Keep or replace? - y2k+4
My mum is now semi-retired, that is to say she is about to start working from home 3 days a week, with one long journey (200 miles) every 2 weeks.

She bought an 05 Mondeo 2 years ago, and it has now done 60,000 miles and is out of warranty, so she wants to replace it... It was a TDCi 130 Ghia, and replaced her Celica. The problem is, they now have a place in Spain that they visit every six weeks or so, driving down through France, and the car needs to be suitable for this. They fill about 80% of the Mondeo with the seats down, and she is considering downsizing to Focus/Civic size.

I think there's probably no point in doing this as she'd not actually get as good a car, but she would rather have a smalller one to park and go about in in the week. She seems determined...I assume her Mondeo is worth about £6-7000? And she would want to spend no more than £11-12000 on a replacement, probably from a car supermarket.

The key to the replacement, however, will be that it has a sixth gear. It's something she's been loathed to sacrifice since the Celica, as it allows the Mondeo to cruise down France at 90 whilst still being fairly economical...I think she should just keep it, but she's insistent. Visibility , ride-handling and that fast economy cruise are the main important things...interesting whilst she considers her sister's new Astra too cramped and small for her needs, she thinks my Focus 2 is about right, but it lacks the sixth gear and hasn't been economical at all...what else might be suitable for her to test drive?
Keep or replace? - Martin Devon
Keep it. No brainer getting rid.

Keep or replace? - Happy Blue!
The one thing that concerns me here is that she fills 80% of the Mondeo with the seats down everytime she goes to her second home every six weeks. I have a second home overseas with five in the family. We travel with two suitcases, one for SWMBO, one for the kids and I leave everything I need in the flat.

I shudder the think how the smaller car will cope with the luggage.

Keep the Mondeo
Keep or replace? - Alby Back
At 60k it's barely run in. Selling it now would equate to taking the "mug's hit" on depreciation. I would keep it and if peace of mind is a factor buy another warranty. One other option might be to buy a runaround to leave in Spain with the money saved and give her the option of additional visits using cheap airlines ?
Keep or replace? - Avant
I'm not so sure that keeping it is such a no-brainer, but I do think it's now (while she can still get a reasonable price for the Mondeo) or never. She may well want to buy comparative peace of mind, and I wouldn't blame her. As always in these situations, finance isn't the only consideration.

Focus estate or C-Max? Maybe not big enough? I've a feeling that the sixth gear is only available with the diesel - does she want another diesel?

Skoda Octavia - you can have a sixth gear with either petrol or diesel 2.0 engines, and there's lots of room in the hatch and even more in the estate. I'd go for one of those.
Keep or replace? - rtj70
Sell it and buy something smaller. And then buy duplicates of items that fill the estate car and leave in the holiday home. And then maybe fly. Or drive the smaller car?

Or keep it.

Sounds like they need lots of space the way they travel so something at least Octavia Estate size maybe.
Keep or replace? - cheddar
Keep it!

Though if you change, it is not the 6th gear that is the key, rather the ratio in top gear.
Keep or replace? - Red Baron
The current Focus may be slightly shorter than her Mondeo, but I bet that is just as wide, if not wider once you include the door mirrors.

Dare I suggest Golf V Estate, but I bet they're not available at 12k yet.

I would keep the Mondeo.
Keep or replace? - y2k+4
I should have said that she would ideally like an estate. I will mention the Octavia. She likes diesels, but is curious about the new TSi engines - will these be put into the Octavia (the 1.4?) at all.

Yes the timing isn't great - if she could wait another 6 months, a smaller car could be used as they'd have finished lugging stuff to spain - they're leaving stuff there with every trip, but buying it all steadily to spread the time and cost. However, waiting another 6 months would run the risk of an even lower value for the Mondeo, as the new Mondeo would probably start to appear used...

The Focus 2 is wider than the Mondeo, at least she says it feels it to her. As you say, keeping it seems a no brainer, but she just fancies a change as much as anything, I think...
Keep or replace? - Soupytwist
Has she considered buying in Spain some of the stuff she's lugging down there?
Soupytwist !
Keep or replace? - y2k+4
Whilst I appreciate the argument you are trying to put forward, my mother has this issue on "quality" and how if it's sold in Spain it's not good enough...mother's for you.
Keep or replace? - cheddar
Whilst I appreciate the argument you are trying to put forward my mother has this
issue on "quality" and how if it's sold in Spain it's not good enough...>>

Rules out a SEAT then ! ;-)

More seriously a diesel Octavia would feel rough in comparison.
Keep or replace? - EoinM
If her mind is made up on changing I'd go for a C-Max or Focus Estate. The 2.0 tdci has a six speed box. Otherwise some of the VAG cars with the 2.0 tdi engine - Octavia estate/Altea/Toledo?
Keep or replace? - algy
My second Mondeo Estate TDCi 130 remains the best all-rounder that I have ever owned. It has plenty of power, tows well and is pretty frugal bearing in mind its size and performance. Until a few months ago I would have recommended this car to anyone (and have frequently done so, including on this forum) but never again. Back in November it suddenly lost power for 3-4 seconds (solo, thank goodness) in fast, dense traffic on the M25. I very nearly met my maker trying to get it over the the hard shoulder. This was the third such occasion this had happened, but was by far the worst.

A trip to my dealer confirmed 'a computer problem'. Following the replacement of various parts, including 2 new software upgrades, the car was worse than ever - lumpy and hesitant when cold (previously silky smooth) and with a distinct misfire at light throttle. Ford were very slow to agree to a new computer module (thankfully still under warranty) but were eventually persuaded (bullied, more like!) to replace it, on the basis that the dignostics said it was faulty. However, two attempts to do so have both failed because on each occasion the new unit wouldn't program properly - requiring it to be removed and the old one refitted. Now awaiting the third module, plus a visit by a Ford technical specialist. The first module took a month to arrive and only then after a great deal of chasing, so forget the old adage that Ford parts are plentiful - they didn't even have any in the UK - and when they found some in Spain they thought my suggestion of sending one over pdq was somehow unreasonable. Furthermore, I wouldn't waste any time again contacting their customer service dept - all they will do is ring you up to say that they have no means of contacting their parts dept and to go back to the dealer (and this is absolutely true).

The moral of this story is - avoid the TDCi like the plague. Great when it's working but a complete nightmare if it goes wrong. Ford's parts operation is just plain awful in my case. And certainly don't own one without a warranty in place - when these go wrong they are difficult to diagnose and costly to fix (provided you can get the parts of course).

My first car was a Ford Anglia 123E (remember those?) and I have had countless Fords over 40 years - but this is postively my last. When this one is eventually fixed it's going - I simply can't trust it any more, nor the manufacturer. No wonder Ford are in such dire straits. Instead of cleaning up their act it seems they would prefer to see their loyal customers walk away.

Ask Honest John

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