Ford’s Vignale premium sub-brand has debuted on the Mondeo before being rolled out to at least three other models including the S-max in the coming years, and in the case of the Mondeo offers unique styling and a sumptuous leather interior among other premium options, such as active noise control, which works like noise-cancelling headphones.

Vignale also offers an enhanced dealer experience including, for example, a free car valet on demand
We’ve driven the petrol-electric hybrid Mondeo Vignale, and found it a good option for the tax-conscious, though less so from a driving perspective thanks to the noisy powertrain. 

So now we’re sampling the 2.0-litre diesel in 180hp manual form, the entry level of the four engine options that runs up to the 210hp diesel, 187hp petrol-electric hybrid and the 240hp petrol model. The 180hp diesel is available just as a manual and, apart from the 99g/km hybrid that comes in four-door saloon form only, is the lowest emitting at 117g/km for the saloon and 119g/km for the estate driven here.

The interior is up a notch in terms of quality look and feel, while there’s less road and wind noise entering the cabin, although Audi’s new A4 still beats it for cabin tranquillity. The ride quality isn’t great on the optional 19-inch wheels fitted to our test vehicle, although the standard 18s should improve that.

While Ford says it’s not trying to take on the German premium brands, the Vignale pushes the Mondeo into territory populated by the likes of BMW. It’s a step of just 1.1p per mile to get to a 320d Touring, an admittedly less well-specced car but one toting a premium badge.

It’s also 3.8p per mile less to stick with a Mondeo Titanium X, the model below that costs £2100 less and has a RV that’s 0.5 percentage points better. But the top kit levels, classier looks and enhanced ownership experience will mean the Mondeo Vignale will find favour with some.