So with the 2007 Diesel Focus totaled and a new job much closer to home, it was time to change cars again. In Denmark diesel cars are taxed harder than gasoline cars but diesel is cheaper, so if you drive longer, a diesel makes more sense and if you only have a short commute, get a gasoline car.
So I was in the market for a gasoline car. I wanted something nicer and more luxurious-feeling than the Focus, but I did not want to take out a loan to get it. Oh, and I would prefer something other than a Ford as I’m curious about other makes. Certainly, a Mondeo would be the most obvious choice as that is just one step up the ladder from the same company. So not one of those. Other than that I was open to anything.
But man, those Mondeos keep popping up. When new, these were considered best in class and they remained so for the duration of their production run with only the Volkswagen Passat being favored by some magazines.
I could go with something in the Focus class again, but it would have to be newer and nicer and return great mileage – a so-so fuel consumption would make me partial toward a larger car with the same. Obviously, fuel efficient cars come at a premium in a country like Denmark where car ownership is expensive.
After spending a couple of weeks narrowing down the search, I was leaning towards two alternatives with a couple of cars to choose from within our deliberately limited budget: The Opel Astra G and … the Mondeo. We went to drive both one day and that sealed the deal. Now to find the right example.
I found one in the other end of Denmark. The seller was willing to budge a bit on the price and he was coming to visit family near me so we agreed he and his wife would drive over in two cars on the assumption I would buy the Mondeo, which I did. For 57,000 DKK it was mine. It is hard to describe just how much nicer this car drove than the Focus – so smooth and comfortable. I drove it and its contemporaries when new, while I was working for Avis and this is so much better than the competition in 2009.
When driving this car with its comfortable demeanor and very competent handling for a car this size you are really left feeling it has only one shortcoming: it lacks power. 145 bhp from a naturally aspirated 2-liter four power is only adequate. That detracts somewhat from the overall impression.
On the positive side, though, the car is spacious. The trunk is huge and easily carried all our summer holiday luggage recently and with room to spare.
I think it looks great in its Thunder Metallic hue which I think is green-ish but most people think is blue-ish. It has a body kit which I assume it has had since delivery but I have not checked if it is indeed original. What I did discover upon taking ownership of it, though, is that it is lowered, and it does get into close contact with its surroundings. I think it looks great lowered, but I’d prefer it wasn’t as it makes it less practical and there are just not many things worse than hearing that unexpected scrape from under the car.
So far it does great. I asked the previous owner before driving it if it had any issues that he knew of. He said that the heated seats had stopped working. I googled that and many had solved the issue by simply unplugging and plugging the switches. I hoped I would be able to do the same and I was. A few weeks into ownership it started to bog under load. I did the OBDII diagnosis and googled the code. That would likely be a panel with two solenoids that needed replacement. I switched the lines for the two to see if that helped. It did, so I ordered the 100 USD part and it solved the issue.
It has a leaky fuel line over the head which is not ideal. A replacement line had been used over the leaky bit but now that was leaking. I have replaced the replacement and it is working for now.
The car sounds as if it has a small leak in the exhaust but it has not got worse over the past 7,000 kilometers, so I think it may just be the exhaust note on this thing – a sexy tune it is not.
I have not done much to it – I changed the oil right away and plan on doing so again before winter. I put a rubber mat in the trunk as that is the only sensitive thing to do when it is used as a hard-working family car. I put a vinyl cover over the backseat to protect the seat from whatever might end there falling out of the hands of my kids. An aux-cable and a phone holder are the final upgrades so far.
So it is with mixed feelings that I cross the 200,000 kilometer mark (124,000 miles) in it. It has already seemed more trouble-prone than my two previous cars, and the lack of power is worse than I thought when test driving these. But on the plus side it is very comfortable and on long trips it is just stellar.
So I plan to keep it – unless someone wants to buy it.
I sure wish Ford would bring their wagons to the US! Not everyone wants a CUV/SUV!!!!
From Norway last year:
When the Fusion was introduced to the U. S. market in 2006 it received high marks from magazines in all areas of driving. Unfortunately, just as the car (seemed?) to get all the kinks worked out, Ford “updated” the design and it was back to square one.
In the U. S. the 2009 model was the last year for the much better hydraulic assisted power steering.
