16 September 2004

With the new Ford Focus on the starting blocks, there are finally signs that used prices for the Focus RS are starting to fall. Even a few months ago every secondhand example of the highly acclaimed hot hatch was pretty much dead-on the original £19,995 list price, or even more. Now prices are moving down.

Shopping for a Focus RS is surprisingly easy – especially if you are prepared to buy privately – though you still have to tread carefully to avoid paying over the odds. Pick of the deals when we went looking was an 03/53-plate car, with 10,000 miles on the clock, up for £18,250 from a northern dealer. Another dealer was selling a car on the same plate, but with only 6000 miles, for £18,800. And we could have bought an almost identical car with 7000 miles for £18,500 through a private classified ad. Compared with these deals, the 10,000-mile 2003 car that we spotted at an independent dealer with a sticker price of £19,995 didn’t look that special. Nor do the cars on sale at many Ford main dealers, where inflated prices are still being asked for the RS. Typical of those we spied was a 2003 car with 11,000 miles at a main agent in Berkshire for £20,995, and a 17,000-mile 2002 model was on sale at a Scottish dealership for £19,995. But even with these price drops the Focus RS is still a fantastically slow-depreciating car, especially by Ford’s usual standards. And if you want the next one (right), due in 2007, get your name on the list right now.

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