Having opted for kitchen-sink Titanium X spec when I chose my long-term Ford Mondeo - on the principle that a fully-laden Mondy costs the same as a boggo base BMW 318d - I figured it would be a good idea to try a more basic version to see if the magic stayed when the toys went.

The least-adorned version the Ford press garage could turn up was a 1.8 TDCI Zetec, absolute heartland spec, and £17,995 as a hatchback.

To be honest, apart from a couple of blanking plates where the Titanium X's heated seat controls go, and the absence of the full-colour display screen between the instrument dials, I was hard pressed to spot the difference from the driver's seat. Yes, I was sitting on cloth rather than leather, the headlights didn't try and turn their beam into corners and the 1.8-litre engine is a bit louder than the 2.0-litre unit in my car.