a bit too sensible, then how about a 2007 2.5 Titanium X with 63k miles in a racy red, apparently called Colorado? £5000 isn’t that cheap, but it’s a very comfy way to get around. Actually, for £3000, you can get a 2.0 Zetec with 66k miles with a service and a new set of discs. That is what incredible value these models are.

It will be a shame when the Mondeo goes because everyone would prefer a 5 Series, A4 or C-Class, so enjoy it while production lasts.

Of course, even when all you can get from Ford are trucks and personal mobility solutions, you will still be able to buy Mondeos for the next 20 years at proper used vehicle outlets.

What we almost bought this week: 

Alfa Romeo 159 – Every time an Alfa 159 appears, we get a pang of desire. It looks fantastic for what’s supposed to be a boring mid-range executive car. We’d love for them to be a bit cheaper, though. Look out for front subframe corrosion, and on diesels make sure the particulate filter isn’t clogged. Be wary of dual-mass flywheel failures on 2.0 diesels too.

Tales from Ruppert’s garage: 

BMW 320 Automatic, mileage 81,430: It should not need saying that I use my cars. The BMW was bought to do long journeys and it just did 325 miles in a day. Proper modern motorway stuff. Starting from stone-cold remains problematic, though. Consequently, we are off to see a well-known specialist in a few weeks’ time.

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