So news reaches that the Ford Mondeo is to be axed. What? A sales rep’s motor? Errr, no!
See the Mondeo is actually an alright car. Sure it wears a Ford badge. Sometimes not a good thing. I have driven hundreds of these from early launch edition mark 1’s to the current version.
The amount of times I have picked up a Mondeo from the car hire desk at some god forsaken shitty airport is the stuff of legend. On this basis, I have driven at least 1000 different Mondeo’s. For years they were the go to order for a hire car. I have also had two as company cars, both of them MK3’s, a 1.8 and a 2.0. I even sold one or two when I worked in a Ford showroom for a short time.
Since the first version they have done a few things rather well.
Firstly they have kept this driver rather safe when driving. One of my more serious crashes happened in Ireland in a 1.8, which was my company car when I was almost full time in Dublin. I walked away from that crash which a few cuts on my face from the airbag deployment. It could have been a lot more serious. The car was a write off but, hey better the car written off than the driver. This was replaced with an Opel Vectra which was not as nice but was a bit faster in a straight line.
Secondly these cars are not bad to drive even disregarding the higher specification and performance models and they can dispatch 200-300 mile motorway stints with ease and keep the driver fresh and ready to business at the end destination. I have problems with car seats and getting comfy behind the wheel. Having enough support in the back is essential owing to a long standing issue following a bike crash in the early 90’s. The Mondeo seats are not amazingly good, you need a Saab or Mercedes for that but they are good and supportive and do help with the aforementioned 200 mile motorway jaunts. It means no pain at the end of the run and no stupidity like having to drive with a rolled up jumper between me and the seat back! BMW take note here, your seats are so bad! The Ford seat heating and heated windscreen also deserve a mention here. They are very good.
So why so many of them? They were the “default” hire car for one reason. Familiarity. I never needed to familiarise myself with these cars. I would always order the Mondeo for that reason. It works well at say Paris, Charles De Gaulle at 09:00 when you need to get in the car and go and also have to deal with questionable road craft from the locals. Same goes especially for Madrid and any Milan Airport! It’s a hack but its a good one! I no longer use hire cars like they were going out of fashion and these days rarely partake.
As for the company cars they were good cars for the sector. With the demise of the executive sector in the late 90’s with the axe of the Omega and others, unless I wanted to drive Mercedes or BMW there was little choice but to go to the repmobile class for some cars. Mercedes and BMW for out for a number of image issues for a while. The opposition was really limited to Vectra, Peugeot 406, Renault Laguna and a few others. The Mondeo was the class leader and deservedly so. As mentioned earlier one was crashed and the other one reached its mileage limit. This car saw the visitor car parking area at some of the UK’s biggest companies more than once!
It now looks like the repmobile sector is going the same way as the executive sector did in the late 90’s now with the demise of the Mondeo. I have to admit that as I look for a new motor I am drawn like many others to the SUV sector. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most notable one is that I now have difficulty getting into and out of one of these types of cars. Apparently Ford only 2,400 Mondeo’s in the UK in 2020 and this is a shame as they are good cars. There are few cars left in this sector now
As for the some that I sold, I remember one that was grey, a 1.8 GLX. The gentleman who bought the grey one has been on English television quite a lot in the past year or so. I won’t say anymore. The red one I remember was sold to a delightful family with 2 large dogs who brought them all in to the showroom on handover, the dogs were barking loudly as I was handing over! Another I remember, a green one, a 2.0 Ghia I think from memory was paid for in cash and I had to count all these used fiver’s out to the tune of £16,000 and they all stank!
I have lost track of the total mileage I have driven in these cars but it is very indeed. Well over 100,000 miles. With the exception of one hire car that went pop 5 minutes away from Glasgow Airport, they have never let me down either!
So farewell Mondeo and thank you!