Could the new Ford Edge be the car that reverses a decades'-old trend? For years now, the volume car-makers have been pushed downmarket by the vanity-badge appeal of the German premium three. And of course, by the generally high calibre of the cars that Audi, BMW and Mercedes sell.

Now if you’d walked into the head office car park of any medium-to-big business in the UK 25 years ago, the cars you’d have seen occupying the slots for the managing director, sales and marketing boss and finance director would likely have been Ford Granada Scorpios, Rover 800s, Vauxhall Carltons and the occasional BMW.

But executive cars from the volume manufacturers died years ago, the last whimper of life from these machines coming from Renault and Citroën, whose Vel Satis and C6 failed utterly.

And as we all know, the route of the executive car market shifted down another segment, the BMW 3-series, Mercedes C-class and Audi A4 ending the dominance Ford and Vauxhall once enjoyed with Cortinas, Sierras, Cavaliers and Vectras. If you want people to know that you’re doing decently well in life while marooned on the M25, then it’s a 3-series you need and not a Mondeo.

But when Ford launched the S-Max a few years back, it uncovered a surprise chink in the premium brand’s armour. The S-Max offered something a little different, with its rakishly handsome MPV style, and proved a fine demonstrator of the fact that Fords have changed – considerably – since the days of the Scorpio.