A car bore’s guide to a used Ford Mondeo

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A car bore’s guide to a used Ford Mondeo Powered By Docstoc
					Go to any car dealership and you can be certain you'll come across a used Ford
Mondeo - it is a fact as inevitable as the world being round or water being wet.
Supplies of Ford cars are plentiful - used Ford especially so - with competitive pricing
and popular styling just two features of a car company making arguably the best cars
it ever has done.

There are two histories the used Ford Mondeo sitting on the forecourt could have in
its logbook. The first history would reveal a mid-thirtysomething salesman with many
motorway journeys under his belt (and many corporate lunches too no doubt). His suit
jacket having been lovingly hung up in the back as it accompanied him on his travels
and sales pitter patter. The second life the car could've had would be the all purpose,
all conquering family pet. Muddy football boots, furniture from Ikea and mountains of
glitter from a night out would all have come into contact with the Mondeo.

Whether the car comes with life history 1 or history 2, it doesn't matter. Either way
the car would've faithfully carried out it's duties and has only appeared on the
forecourt because either: a) salesman didn't sell enough and was sacked, b) salesman
sold lots and was given a new Mondeo, c) family had another child and bought a
people carrier. A good buy on all accounts then, but before you decide on which
colour to go for, let me fill you in on the birth of the Mondeo and how it made Ford's
accountants' life expectancies rise dramatically.

Replacing an institution is tough. Whether you're singing Freddie Mercury's parts for
Queen, acting James Bond in the latest film, or playing rugby instead of an injured
Johnny Wilkinson for England, you'll be more closely scrutinised than the original.
And so was the case with the Mondeo. Entering the showrooms in 1993, the new car
replaced the much-loved granddaddy, the Ford Sierra. Despite its global market, the
European arm of Ford was haemorrhaging money and had developed the unenviable
reputation of making cars the accountants wanted. This resulted in poorly built
vehicles that were as interesting to look at as a Monet in a cardboard box.

Things started promisingly (not for the accountants mind) as the Mondeo shared very
little in the way of parts or design with its appalling 90's predecessors the Escort and
Orion - resulting in high development costs. Top pub quiz fact: it was the first car to
have a drivers' airbag across the entire range. This forward thinking from Ford meant
it topped many safety test standings and appealed to companies not wishing to give
their staff death traps and of course families. Sales rocketed and it was named
European Car of the Year in 1994.

One criticism was that the styling was still more cardboard box than Monet. A facelift
in 1996 addressed this to such a degree, that only the doors and roof remained the
same as the Mk I model. The corporate Ford oval was incorporated into the front grill
giving the car a more curvy and playful look. Still no Monet but the palette was
starting to take shape. The facelift was as well-received as Jackie Collins' and this
helped boost sales further although the additional outlay from Ford did mean
specification levels dropped, meaning wheel trims were back and alloy wheels were
consigned to the optional extras order form.

Over the next four years, with Ford's European fortunes taking a drastic u-turn for the
better and as the new space-edge Ka and Focus models were being launched, the
Mondeo was suddenly in need of another shot of botox. As the new millennium
dawned, so did the Mk III Mondeo - the car that more than likely stands before you at
the used Ford dealership. Although it was in the same design club as the Ka and Focus,
it wasn't considered part of the ‘New Edge' Ford design and therefore sat in the corner
of the club looking restrained. A more expensive, Volkswagen Passat inspired interior
is the stand-out feature, which looks expensive because it is.

Combined with further safety enhancements including the excitingly titled ‘Intelligent
Protection System' (IPS) which was a system that basically decided for you which
life-saving features to use in the event of a crash. It was the most popular large family
car for its entire 2000 - 2007 life-cycle. It is too early to comment on the latest Mk IV
model, although it did find its way into the latest Bond film ‘Casino Royale' for a
brief scene, before being swiftly replaced by Bond's orginal Aston Martin DB5 (what
did I say about following an institution?)

To summarise, the Mondeo may be the most popular vehicle of its class and therefore
buying one will result in you being as unique as a Manchester United supporter, but it
has sold in it's droves for a mutlitude of good reasons. The choice as they say, is

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