The Ford Focus 1998 – 2005 has been voted ‘Used Car of the Decade’ by CAP – the UK’s independent used car pricing experts.
A panel of judges comprising of used car market and vehicle valuation experts at CAP voted unanimously for the Focus, declaring it as the vehicle which set new standards of quality in the volume car market during the decade 2000 – 2009 and brought easily affordable excellence within reach of everyday used car buyers.
Launched in 1998, Ford Focus was a brave and radical departure from the norm, effectively reinventing every aspect of the small family car, from engineering standards, fit and finish to introducing a host a new innovations to the sector.
The qualifying criteria for consideration in the judging process was:
‘A used car model range that existed as a 3 year old car at any point during the decade from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2009’.
CAP’s judging panel was looking for a car which excelled in the following areas:
Affordability and practicality of ownership
Inspired product improvement across the whole industry
Mark Norman, chairman of the CAP judging panel, said of the Ford Focus:
“The Focus shook up a conservative small family car sector in which the only truly desirable car had, for a long time, been the Volkswagen Golf. The introduction of the Focus was also a truly brave move by Ford. In reinventing their offering to that core sector Ford chose to drop the ‘Escort’ name, a brand which was woven into the fabric of British motoring.
“Instead of simply re-vamping this trusted name, Ford began with a blank sheet and created a new vehicle completely from scratch. Every aspect of the car was different from its predecessor, from the radical external styling to the new ‘command’ driving position.
“As a used car it has satisfied every criteria for the demanding consumer who requires a true 5 seat family car that offers quality, comfort, performance, durability, reliability, safety, economy, practicality and style.
“Another important aspect in the success of the Focus is the simplicity of its model range, ensuring that the consumer can easily understand precisely which derivative is best suited to his or her needs.
“All of these factors are equally important to the trade also. In a highly competitive market, used car dealers are heavily reliant on ‘safe bets’ – cars which they can be confident will always be sought by their customers. For dealers, the Ford Focus replaced the ‘safe bet’ of the Escort with an equally safe bet, but one which also serves as an object of pride for the ordinary motorist. And because the Focus has always been a well engineered and durable product it consistently offers a reliable sales opportunity used car retailers.
Results at a glance:
Overall winner and best medium used family car of the decade: Ford Focus 1998 – 2005
Small used car of the decade: Ford Ka 1996 – 2008
Large used family car of the decade: Volkswagen Passat 1996 – 2005
Executive used car of the decade: Audi A3 2003 – 2008
Luxury used car of the decade: BMW X5 2000 – 2006
Most improved used car brand of the decade: Seat