I want a three-year-old small family car, but I really want something fitted with stability control. I was keen on the Ford Focus, but I don't think models of this age were fitted with it. I've also been looking at a Mazda 3 TS2 of the same age, which does have stability control, but only has a four-star NCAP crashing rating – the Focus gets five-out-of-five. Any suggestions?
Until April 2008, only Focus ST-2 and ST-3 models were fitted with stability control as standard. These are the high-powered hot hatch versions, so assuming that isn't the kind of thing you're after, you'll have to look out for an older model that has had it fitted as an option.
At £250, stability control was a relatively cheap option on any Focus MkII (Feb '04 onwards), and a quick look through the classifieds revealed a number of three-year-old cars that have it fitted.
Failing that, why not consider a Volkswagen Golf MkV? You might have to drop a trim level or two, or consider a slightly older car, but all models were fitted with stability control as standard.
In addition, the Golf gets the all-important five stars from NCAP for adult safety.