Last week, we learned that Ford is to kill off the Mondeo. Production will end in 2022 as Ford seeks to refocus its efforts on - you guessed it - SUVs and electrification. There are rumours of the badge one day being resurrected for a crossover (a la Puma), but the Mondeo as we know it will soon be dead.
Once a huge deal for Ford, the Mondeo chalked up over five million sales in Europe since its introduction in 1993. Demand has been on a downwards slope for years, though, with demand first hit by a big chunk of typical Mondeo customers looking further upmarket, and more recently by the rise of SUVs. Last year, Ford sold just 2400 Mondeos in the UK, a figure the Kuga crossover typically takes two and a half months to match.
If anything, it’s a surprise that the Mondeo has survived this long, and yet its demise is still a bitter pill to swallow. Happily, consolation can be sought via a few clicks in the direction of the classifieds. Rather than do the obvious and pick out something like an ST24, ST200 or ST220, we want to extol the virtues of this much more humble Ghia-X on eBay.
It’s a facelifted first-generation car (confusingly referred to as a ‘Mk2’ by Ford geeks), and it must be said, the price of £3250 is a little eyebrow-raising considering you should be able to get a tidy ST200 for less. But we love that someone’s gone to the effort and expense of preserving a ‘lesser’ model. A noble and worthwhile pursuit, since this is one of only a handful of non-ST first-gen Mondeos we could find for sale.
Under the bonnet is a 2.5-litre, naturally-aspirated Duratec V6 providing around 170bhp as well as the opportunity to bore your mates about its Porsche origins. Oh, and for additional bragging rights, the cylinder head had development input from Cosworth.
Considering the kind of car this is and the 22 years it’s lived on Earth, the Mondeo’s 117,142 mileage figure is reasonably low. Being a Ghia X it’s fitted with cruise control, a full leather interior with an electric driver’s seat, electric mirrors and much more besides. According to the advert, all of that works.
It’s also claimed to be rust-free, but we’d want to go over it with a fine-tooth comb to confirm that ourselves, given how badly Fords of the era tended to be afflicted by rot. One of the three owners is described as a “meticulous Ford Test Technician, who kept a large paperwork trail,” which includes a record of whenever the car was polished. A little needless, but thorough!
It recently had a new battery and four new tyres, although, on the latter front, we can’t quite see if the boots in question are any good.
Cheaper and faster ways of celebrating this iconic Ford are out there, but since the Mondeo’s trump card was how great even the ‘normal’ ones to drive, perhaps this is the most fitting way to do it.