Take this week's Shed, a Ford Mondeo 2.5 Ghia X. The MOT history tells us that in the first four years of that life it only managed 12,400 miles, and that the mileage continued to build at the same careful rate of 3-4,000 miles a year from that point on.
The current mileage of 53,000 and the first owner's name still being on the V5 would suggest a loving and pampered existence. Why, then, does it look quite so scabby in places? If you didn't know different you'd guess at 153,000 miles rather than 53,000.
Older motorists brought up on Austin Sevens and the like believe that driving carefully and not very often is a good way to extend the life of their cars. Today's thinking is that low mileages kill modern cars, and that you've got to treat 'em mean to keep 'em keen.
They could have said that in the ad. Well, some of it anyway. They could have made up a story. Surely anything's better than Centre Rear Seat Belt, Mirrors External, Seating Capacity Five Seats and DOES NOT EFFECT YOUR STATUTORY RIGHTS. Still not sure how they'd explain the slight tattiness of it now though.
But let's park that one up and examine in a here and now type of way exactly what you will get for your 1,499 sovs. The answer to that is one of the last examples of a mainstream Johnny Average motor to get an indulgently big and lazy motor, bunged in there by Ford for no other reason than it made you better than everybody else. Really. If your firm was locked into a Ford-only fleet, and you were the manager of a department rather than one of the under-henchmen, you would have wanted some way of distinguishing yourself from the filthy herd. You would have deserved it, too, by heaven. And this Mondeo 2.5 Ghia X would have done the job.
If you could get around the brand image, these Mk3 Mondeos were a very nice steer. They had plenty of space, a massive boot and good handling too thanks to the Focus-style Control Blade rear suspension. As noted earlier, the amount of power you got from your schmancy-sounding 24-valve 2.5-litre V6 wasn't that great - just 168bhp. It didn't even break into single figures on the 0-60. A TDCi diesel was faster. But the Duratec V6 was smooth and flexible and as well-suited to the Durashift 5-tronic automatic gearbox as any Mondeo engine could be. That Durashift was one of those 'sealed for life' gearboxes that didn't really like to be sealed for life.
Having said that, the Duratec V6 is not what you'd call bulletproof. Water pump failure (plastic impellers on the original units, groogh) can lead to head gaskets going. Plastic roller guides for the cambelt weren't the best idea either, and piston slap/cylinder bore wear can also spoil your day.
The idle control valve is known for making what is referred to in Mondeo circles as a 'moosing' noise. This is a noise with which Shed is all too familiar, and he doesn't even own a V6 Mondeo.
In mid-2003 Ford added more quality to the Mondy, plus more kit. And that brings us to the other thing going for this one: the chrome script on the boot lid. The Ghia X's equipment package is something you'd get in a mid-spec SUV these days, of course. Why, there's not even a sat-nav. Then again you didn't need a sat-nav back then, you could just ask anyone in the street and they would tell you where to go, it was a lot friendlier in those days people had time for each other - oh, sorry, where were we?
Just as an aside, it's remarkable to note that the Ford GT came out just one year after this Mondeo was built, in 2004. Doesn't seem that long ago somehow. Mind you, the years were much longer then.
CALL OUR TRADE DISPOSALS MANAGER NICK ON 07977 223024 THIS VEHICLE WAS TAKEN IN PART EXCHANGE BY US. WE WILL ALWAYS GIVE YOU AN HONEST APPRAISAL OF THE VEHICLE BEFORE YOU TRAVEL. MECHANICAL INSPECTION'S RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR OWN PIECE OF MIND. WE ARE UNABLE TO OFFER AN ADDITIONAL WARRANTY ON THIS VEHICLE DUE TO THE AGE AND MILES. THIS DOES NOT EFFECT YOUR STATUTORY RIGHTS. PLEASE CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT.. Metallic Paint,Cruise Control,Central Door Locking - Remote,Immobiliser,Alarm,Anti-Lock Brakes,Power-Assisted Steering,Front Fog Lights,Head Restraints - Front/Rear,Air Bag Driver,Air Bag Passenger,Air Bag Side - Front Side & Front Curtain,Centre Rear Seat Belt,Computer - Driver Information System,Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel - Rake/Reach,Electric Windows - Front/Rear,Heated Front Screen,Speakers - Four,Upholstery Cloth/Leather,Armrest - Rear,Seats Heated - Driver/Passenger,Seat Height Adjustment - Electric Driver,Seat Lumbar Support - Driver/Passenger Electric,Seating Capacity - Five Seats,Power Socket - Front,Air-Conditioning - Automatic,Body Coloured Bumpers,Mirrors External - Electric/Heated