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A Grand Monday: Ford Mondeo Mk 1

Published 06 February 2017

When was the last time you saw a Mk1 Ford Mondeo? It's probably not something you've given a lot of thought to, but the one-time darling of the UK's company car drivers has all but disappeared from our roads in recent years.

To be fair, it's hardly surprising. The Mondeo was built very much as a car to do a job. A job that frequently involved very high mileages, followed by a slide into banger territory, as cheap transport for families on a budget. Such a profile usually means the car in question is an extremely able machine, but conversely does very little for survival rates.

Let's not forget, then, just how brilliant the Mondeo was when it first came out. In September, it'll be 25 years since it arrived in showrooms - something many people will find astonishing. It was, categorically, the best D-segment car of its era, no question. Comfortable, spacious, well packaged and celebrated for its sales rep-friendly pen holder among many other attributes, it was a car to which a great deal of thought had gone into the design.

But more than that, it was the car that completely transformed people's perceptions of Fords dynamically. Just two years behind the Mk4 Escort, which was justifiably lambasted for its crashy ride and dull, lifeless handling, the Mondeo was a complete transformation. The chassis balance and steering were sensational - drive a Mk1 today and you'll be surprised at just how well sorted it still feels. Aside from the usual Ford bugbear of rampant corrosion (the one single thing you should be wary of), the Mondeo was - and still is - a fine car. It's also now an extremely rare one, especially in good condition.

Ford Mondeo (3)

All of which makes this example an extremely attractive proposition at just £595 (yours for £500, most probably, if you haggle). It's not the best spec or engine gearbox combo - a 1.8 LX auto - but it'll still be a perfectly pleasant car to drive, and with just 75k on the clock of a car that was designed from the outset to gobble up motorway miles, it's barely run-in.

It also has a very Nineties blue cloth interior with matching blue dashboard. It's how we rolled back in the early days of Britpop, and there's no better way of listening to Blur's Charmless Man on cassette than on this period perfect Ford audio system - one thing Ford always did brilliantly was car radios...

Six months' MoT, a newly reconditioned gearbox, sunroof and one owner since 1998 are all further strings to its bow. A future (if not already) classic, and a veritable bargain to boot. 


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