Mondeo vs Camry

sharlie4, Jun 28, 8:31am
I'm looking at buying a 2L 4 cyl auto wagon and a Mondeo or Camry fits the bill. Looking for a late 90's early 2000 model. Is there anything to look out for or avoid with these two! Thanks.

sharlie4, Jun 29, 6:20am
Any thoughts!

mugenb20b, Jun 29, 6:23am
Yeah, buy the Camry.

franc123, Jun 29, 6:25am
Camry is far and away the most preferable of those two, if you are after cheap motoring.Mondeo's handle well and are pleasant enough to drive but they aren't what you want to own when they are old, they get far too expensive to keep on the road.Just look at the listings on here of Mondeos of that age that have got overheating problems/head gaskets, blown auto transmissions, electrics etc, they are throwaway cars basically.The 2001 upwards models are a better bet but you still need to be careful about what you are buying, auto failure can still be common and even buying a manual one can still be expensive, doing the clutch properly is over $2K for example.

phillip.weston, Jun 29, 6:48am
I would take a 2004 Mondeo over a 2004 Camry, however I would take a 1999 Camry over a 1999 Mondeo.

thejazzpianoma, Jun 29, 7:00am
Mondeo is a great machine if you can get a 2001 or newer manual one. The Auto is a terrible unit that ruins a great car.

If you can't afford a 2001 Mondeo don't get the Camry its over priced and has nothing going for it other than supposed reliability. but there are plenty of other reliable cars in your price range.

I would suggest you consider a VW Passat as one option, they are just so much more car than the Camry in terms of power/economy/safety/features/-
handling/ride quality etc etc. If you are paranoid about low maintence and reliability above all else you could get aV5 version with the chain driven ultra low maintenance engine which is renowned for reliability. Personally I would get a 1.8T as that gives you better economy than the likes of the Camry but more power as well. Its cambelt driven but not overly expensive to have this changed every 5 years, you will easily make it up and more in fuel savings.

BTW, VW Parts are cheap and easy to get. The Passat is easy to work on and has long maintenance intervals. Any competent garage can service it cheaply for you.

bae13, Jun 29, 7:04am
ill tell you to go see your regular mechanic and ask him/her what they think is most economical car is repair wise!
99% I bet will tell you to get the camry

thejazzpianoma, Jun 29, 7:08am
If you get emphatic answers that say the Camry is going to be much cheaper then thats a good clue that garage is a good one to avoid for any car, Toyota or not.

If a garage is finding that VW's like the Passat cost significantly more than a Camry to service/maintain in general its a sure sign they don't know where to source parts and/or just don't know what they are doing.

Any slight extra cost in maintenance for the VW (and it will be slight if anything at all) will be well and truely offset by fuel savings, value for money and having a much better safer vehicle.

I regularly order parts for VW and Toyota, don't kid yourself Toyota parts are not any cheaper than anything else and surprisingly not really even more available, even "off the shelf".

phillip.weston, Jun 29, 7:11am
Probably. But for what you would spend on a 2004 Mondeo, you would only be able to purchase a 1999 Camry. I would rather sacrifice some reliability for having a much nicer to look at car inside and out, something which has 8 airbags instead of just 2, something that has a quality feel to the interior instead of miles and miles of rattling grey or beige plastic.

Dollar for dollar, the Mondeo will make the Camry look like the piece of hyped up dreadfully boring car the Camry is, provided we are talking about the 2001+ model. The early 2000's Camry is just a terrible car.

