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Ford’s family favourite the Ford Focus is practical, reliable and great to drive – and prices start from just £3,000. Here’s how to find a good used ford focus..

Popularity isn’t always synonymous with quality (look at the Citroen Saxo – or Westlife!), but Ford scored a deserved hit with the Focus. The radical Escort replacement topped UK sales charts for a decade until it was finally ousted by the smaller Fiesta in 2009.

This buying guide looks primarily at the MK2 Focus, launched in 2005 and due for replacement in 2011. The same again styling of the MK2 Focus lacks the impact of the 1998 origional, but its just as dynamic to drive, with wonderfully communicative steering and a chassis that shames many sports cars. Dpreciation is steep and servicing is cheap – both great factors for used car buyers – and the Ford’s sheer ubiquity means there are thousands to chose from. So with a quick google for “used ford focus” will return thousands of cars to pick your ideal one from. So its more about chosing WHO you want to buy from than the car itself.

There’s a wide choice of body styles three- and five door hatchback, saloon and estate plus the convertible focus CC from mid 2006. Our picks are the five door hatch and the estate – it has 1,525 litres of boot space, more than a BMW 3 series Touring!

Although there are 10 engines to chose from all you need to remember is 1.6 For petrol, steer clear of 1.4 and the 2.0 is a little thirsty but powerful as the car is light and efficient. For diesel the 109PS 1.6 tdci is the best option. If efficieny isnt your concern then the 2.5 ST is a phenominal car to drive.

All models apart from the basic studio have air conditioning. The trim hierarchy then rises through LX, Style, Sport, Zetec, Zetec Climate, Ghia and Titanium. Sport varants get alloy wheels while the Zetec has stiffend suspension and a few other extras for a better drive. Climate adding Quick clear windscreens an excellent addition.

A facelift after early 2008 brough sleeker interiors exterior stylung and a Powershift twin cluch automatic box for the 2.0 diesel.

Options worth a look include Satnav, Xenon headlights, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors. But like any used car Focus on condition as much as extras. Try this website

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