1. Ford Focus
What is there to say about the brilliant Ford Focus that hasn’t already been put in print a million times before? Not a lot, but that’s because Ford managed to score a home run with this car. Despite being one of the oldest designs in this list, it still looks modern, thanks to its edgy lines. And huge numbers were sold, which means it should be easy to find a tidy car with reasonably low mileage. You won’t regret it.
We found: 2004 1.6 LX, 84,000 miles, £1000
And the used family cars to avoid…
Subtle handling tweaks from Lotus couldn’t stop this from being an appalling car. Build quality was dire, engines were lacklustre and reliability was patchy. You'll struggle to find one, too, although perhaps that's no bad thing.
The best thing you can say about the Liana is that it can survive weekly abuse at the hands of the world’s celebrities on a certain weekly motoring show. Its 1.6 petrol engine is coarse and needs to be worked hard to perform and has only 6,000-mile service intervals, which makes running costs expensive. But it does at least have a very roomy cabin.
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