The Ford Mondeo has the qualities to be a more than plausible competitor against similarly priced premium offerings. If it were a little more stylish, it might win over more brand obsessives than those already tempted by its impressive roster of qualities.

Not only are the basics right, such as packaging, comfort, convenience and economy of ownership, but the Mondeo also serves up plenty of the sophistication that premium buyers seek.

Many premium buyers will ignore all this and remain unable to contemplate a Ford, despite its lower price — but that’s their loss.

Against its direct competitors, such as the Vauxhall Insignia, it is an easy winner.

The only real disappointment is styling that’s less exciting than the hardware wrapped within. That apart, this is an excellent car.

Many will struggle to accept that a Mondeo can be worth its relatively high price next to direct rivals, but given the equipment levels and the improvements that have been made – and the fact that it still undercuts the nearest premium rivals – the Ford makes a strong case for itself.

It's worth sacrificing the prestigious badge for, we'd say.