The Mondeo shared little with the Sierra that preceded it. For one thing, the Mondeo was 5cm shorter than the Sierra, making it more suitable for British garages.
Ford had done its homework with the Mondeo and it subsequently proved to be a hit, beating its rivals and clinching the Car of the Year award from What Car? in 1993
In 1994, the Mondeo continued its success and won European Car of the Year. That year also saw Ford put its V6 petrol variant of the Mondeo into production.
Three and a half years into production, the Mondeo received a facelift that brought around changes inside and out. The new Mondeo shed up to 18kg from the previous model, improving performance and economy.
The Mk2 Mondeo had a base price of £12,395 for the 1.6-litre Aspen version, rising to £20,850 for the V6 Ghia X. With improvements made to the ride, handling and engine, the Mondeo stayed ahead of its competitors.
In 1997 a new sporty V6 variant, the ST-24, was introduced. Featuring a 2.5-litre 168bhp V6, which catapulted the ST-24 from 0-62mph in 8.0sec and onto a top speed of 148mph, the car was Ford's first ever ST.
The next ST variant, the ST200, was introduced in 1999. The car was named after the engine output of its 2.5-litre V6 engine (although the engine actually produced 202bhp), and was sold with Recaro seats and sports suspension. The police quickly started using the ST200 as a pursuit car.
The millennium brought with it an all-new Mondeo, which came with a big incentive for buyers as over £800 of previously paid-for equipment was added to the standard model.
The car was longer, too, increasing in length by almost two inches compared to the second generation car. The seats were also raised, which made for improved all-round visibility.
In 2002 along came the introduction of Ford's ST220. With 226bhp from a newly developed 3.0-litre V6 engine, the 0-62mph sprint was dispensed in 6.6sec. The ST220's top speed was also an impressive 155mph. Despite the power, the ST220 managed 27.7mpg on a combined cycle.
At £21,745, the ST220 came with Recaro heated leather seats and more aggressively styled bodywork. Since the ST220 was based on the Mk3 Mondeo, it was still a practical car to use every day and to live with.
The 10th anniversary of the Mondeo saw another new model of the car, one that had come some way from the original. Updates to the new model included a re-profiled bumper, trapezium shaped fog lamps, larger mirrors and puddle lamps that shone on the ground.
The Smart Charge Injection Duratec engine further improved fuel economy and was Ford's first direct-injection petrol engine. The Durashift 6-speed manual transmission was used on higher powered Mondeo specs whilst an automatic paddle-shift option was also available.
Another minor facelift was given to the range in 2005.
The fourth and current generation Mondeo was unveiled at the Paris motor show in 2007. A new family face featured, with a large upper and lower-inverted grille. Big headlamps and lower fog lamps were also introduce.
A wide range of powertrains were offered, including the popular 2.0-litre TDCi diesel, and recent additions include economical EcoBoost petrol engines.
This year the Ford was also given a £2000 price cut, ahead of a planned replacement due to the market in 2014.
Will it remain at the top of the ladder in its class? You'll find out first from Autocar.
To read more about Ford's range, click here.
Omar Bahadur & Darren Moss