see below, didnt mean to post twice, was warned that leaving the page would loose my reply, i clicked cancel and it must of sent the responce anyway :/
Hmm not a mondeo driver but the only two things i would definately check is the Clutch/Gearbox and the powersteering pipe under the bonnet they are known to leak power steering fluid if the pipe is damaged or worn, on my 2005 Focus i needed to replace the pipe after 55k luckily i was covered under the garage warranty period, i later looked at the pipe and released it was rather close to a particular moving part in the engine bay so i moved it away a little bit, no problems since.
if you get a chance check the wheel arches particulary behind the mudflaps for rust, and a point just under the boot which gets a rust spot from some cables running through that area and "rubbing" against the paint work. Other than that dont think you can go wrong with a 2litre diesel mondeo, just make sure to get the Zetec or above for the better suspension which in turn will give you better handling(although it rides slighty harder cause its technically the "sport" suspension) ;)
I've got the new shape 2008 mondeo and it's genius. A little old man for my liking but its lovely to drive. I've had the odd issue with it but ford have sorted it out under warranty and not had any big problems. The support online for them is great too. I can't speak for the model before though.
bossman has a great Passat really great condition and he didn't pay silly money either for it :)
John is right, I did mean an Octavia...lol...since Monday I've had about 8 hours sleep so I am not functioning properly!
Still don't see why you don't consider a SMART car :(
Although the Hondas are dull, you can always get some bling for them ... and perhaps some fancy exhaust pipes ... and perhaps some of those snazzy fluorescent lights underneath (remembering to paint the car a scary orange or yellow).
We've got a 2006 2litre TDCi Edge which has been fine... 30-40 mins mixed trips gets me ~48mpg and it's 50+ on long M1 motorway trips etc.. No expert but I reckon the torque is pretty good given what I can easily breeze past up hilly slip-roads. Boot is handy. We don't have any gaffer tape, but I get the bumper flimsiness. Pains: Where I was situated when the EGR valve went (you're not going anywhere), the rear seatbelt locking thing you can get when you put rear seats down, size (I borrow t'other half's for nipping out and parking in very tight places/spaces), how long it takes the trip-thingy to decide that you've got 100+ miles left instead of that 25 it reckoned coz you were parked on a hill.
Here is the same 130bhp model I have with full leather interior for £3500:
2005 VolksWagon Passat Highline *130 BHP* Used Volkswagen for sale West Yorkshire Leeds
You will love it :)
The daughters boy friends does a lot of miles in various cars (site engineer). He's recently had a Passat and a Honda Accord. He much prefers the Passat, better drive and better diesel engine. He's never had the Ford so no comment there!!
The Fabia would be a little small, but the Octavia, or the Superb (rebadged Passat) would work, although it's based on the previous generation Passat.
After some searching yesterday a new contender has entred the fray.
The Peugeot 407:
You can pick these up marginally cheaper than the Mondeo and gives better MPG for a far better spec. Bearing in mind I don't actually do that much milage it's a lot of car for not very much.
engine wise shouldnt be much diff between a pug and a ford derv as they are basically the same engine
I need 4 doors. 2 Kids, and the occasional need to drop seats for filling car with large amounts of gear.
I did like the look of the coupe though :)