I have considered one of these to replace my 09 Crown Victoria, but only a hybrid powered car.
The wagon looks like a great alternative.
We did not get _the_ Fusion, but we got _a_ Fusion, the Fiesta-based Fusion.
I was trying, not very well, to tie the U.S. Ford Fusion to the E.U. Ford Mondeo because (eventually) they were 1 and the same.
Oh, I got that. I’m just amused that Ford used the same name for two so very different cars.
Howard, you might be out of luck, as a first Fusion Hybrid was a 2010MY.
I was also searching for a 2011 Fusion Hybrid (2010 doesn’t have a HomeLink) five years ago. I ended up with a Lincoln version, as it was in better shape, had lower millage and had HID headlights for only $1,500 more.
Reliability is a mixed bag. I’ve had to replace a driver side outside door handle (a common issue since ’06), had to replace a throttle body (recall covers everything, but a Lincoln and but a Hybrid, even though P/N is exactly the same), recharge A/C two summers ago and about a year ago had to replace HCU pump and ABS module (~$3,200, recall covers only cars made up to 2010MY). And late last Fall, I had to do a clock reset on a HV battery. As Ford designed the hybrid system to stop working around 8-9 years mark. And a rear defrost is not working. Typical Ford quality. Will be my last Ford vehicle. YMMV. All of the issues happened before reaching 160,000 km (100,000 mi). The good news is that the original 12V battery lasted until January of this year.
I like this car, but it wouldn’t sell in the US. We love our SUV vehicles. Ford did a great job this year and released a new Ford Escape that has many “station wagon” look and feel. The new Escape is a high wagon instead of merely a small SUV. Yet, it has many of the features found in earlier Escape vehicles. Sales in 2020 have been slammed by the pandemic, so we really don’t know how well this new high station wagon compares to earlier Escape generations.
Buick tried and failed to sell a station wagon like this. It was spot on in size and abilities. It flopped badly. Americans will not buy this kind of vehicle right now. Hopefully the new Escape will generate sufficient sales for other manufacturers to follow away from the SUV.
The SUV has been incredibly successful and there are many reasons for its success. Other types of wagons have been devoured by the SUV demand. We’ve had many different wagon configurements over the past 30 years, but none have succeeded quite like the SUV.
Sorry guys – this car is great – but it is a money loser for anyone trying to sell one here.
…the Escape is still a compact car-based CUV, same as it’s always been.
You obviously haven’t seen the new Escape, or you wouldn’t claim it to being the same.
Ed reviewed/compared it here a month ago. There are multiple side by side pictures of the Escape and RAV4.
I have, yes. What would you say has changed so dramatically that it’s no longer a compact car-based CUV? It’s got a taller body and more ground clearance than the Focus. It’s got AWD. Yes, the styling is less SUV-like and more car-like, but the architecture is still similar. I’d trust a new Escape to do the same level of light off-roading I once did with my Tribute (though a Bronco Sport would certainly look better doing it).
The Mondeo wagon was sold here in the US, and few people bought it so it was dropped. Though maybe that had something to do with it being branded Jaguar. Sorry, couldn’t resist 😀 Seriously, this Mondeo wagon is nice car, and it’s interesting to see the Danish position on gas vs diesel. I too recently bought a Ford with European roots … I’ll try to post an updated COAL soon.
Photo below reaches back another decade or so, but when I had my late-1990s Ford Contour I saw the European wagon/estate and wished desperately Ford had made them available here. Today’s 2009 = equally desirable to these eyes!
Perhaps with the 25-year rule there’s a nice 1996 model for me to import to the states in 2011? (Only an idle thought, but can anyone tell me what kind of expenses are involved, port-to-port?)
I don’t know about the costs involved but there are number of companies that specialize in importing cars under the 25 year rule. I’d see if you can find one of those companies local to you and see if they are willing to help get it officially imported.
I drove a diesel version and liked it the 2.0 PSA engine pulled well and it steered nicely havent tried the petrol version but its not something I’d buy so why bother.
The 2.0 liter PSA diesel is a much better fit for this car than the 2.0 liter petrol I have. Danish taxation rules means petrol makes more financial sense for me with my current driving needs.
A great COAL! I’m also one of those who’d like to have a Fusion Hybrid wagon that’s only available in Europe.