However the Mondeo and the Camry aren't quite a direct comparison, the Camry is actually a larger vehicle, so if you can't make do with the space the Mondeo has, the Camry may be able to excel in that area (and probably the only area it will excel in). That said, the Mondeo estate is very spacious, about the same space as a Falcon wagon.

sharlie4, Jun 29, 7:30am
Looking good for a Camry. Prices for a 2004 Mondeo on here range from $7k to 10k although there was one lonely one for $6200. Anything to watch out for on a Camry! Any model to avoid! I loooove boring cars.

phillip.weston, Jun 29, 7:34am
Camrys can blow head gaskets also if over-heated. I would avoid all the models which don't stack up against the competition, which in the case of a Camry, is just about all of them.

trouser, Jun 29, 7:37am
Wow, 11 year old reviews by americans on an american camry. Getting out of date much!

sharlie4, Jun 29, 7:42am
I'm not totally fixated on the two, interested in other options, but those two appear to be the 2 most popular 2L wagons. Most cars don't like to be overheated, but if they have an overheating problem . well .thats a good thing to avoid.

richardmayes, Jun 29, 7:43am
I don't understand why you are agonizing between one bloody horrible car and another; when your budget, year and mileage expectations could put you in a really nice car, i.e. a NZ-new Honda Accord.


[EDIT: except that these aren't wagons. facepalm]

sharlie4, Jun 29, 7:46am
I am more interested in reliability and knowing about known problems than looks. A ferrari would win that over a family wagon I'm guessing, but wouldn't tow my boat, or be the kind of car to cart my kids all over the place to football every weekend. We had a Caldina which was ok but it tipped upside down one day.

thejazzpianoma, Jun 29, 7:55am
The thing is Toyota do not have a monopoly on reliability. Most modern cars are very reliable, so you may as well consider some other criteria as well. Especially as in the case of the Camry you are sacrificing pretty much everything i.e value for money, features, safety etc all for the sake of some supposed reliability.

The reliability thing has been hyped up by marketing and the motor trade as a means of selling over priced under featured vehicles. Toyota are experts at that, just like the "Prius" its all marketing hype and no substance.

Plus we are not just talking "looks" the Camry is missing important fundamental bits like extra safety features for keeping your kids safe and fuel economy in town.

thejazzpianoma, Jun 29, 8:04am
What is your actual budget BTW!

fordcrzy, Jun 29, 9:21am
absolutly.the pre 2001 mondeos are crap.the 2004+ are the best of the mondeo range.if you want a late 90's wagon buy a caldina or an accord wagon

sharlie4, Jun 29, 10:23am
My budget is $5200. A 2.0L car will tow my boat, not terribly well, but mostly I only have to tow it 5km and I have a 4WD for longer trips if needed. Primera wagons look good.

thejazzpianoma, Jun 29, 11:06am
Some patience would get you a very nice Passat 1.8T for that, it will have a lot more go for towing than the Mondeo or Camry.

The Honda wagon is also a good choice but make sure its transmission has been serviced properly in past. Nissan's can be O.K but I would suggest avoiding the CVT for your purposes and in that price range. (talking Nissans in general not just the Primera)

Be abit wary of Nissan's in that they are a favorite of people who like to avoid maintenance due to the chain drive engines. This can mean the car has been neglected. The chains are also known to stretch and are in general much more expensive to fix than changing a cambelt. Some of them are also surprisingly thirsty for their modest engine size. So with that in mind proceed with caution.

If the Primera is big enough you may find a VW Golf wagon big enough also. They are excellent on fuel and you can get a really nice one for that money. Their engines are very basic and timing belts changes etc don't really come any cheaper on any car. They are not particually powerful though, the 1.8T Passat despite having the bigger body will have a lot more go.

Volvo V40 with the 2.0 engine would be another good choice. Parts are a little dearer but they are so reliable that dosn't usually affect your running costs noticeably. The V40 is potentially going to give you the most car for your money of any of the options. Plenty of go but still good economy with the Volvo.

sharlie4, Jun 29, 11:23am
A 2L car WILL tow my boat. I wont be buying a Nissan with CrappyVehicleTransmission, so that's two things I'm sure about.

thunderbolt, Jun 29, 12:37pm
Note it does not appear to have a towbar, so dont forget to allow for that in your price.

thunderbolt, Aug 12, 6:06pm
Again no towbar, add that into your price.