Shed of the Week: Ford Mondeo Titanium X

Taking pictures is a skill. Some of us have it, some of us don't.

Shed definitely doesn't have it. Whenever he's out with Mrs Shed, communing with nature and wondering where it all went wrong, Shed might take a picture of a passing thrush. The result will be terrible; a dim and blurry brown splodge in completely the wrong place in the frame.

Mrs Shed will then take a picture of the same bird, using the exact same piece of kit, and it will be a masterpiece of framing, colour, exposure and depth of field.

Shed has no idea why this should be, but this week at least the annoyance he feels about it has been reduced by the discovery of someone even worse at photography than he is, namely theowner of this enticing Mondeo 3.0 Titanium X.

Well, we say enticing, but it's hard to be sure from the pictures, which appear to have been taken over a 30-second period in the middle of a London rainstorm using a Kodak Instamatic, if anybody remembers those.

Let's try and turn the old adage of a picture being worth a thousand words on its head by filling in some of the missing detail on this moody but potentially rewarding motor.

There have been a couple of 2.5 V6 Tit Xs in Shed of the Week over the years, but even old Bert in the subterranean PH archive can't remember a 3.0 litre dropping into the net. The 2.5s are kind of meh, and even in 2,967cc form the Duratec V6 engine wasn't the last word in economy, zinging performance or light weight. The 3.0 Mondeo weighed in at not far short of 1,500kg - compared to the 1.8 four's 1,360kg or thereabouts - but it had a relaxed sort of vibe that, if you squinted a bit, screwed up your face a lot, and took some mind-enhancing medicine on the side, almost took you back to the old Essex V6 mills of yore.

Shed might be in a minority here, but he really likes the look of the second-gen (not counting the Mk1 facelift as a second-gen) Mondeo. He once drove a press car to Seville and back, and still has fond memories of the Mondy's great cabin and boot space, chiselled looks and accomplished dynamics.

This one is a saloon rather than the hatch, which compromises the practicality a little, but at the same time the four-door body seems somehow appropriate for a 149mph motorway bruiser. Imagine keeping up with the big German lads on the autobahn. Schweinblaben!

You'll pay for it at the pumps, mind. The official combined mpg was 27.4 but if you expect low 20s you won't be too disappointed when it dips into the teens.

So, what you've got here is a five-seat family motor with an unnecessarily large engine, road tax at £315 a year and about the same per week for your fuel. Not really. It depends how far you go, and how you go far.

The vendor is right to say that these 3.0 Titanium Xs are getting rare. How Many Left's model-naming protocol is a tad fuzzy, so it could well be that there are more than the 20 they suggest remain on UK roads, but how many have you seen recently?

Even allowing for HML variation, they're a lot less common than (and some might say just as classy as) the more expensive ST220s that run a slightly rortier version of the Duratec 30 engine. Even allowing for its lower power output, this low-mileage, recently serviced Titanium X is still a superbly equipped 200+ horsepower machine. If it all checks out, it's an interesting shout even at the top end of our Shed budget.  

Faults include the famously 'moosing' idle control valves and more unusually ESP/ABS failure, but the coil packs that commonly fail on the 1.8 and 2.0 Mondeos are generally OK on the V6. Vacuum and coolant-related problems aren't unknown. Expansion tanks crack, as do radiators and hoses, but this sort of stuff is usually on higher-mileage cars.

Do you like the colour? Black with the half-leather interior is cool if you can keep on top of it with the bucket, Fairy Liquid, and gritty chamois. Given a choice, you might think they look best in the mid-metallic grey shown here. But there is no choice. You had your chance to pick a colour when they were on sale new in Ford showrooms. Here and now, you can have any colour as long as it's black - a fitting testament to Henry Ford's probably mythical pronouncement.

Here's the ad.


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Comments (66) Join the discussion on the forum

  • alorotom 21 Dec 2018

    This is my favourite shape of Mondeo and a saloon to boot! Seems strong money though considering most have succumb to rust and ruin and at the end of the day is a Mondeo hack

    I expected more from the penumltimate shed of 2018

  • Brompty 21 Dec 2018

    No, I disagree: this is a great car for the money. Fast, practical and looks good - what's not to love?

  • Sparky137 21 Dec 2018

    Disappointing. For me the ugliest shape Mondeo ever made. Distinctly average performance that can be bettered by many current rep spec diesels.

    Expensive to tax and expensive to run. For me, about £1k over priced for a 14 year old repmobile that is irrelevant nowadays.

  • Limpet 21 Dec 2018

    A much more handsome car than its replacement, in my view, and they drive really well. This particular one looks like a good example. Clean sheet at the last MOT, and nothing scary in its history either (just the usual boots and balljoints. Not a single corrosion related fail or advisory anywhere, which is pretty unusual for a 15 year old Ford.

    That said, as rare as the car might be, the seller is asking strong money, IMO. This looks more like a grand to me.

  • Futse 21 Dec 2018

    Strong money... What's the difference between 1.300 and a grand? I mean, someone who wants this, will pay 1.300. Or haggle a bit. Someone who wants to sell, will take a grand ;-)

    And expensive to run and tax? To run maybe, but come to Belgium and talk about 'expensive to run' again... Wish we could pay 315£ for a 3.0. Will be more like 900£/1.000€ here

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