Dec 21 2009 Maurice Glover
Best buy Focus
TWO of the most popular family models produced by Ford have been voted Britain's used cars of the decade.
Valuation experts at CAP named the market leader's ubiquitous Focus hatchback as their overall winner - then named the Ford Ka as the best secondhand model in the small car section of the contest claimed to be the ultimate recognition of the contribution made by vehicles to personal transport.
'The Focus shook up a conservative sector in which the only truly desirable car had for a long time been the Volkswagen Golf. It was a truly brave move by Ford, which created a new vehicle from scratch," said CAP judging panel chairman Mark Norman.
'As a used car, it has satisfied every criteria for the demanding consumer who requires a true five-seat family car with quality, comfort, performance, durability, reliability, safety, economy, practicality and style."
Judges rated the Ka as scoring on every measure and offering true affordability, low running costs and reliable engineering.
The award for the large used family car of the decade went to the Volkswagen Passat, praised for offering prestige quality at mainstream price.
Audi's A3 took the executive title for re-positioning the brand from that of a high quality alternative to the mainstream to a credible and affordable alternative to a premium used car.
And the BMW X5 won the luxury section for creating a new benchmark and raising the bar for other manufacturers who have since introduced new high-quality 4x4 models.
In an additional award, SEAT was named as the most improved used car brand of the decade.
Said spokesman Mike Hind: 'It began the decade with a dull range of cars, unchallenging to convention and without character. But instantly forgettable vehicles have been revitalised into youthful, high quality cars that have become genuinely desirable to used car buyers.
'The brand has earned a reputation that is exemplified by depreciation that matches the class leader in its principal sector - it has rightfully earned a place on the shopping list of the discerning mainstream used car buyer.'