A weekend spent in a fully loaded Mondeo has given me a chance to test out the upper reaches of the options list. And I've come away pretty happy with the choices I made in speccing my slightly less plush example.
First up, the automatic gearbox - which adds £1100 to the price of a manual Titanium X and which knocks 10 bhp off the 2.0 TDCI motor's power output. I rarely see the point of diesel-gargling slushers for anyone other than minicab drivers, and the Mondy's dull-witted transmission didn't do anything to convert me. It also knocked the 2.0 TDCI's already disappointing fuel economy back to a very underwhelming 33mpg.
I'm similarly glad that I didn't opt for the sports suspension (£150), which adds too much of an edge to rougher road surfaces. And although I was quite tempted by the good-looking 18in alloys (a £350 upgrade), I doubt they'd have done much for my Mondy's bump-absorption either.
Inside I'd advise against the power operated seats (£250 for the driver's only, £500 for driver and passenger). They're noticeably less comfortable than the non-electric ones, you sit higher and the cushion is harder. Similarly I can't see the point in privacy glass (£150), the solar reflect windscreen (£150) or the dazzlingly useless keyless entry (£175) - which failed to recognise my right to gain access on any of the occasions I attempted to use it. The adaptive cruise control (£1000) did work, but it seems expensive considering how rarely I reckon I'd use it.
The only thing that had me really tempted was the bi-xenon headlamps - not because of the blue bulbs themselves, but because they also come with the headlamp washers that my car so sorely needs to blast off winter salt.
Other than that, I'm feeling glad I kept it simple. Satnav, Bluetooth and parking radar are all the Mondy needs.