Still, the occasional diamond can be found, such as the one we unearthed. Scott Harper, its owner, has been this ST220’s custodian for just 18 months (he’s fallen in love with a Mercedes E320) but says that during that time, it has been almost faultless. Only ‘almost’ because it failed its last MOT on a dodgy ball joint, since rectified.
“If I wasn’t about to replace it with something a bit meatier, I’d have another ST in a flash,” he says.
His Mondeo is in desirable racing blue. It’s the five-door hatch – more useful than the saloon version but not quite as lusted after as the fairly rare estate, with its capacious boot and clever, self-levelling suspension. One private seller is asking £2250 for his “slightly bished” 2004-reg estate with 150,000 miles and loads of service receipts. Or how about £2999 for a dealer’s 2006/56-reg car with the same mileage?
Find a used Ford Mondeo on PistonHeads
Whether saloon, hatch or estate, the ST220 came with a bodykit, 18in alloy wheels and heated Recaro leather seats. Early versions were handicapped by a modest five-speed manual gearbox, but a Getrag six-speeder became standard in 2003. The taller top gear turned the sporty ST220 into a relaxed mile muncher, while the remaining gears acquired slightly lower ratios for an even sportier drive.
The V6 engine has no serious failings. Instead, it’s the electrics that are more likely to give trouble, although we’re talking predominantly about comfort elements such as the heated seats. Whether you want to spend £500 sorting out those on a car worth little more is your call.
If you’ve found a good one for little money and you think it might be a keeper, why not consider a power upgrade? Something like Pumaspeed’s ST250 mod might fit the bill. Your £1347 (fitted) buys a Milltek Sport cat-back exhaust, K&N cone filter and Pumaspeed tuning box. Could be just the job when those Fiesta STs come sniffing.
How to get one in your garage:
An expert’s view – JOHN GOLDSPINK: “I’ve had my ST, a 2003 hatch, for almost 10 years. I got it when we were starting a family and I just kept it. Mrs G loves the practicality and I love the performance. Unfortunately, while I was away driving my BMW M3, my wife forgot to keep an eye on the ST’s oil. The crank self-destructed and I had to shell out for a recon engine at £1600 fitted. That was 20,000 miles ago when the car had some value. I’m selling it for £1000 now. I’d really recommend an ST220, but be prepared to get just 26mpg – if you’re careful.”