The Mondeo and the One Ford plan are intrinsically connected, beyond Ford Motor Company’s latest plan to develop and sell singular models for all worldwide markets. The name – Mondeo – derived from the Latin ‘mundus’, meaning ‘world’, is a giveaway.

Even when the Mondeo was first launched, replacing the Sierra in 1992, Ford was thinking global. This was its first global car, designed and engineered for Europe but sold in the US, too, as the Contour.

Except that it didn’t sell in sufficient numbers. Ford’s American buyers, spoilt by the capaciousness, if not the quality or driving dynamics, of cars like the Ford Taurus, took one look at the size of the rear cabin and gave it a swerve. 

It’s hard to make different cars for different regions and make them pay. Especially when your posh rivals can offer the same vehicles worldwide, at a premium, while enjoying enhanced residual values. The return of the global car is the only answer.

So here we are, with a Mondeo that, this time, was initially designed and engineered in the US, where it sells well as the Fusion. It went on sale there, though, in 2012. Why the long gestation period for European sales? Partly some factory-closing reshuffles in mainland Europe, but mainly because, One Ford or not, the Mondeo has to sell here for Ford of Europe to turn a profit.

So it cannot afford to be a duffer and can’t arrive without the kind of careful tuning and interior quality and refinement that the EcoSport tragically lacked when it turned up in showrooms.

Ford claims the Mk4 Mondeo comes with the widest range of powertrains yet, including a petrol-electric hybrid. The trim line-up will be more familiar, with Style, Zetec and Titanium filling out the usual spec ladder, with ST-Line and Titanium X the newest additions. Our test car was trimmed out in the Titanium spec, albeit on 16in wheels that won’t be standard at this trim level. For those wanting to make their Mondeo that tad more exclusive, there is the Vignale model, which gives the 'everyman' car a touch of luxury.

Time to find out if the delayed reverse trip across the pond was worth the wait.

Top 5 Family hatchbacks

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week