To change a headlight bulb cost the grand total of Â£38.62 including VAT, from the official price list for servicing that Ford give them. The girl in the service department said that both the new Mondeo and the new Fiesta have similar problems.
Incidentally, my worry over cheap Ford plastics that led me not to want to force the grille seems well founded, as the front grille is noticeably not as secure as it once was. It seems to me that in an ideal world, the better way to do it would be to remove the battery and the tray and not the headlight (as that would probably have been how it was put together), however by doing that you run into all sorts of problems with the security systems and the Engine Management System, both of which would be affected by disconnecting the battery.
Why is it that Ford can’t make a car now that has a bulb that the owner can change?!?
Anyway, after about an hour sitting around at Reg Vardy having the bulb done, I went down to Basingstoke to test drive a new Skoda Octavia, an all together more pleasurable experience. I test drove both their 1.9TD, and the 140bhp 6-speed 2.0TD. I have to say that the 2.0TD has a pretty frightening amount of power, enough that I’d probably end up wrapped around a tree at some point. The 1.9TD seems perfectly adequate for the kind of mixed driving with occasional long motorway runs that I do.