It’s been a while, but 2017 sees the return of AROnline’s attempt to show it’s possible to have a perfectly pleasant motoring experience playing by the rules of pure Bangernomics. The rules of the game are simple: pay buttons for a car that you don’t love, run it as cheaply and simply as possible and see how it goes – in fact, as the current advertising by Peugeot says, simply just add fuel!
The subject of this year’s experiment is this fine 2008 Ford Mondeo 2.0 Ghia. And what a bargain it is. I picked it up from RJModern Classics in Oxfordshire for the princely sum of £760. This outwardly seems like astonishing value for what many of us AROnliners would consider to be a brand new car, but hold your horses – it is cheap for a reason.
So, what did we get for our £760?
There are pushing 210,000 miles on the clock, which is more than enough to put any sane person off – but I’m far from sane. This car wears its miles well – it might have two scuffed front wings and a mucky front driver’s seat, but everything works and, surprisingly, it feels tight and agile on the road. The engine is still smooth and refined, the gearbox slick and accurate. Oh yes, and it has four matching quality tyres with a fair amount of tread on them. Job done!
Another reason it’s cheap is that it’s a Ghia saloon in doom blue. Yes, they made a four-door Mondeo, which is not only longer than its hatchback cousin, but it’s also considerably less practical and less good-looking – still, as dad cars go, this one ticks all the boxes. Most intriguingly, though, is how modern it feels – you really do feel like you’re doing well to be driving this one, and not the second-class citizen that most Bangernomics motors leave you feeling.
And what’s the plan?
Not a lot really… I just want a quiet life and to enjoy some reliable, dependable, cut-price, driving in a comfortable and capable saloon. Let’s see if this leggy old stager can make it to the end of the year in one piece, and without any major form of expenditure. I will throw lubricant, coolant and brake pads at it but, beyond that, I don’t want to find it broken down on the A47 with a blown headgasket or hole in the side of its engine block. Life’s too short for that.
I do hope we can take it abroad at some point during the year, though. Riding around England’s crowded roads is simply too dull for a fine machine like this. I have nothing planned yet, but would appreciate some suggestions.
I’ll tidy it up, make it shine, and sort out (cosmetically) the front wings, though. Let’s see what we find along the way. Stay tuned, and let me know what you think – is this a good Bangernomics buy?
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.