With the beady eyes of budget-sensitive fleet managers on the Mondeo, Ford will be keeping service and repair costs low, though the use of a cambelt rather than a chain means eventual expense with this engine. The ‘sacrificial panel’ – a body-coloured plastic section of the tailgate that absorbs knocks to save the steel pressing – is an example of its attention to detail.

Things have stabilised lately as mass manufacturers have lifted their cars’ quality and equipment — and started achieving amazing results on economy. The 114bhp TDCi (equipped with stop-start) in Eco trim is the perfect case in point: suddenly this spacious and well equipped family car can return the deeply impressive combined cycle fuel figure of 65.7 mpg, along with CO2 emissions of just 112g/km. Real world economy in all but the most difficult crawling traffic should be well into the 50s.

Economy is even impressive on the 237bhp Ecoboost range-topper; its stop-start system (which can reduce fuel consumption by up to five per cent) helps return a respectable 36.7mpg; pretty remarkable considering an impressive torque figure of 251lb ft.

Ford has less control over used values and the Mondeo’s (relatively) lowly branding, and its segment are all likely to condemn it average residuals, despite its excellence. But that makes it a fine used buy.

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