The Mondeo faced stiff competition from the new Mazda 6 Estate this year, but it's the Ford that remains the best all-rounder at this money.
Like its hatchback sister, it's fantastic to drive, thanks to agile handling and precise steering. What's more, you'll be just as impressed on the motorway, because the Mondeo combines a beautifully controlled ride with superb high-speed stability, and is one of the quietest cars in its class.
It's also one of the biggest, with enough space to let a six-foot-plus rear passenger stretch out behind a similar-sized driver. Meanwhile, the boot is enormous and well thought out; it's a practical, rectangular shape, there's no load lip to heave heavy boxes over and the rear seats fold forward to leave a long and flat extended load area.
The 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec offers the best balance of performance and equipment. True, Mazda's clever Skyactiv technology makes the equivalent 6 a cheaper company car choice, but the Mondeo isn't exactly expensive to run, and it's significantly more comfortable.