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US version of the forthcoming Ford Mondeo stands out in a crowded market segment with striking design, good road manners and an upmarket feel

What is it?

This is the new US-market Ford Fusion, which will become the next-generation Ford Mondeo when it arrives in the UK next year.

When Ford rolled out the Evos concept car a year ago, it was meant to signal some big changes coming from the mainstream maker. Ignore its impractical quad gullwing doors and the Evos offered a sneak peek at what will soon be showing up in Ford's dealerships around the world. Indeed, what European buyers will see in the form of the new Mondeo is just now landing in US showrooms.

What is it like?

A quarter of a century ago, Ford revolutionised the midsize market with jellybean styling featured on models such as the American Taurus. The new Evos-based Fusion and Mondeo promise to have a similar impact on automotive styling trends. The new model is distinctive and bold, maintaining a number of the Evos show car’s distinctive design cues, including the almost slit-like headlights that are a welcome relief from the almost comic proportions many makers have adopted with their oversized, 'jewel-like' lamps. There’s a hint of Audi A7 in the coupé-like roofline and Ford’s upscale feel is further enhanced by a trapezoid grille which bears a strong resemblance to an Aston Martin's.

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