What is it?
Like it or not, this is more a lifestyle review than a car review. After all, lifestyle is the whole principle of Ford’s Vignale models, which aim to cater for those who are looking to get that elusive premium aura for a bit less cash than it would cost if you went straight to the main dealers of the aspirational image. Step forward Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Lexus…
The Vignale gets no mechanical modifications over the car on which it's based - no bad thing, given that the regular Ford Mondeo is good enough to have beaten the BMW 320d ED in our executive shootout.
However, one big difference is that you can’t get the hatchback body; rather, you can only get the Vignale as a saloon or an estate, and the engine range is limited to a 2.0-litre diesel in 177bhp or 207bhp outputs, a 236bhp 2.0-litre Ecoboost petrol, and a 2.0 petrol-electric hybrid - all of which are (or very soon will be) available in the standard Mondeo.
Other than that, Ford is relying on enhanced ownership experience and a raft of styling and ancillary enhancements to elevate the Mondeo from daily tabloid to glossy coffee table fodder.
All Vignale models get a full leather interior, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, laminated side glass, adaptive LED headlights and a 12-speaker Sony sound system. Refinement should also be improved with the aid of a standard speaker-based noise cancelling system.
On top of this, there’s a 24-hour helpline, you’ll be on first-name terms with your dedicated customer relations person, and a man will come and pick the car up and return it for you when it needs servicing. This all sounds good, right up until you find out that the Vignale costs £4500 more than an equivalent Titanium model, so there's still a lot to prove.