* Gets a mid-life makeover * On sale September * Price 17,295-26,995...
If the FTSE index had risen at the same rate as Ford Mondeo prices over the last couple of years, wed all be sitting with our feet up, sniffing the roses and living off the fat of our pension plans.
Thankfully, prices are now on their way back down, so its timely that Ford has also given the Mondeo a mid-life makeover.
Changes are fairly light, and include larger lower and slimmer upper grilles, a more heavily sculpted bonnet, new lights front and rear, and on higher-spec models LED daytime running lights.
Theres a similarly sophisticated look and feel inside, thanks to upgraded materials, a flusher-fitting centre console, clearer graphics and a fresh line-up of colours and trims.
Powertrain development is another key area where Fords engineers have excelled.
The latest incarnation of 163bhp version of 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine is smooth, refined and exceptionally strong.
Remember, this is a big, heavy car, but youd never guess it because the engine has so much pull right from the off and develops immense mid-range grunt so you rarely, if ever, need to work it anywhere near the red zone.
Anyone who needs even more grunt can choose the latest 2.2-litre diesel. Its an absolute powerhouse of an engine, producing 310lb ft of torque from just 1720rpm, a full 74lb ft more than the 2.0-litre. It makes the Mondeo seriously quick.
Ford has also dropped the range topping five-cylinder 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which is hardly surprising since it sold as slowly as copies of the Cheeky Girls autobiography. Instead, petrolheads can now get their hands on one of the new 2.0-litre Ecoboost engine. Its available in two states of tune; as a hot 200bhp version or with a scorching 238bhp. Either way youre guaranteed the type of performance that will give many a hot hatch a run for its money.
Only the 2.0-litre diesel and Ecoboost engines are available with Fords Powershift twin-clutch transmission. Its a slick-shifting device even when you stamp hard on the accelerator pedal. It also picks up smoothly at low speeds, which makes getting the Mondeos considerable bulk into tight parking spaces easy.
Long-distance company car drivers will be also be delighted to know the box has minimal impact on emissions and therefore doesnt adversely affect CO2-based tax bills.