The morning serenity only punctuated by the sound of horses' hooves and the pedal of the postman's bike striking the crooked mud guard. I leave my house at 8.15am, bleary eyed with toothpaste still wet on my chin. I get into the Mondeo. It's comfortable, it's visually pleasing. I'll surely enjoy the short drive to work.
Then I turn the key. A split second later, birds fall from the trees like pigeons at a Ted Nugent gig, burglar alarms scream and Mrs Miggins, the widow next door, feels her gold filling gently shake in her opened mouth.
You think this journo doth protest too much? Okay, just a little, but I can't overstate the impact of firing up this old school diesel car, having just the day before bid farewell to a tour-de-force of diesel, the Rover 75 with the 2.0-litre BMW common rail unit. It was like turning the dial from Classic FM to Weird Titan Radio, the Dutch 'hard trance' station. While there are hundreds of positive points about this car that I would like to go into at a later date, first impressions are invariably lasting impressions.
I've now driven about 90 miles in the car in a little over a week and the noise still annoys - but less so. Future Ford diesel buyers are in a fortunate position, however, in that the newly-introduced TDCi with associated technological benefits of common rail, most notably in this instance, noise reduction, will eclipse the TDdi.
But, you'll say, the quieter drive, improved performance (the 2.0-litre TDCi produces 130bhp, the TDdi 113) and consistency in CO2 emissions (156g/km) and mpg rates (47.9 and 48.8 respectively), the new engine comes at a price.
The TDdi has a P11D value of £16,490. Tax payable per month for a lower rate payer is £54.42. The TDCi has a P11D value of £16,990. Tax payable for a 22% payer now is £56.07.
That means you will pay an extra £2.29 a month for the common rail TDCi Mondeo. It must be worth it.