RAC Cars News


Ford Focus: The Quarter Century Greatest

By raccars Published

Image Source

A new survey by Auto Express magazine asked drivers to nominate their 50 greatest cars of the last 25 years and, among a host of glamorous performers, the Ford Focus Mk1 took the top spot. The poll was held to mark the magazine's 25th anniversary edition.

The Focus was introduced in 1998 to replace the Escort and was an immediate hit with both the press and public. It has been popular with a wide variety of demographics ever since, from families to retirees to boy racers, with the modest exterior belying performance and handling befitting a far more expensive vehicle. In its quiet way, the Focus redefined the hatchback market, a once staid segment, to give customers a level of comfort and driving dynamics previously reserved for the premium brands. With success on the rally circuit behind it too, the Focus really is a clever all-rounder.

The initial list price for the Ford Focus was £13,350 and older models are selling today for £500. Despite newer generations maintaining the original's success, it's the Mk1 version from 1998-2005 that beat off the likes of the Bugatti Veyron and McLaren F1 in the poll.

Taking second place on the list was a lower profile entry, the Lancia Delta Integrale from 1979-1994, a stylish hot hatch best known for its stellar rallying career in the late Eighties to early Nineties. A very mixed bunch in the top five was rounded out by the McLaren F1 supercar from 1992-1998 in third place, the latest mega-selling Volkswagen Golf Mk7 in fourth and the storming Nissan GT-R in fifth.

In sixth place was Audi's sexy Mk1 TT, which ran from 1998-2006, while the £830,000 Bugatti Veyron only made seventh place, despite reaching 253mph. The smart Alfa Romeo 156 (1998-2006) came eighth, the superlatively beautiful Aston Martin DB9 ninth and the iconic Rover Mini Cooper was tenth, in pre-relaunch 1990-2000 guise.

The survey also threw up a list of the 10 worst cars of the last quarter century, an ignominious list comprising 2003's Rover CityRover, the 1997 Daihatsu Move, the 1993 Mitsubishi Carisma, the 1995 Suzuki X-90, the 2001 Renault Avantime, the 1988 Skoda Estelle, the 2001 Lexus SC 430, the Nissan Serena from 1992, the Citroen C3 Pluriel from 2003 and the 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible. None of these were big hits and their inclusion on this list should raise few eyebrows.

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars