From £17,8508

Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

If you want to see where much of the graft – and money – has gone into this Mondeo, you need to step inside. The previous generation Mondeo's interior was hardly shabby, but this edition takes the cabin finish to a new level as Ford chases after the standards set industry leaders Audi and BMW.

The Mondeo doesn’t quite get there, but that’s because it costs thousands less than the equivalent Audi A4. And you could hardly call this interior cheap. Pleasingly grained, soft-touch plastics skin much of the dashboard and doors. Tastefully deployed aluminium dÈcor features extensively, as do piano-black lacquer inserts.

The instrumentation looks appealing regardless of trim level and the seat fabrics (featuring Alcantara in the case of the Titanium X), the steering wheel and the layout and design of the subsidiary controls lend the cabin a sophisticated, well planned, high-quality aura that makes it a pleasing place to be. There are minor cheap moments, such as the glovebox lid and the extent of the veneer abuse on earlier premium models, but on the whole it is an attractive piece of work.

At least as important is the spaciousness of this interior, especially in the rear. We wouldn’t quite call it limousine-like (as Ford does), but there really is a lot of legroom back there, besides a well shaped 60/40 split rear seat.

The top models come with B-pillar-mounted air vents, and there are optional seat heaters. The front chairs are comfortable, though the driver’s is slightly spoiled by the lack of a cushion tilt adjuster on the manually adjusted versions.

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The boot is huge and well shaped, the rear seats fold to form a flat floor and a protective bulkhead, and there are load hooks and tie-downs.