There a lot of articles that put the Mondial on the “hate” list.
Here is one example from time magazine:
Even the legendary Italian sports car company whiffs once in a while, and the first Ferrari Mondial was a big red disaster. Based on the 308 chassis, this large and relatively heavy 2+2 coupe had a mere 214 hp on tap from its transversely mounted, mid-engine V8, and its transistor-based electronics had more bugs than a Barstow motel rollaway. Eventually, every single system would fail, not infrequently accompanied by the smell of burning wires. The factory-authorized service, meanwhile, was more like factory-authorized extortion. It hasn’t helped the Mondial reputation that it was one of the “cheap” Ferraris, within reach of a reasonably successful orthodontist. Mondials eventually got much better. They could hardly get worse.
I think the biggest reason Mondials get a bad rap is due to the quantitative reasons.
Mainly they were very EXPENSIVE in terms of what you got back in performance relative to what you can do with Porsche/Americana Muscle/Etc at the time – combine that with the exorbitant dealer maintenance cost, and you get a bunch of detractors.
What do you think of when you hear Ferrari? Uncompromising performance and cutting edge style. Mondials were modest in performance (relatively) and more conservative in style (my opinion of course, I *love* the look of Mondials) – style is subjective – and I won’t deny many people don’t like how Mondials look.
I don’t mind that a modern day Accord/Camry V6 can probably beat me 0-60 – that’s not why I bought the car, I bought it to feel the spine tingling (and I mean really feel) the V8 howl when running to redline, I bought it because I don’t need to race somebody at the stoplight (not to mention lame and dangerous for a father with two kids in the back)
People ignored all the Qualitative reasons why Mondials are awesome which I’ve itemized here: About to buy a Mondial t | Ferrari Mondial t
A huge plus about the relatively low price is I’m fortunate that the price of entry allowed me to fulfill a dream (the closest car that would have meet most my wants was the California, which I am not prepared at this stage in my life to invest in) Though by no means are these cars “cheap” – maintenance alone ensures of that!!!
Look at the Ferrari FF – You’ll find many of the same criticism pointed toward it as the Mondial. Many people believe the words “Practical 4 Seater” should never be put in the same sentence as “Ferrari” That’s the cool thing about being a Mondial owner, It’s sort of neat to be the “unwanted step child” – I’ve always rooted for the underdog .. I really love the Mondial – it really gives thrills that the over insulated, over electronified, over regulated, plain-jane vanilla cars out there just can’t replicate….