Blackball Media

Every evening at AOL Cars, the team crowd around my desk anxious to get their mitts on the cars we currently have in.

We all take it in turn to have a spin in the long-termers, but every night the Mondeo's keys are always strangely absent.

Before anyone knows it, the Mondeo flashes past the window with a small Liverpudlian at the wheel with a big grin on his face.

Nigel Swan's reason? He needs a car with a big boot to carry his 'camera gear'. This month I managed to get to the key cupboard first and nabbed the keys to the Mondeo.

And now I realise his reason is just a pathetic excuse. It's jolly good fun to drive. We all know Mondeos 'are best in class' in the handling department, but by just how far is quite incredible.

Factor in the still-stunning looks and a boot that's as large as a suburban branch of Waitrose, and it's easy to see why I've seen so many 14-reg Mondies around lately.

There are some quibbles, though. The multimedia system is laughably old-hat and uses a screen Amstrad would scoff at, the auto beam headlamps are ridiculously sensitive and the car doesn't have keyless entry even though it has keyless start – very annoying.

God knows when the next Mondeo will arrive but I'm in no real hurry to see it because the outgoing model is still so very good.

The knowledge

Model: Ford Mondeo Estate Titanium X
Price: £29,490 (as tested)
Engine: 2.0-litre, turbocharged diesel
Power: 161bhp, 340Nm
Max speed: 137mph
0-60mph: 8.7s
Emissions: 119g/km
Mileage this month: 412

This month's highlight

Just getting hold of the keys for a change! A quite unusual occurrence.