Review: Ford Mondeo (1996 – 2000)
Facelift of original. Criticisms of original very good Mondeo overcome, fine combination of ride, handling, performance, economy, and cheap maintenance.
Limited cockpit storage for odds and ends. Four-speed autos are short-lived. Manual clutches expensive to replace.
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Report of 1996P Ford Mondeo 1.8 Zetec-E petrol model reaching 240,000 miles on its original clutch with no trouble at all. Owner reports that the car still drives very well and the Zetec-e engine feels... Read more
On 2.5 and 3.0 V6, a rumble from the front may mean that the bottom crank pulley damper assembly 4659709 is starting to separate around the rubber insert in the middle of the flat dinner plate sized... Read more
Ford Mondeo (1996 – 2000): At A Glance
When you first drive the new Ford Mondeo it feels fantastic. Then it gets better. Quite simply, it out-classes everything else in its class, and most of the next class as well.
What does a Ford Mondeo (1996 – 2000) cost?
Ford Mondeo (1996 – 2000): What's It Like Inside?
Get in and the first thing that strikes you is the '90s sportiness of the cockpit. Lots of black and silver plastic, and that's just the steering wheel. Ford's oval clock has been revived, slightly incongruously now that we're all used to reading the time in a car digitally. Obligatory cup and can holders fall to hand. And it takes no time at all to adjust the fully adjustable seat and steering wheel to the perfect driving position.
There's a 'Quickclear' screen to shift winter morning condensation, an easily adjustable air conditioning system, and a radio with both a proper volume knob and steering wheel controls. Start the engine and the 125bhp 1.8 litre is at least a lot quieter than the old model. Extensive engine sound deadening sees to that. But it also seems to go better with a new-found perkiness about town coupled to the ability to haul what is quite a large car to a fuss-free indicated 130mph.
Child seats that fit a Ford Mondeo (1996 – 2000)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Ford Mondeo (1996 – 2000) like to drive?
The ride quality suffers only slightly from the adoption of minimum size 16" wheels with low profile 205 x 55 tyres (expensive Michelin Pilots on the test car). But the handling remains the same safe, sure and crisp recipe as the old Mondeo with plenty of steering 'feel-back' to tell you exactly what's going on. Only on very long sweeping bends does the steering sometimes become less than perfect. Wind noise is very well suppressed, right up to that magical 130mph and possibly beyond, but we had to lift for traffic. Strangely, the car is a lot noisier at 80mph than at 90mph and over. Yet even cruising extensively in the 90-110mph bracket, overall fuel consumption worked out at a creditable 33.35mpg which indicates that keeping speed down to 80-85 should result in 40mpg.
There were no complaints from the back seat, which is hardly surprising given rear legroom to rival the old Peugeot 605. This really shames new models such as the new Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and Volvo S60. Unlike the old model, the four-door saloon is better looking than the five-door hatch, especially in 'Nantucket Grey metallic'.
It's also likely to be reliable. I've been driving an auction-bought previous-model Mondeo for two years now with no trouble at all. And the new car carries a three-year warranty.
The new Mondeo was pipped at the post for European Car of the Year by the Alfa 147, which says more about the judging system than about anything else. I loved the car. My wife loved the car. My kids loved the car. Our whole family loved the car. I'd obviously prefer a 2.0 litre to the 1.8, but the 1.8 would do me fine. I could pay a lot more for a more expensive car, but I doubt it be a better one.
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What's the best way to start my standing 1996 Ford Mondeo?
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