Ford Fiesta scoops the CAP Used Car of the Year Award 2012

FORD FIESTA has been named ‘Used Car of the Year 2012’ by CAP, the leading independent car information experts.

Fiesta beat off stiff competition during what has been a strong year for the used car market, with CAP’s judging panel declaring it “the perfect used car choice for motorists and used car dealers”.

CAP’s used car of the year award is unique in recognising the ‘real life’ qualities of a used car and the value it brings not only to its owners but to motor trade professionals who rely on strong products to make their living.

This means that only cars which promise a great, affordable ownership experience and a perfect trade or retail sale opportunity can qualify.

Among the criteria CAP’s used car market experts apply when choosing their ‘Used Car of the Year’ are:

  • Affordability and practicality of ownership
  • Trusted reputation
  • Sustained popularity in the used market
  • A ‘friend’ to the trade as well as the consumer


This rules out the impracticality of over-priced vehicles which are often chosen for awards simply on the basis of holding high residual values, for example, or technical features which excite car reviewers but matter little to the more cost-conscious used car buyer.


To win the CAP Used Car of the Year a vehicle must serve both public and trade equally well by offering value for money, reliability and displaying consistent desirability.


The Ford Fiesta exemplifies all of those qualities.


Among the comments about Ford Fiesta made by CAP’s experts during the judging process were:


  • A car that defies the variations in consumer tastes
  • Desirable image even with high volumes available
  • One of the great mass-produced cars that still looks fresh even when an update is due
  • Consistent reputation for reliability
  • Pushes the boundaries for quality and reliability in the Supermini sector
  • Always a top selling car and renowned for quality and value for money.
  • Still one of freshest Superminis around , a car loved by young and old as well as a versatile workhorse, great drive and styling.


Because the acid test of a used car’s performance is ultimately affordability, any contender for the title of ‘CAP Used Car of the Year’ must also compare well with its competitors in terms of depreciation.

The final hurdle was therefore how well Fiesta would score against the strongest of competition.

The following table is based on a typical ‘real life’ scenario in which a 9 month old car was bought at ‘CAP Retail’ price, in January 2010, with 10,000 miles on the clock. The car now has 40,000 miles on the clock and will be part-exchanged with a dealer, who will typically offer ‘CAP Clean’ trade value for a good condition vehicle. The figures reveal the percentage of original price paid by the owner which has been retained.

Volkswagen Polo


Ford Fiesta


Toyota Yaris


Hyundai i20


Vauxhall Corsa


Nissan Micra


Renault Clio


Citroen C3


Peugeot 207



The 3 clear winners in this test are Fiesta, Polo and Yaris. The fact that the Hyundai i20 appears in 4th place is testament to how far that brand has come over the last few years. It should also be noted that Kia did not have a competitive model available in used markets in 2010 but would likely have also had a strong showing if it did.

However, although it is just pipped to the post in terms of depreciation by the Polo, the Fiesta enjoys a very strong placing. Indeed, it is a testament to the Fiesta that despite the very large numbers of Fiestas available in the market at any time, it retains its value as a used car with remarkable consistency.

Mark Norman, of CAP, said: “It is always tempting for the motoring media and other industry observers to take the ‘petrol head’ approach when giving awards to cars which excite them but the CAP Used Car of the Year Award recognises the contribution a car really makes to consumers and dealers alike.

“Equally it is simplistic to merely look at the percentage of its new value a car retains and then declare that it is a good used car buy because, most of the time, it only means it’s an expensive used car to buy.

“The Ford Fiesta is a genuinely great used car for all of the reasons we have outlined. Motorists love it because it does exactly what they want it to. Dealers love it because it provides them with a reliable and fair profit opportunity and the accolade of CAP Used Car of the Year 2012 is well deserved by the Ford Fiesta.”


The judges

The judging panel for the CAP Used Car of the Year consisted of CAP’s team of used car experts. They research the market every day to produce Black Book Live, the only real-time independent guide to current used car values. Their work in providing the definitive current used car values to professionals across the industry – and for consumers on leading motoring portals – gives them a unique insight into the market. CAP’s market experts live and breathe the used car market every day and are therefore perfectly placed to understand all aspects of a vehicle’s performance for motorists and dealers alike.

Mark Norman, who heads CAP Automotive Intelligence Services, is one of the most well respected figures in the automotive sector. With long experience of the world of current and forecast vehicle valuations at CAP, Mark now provides CAP’s bespoke consultative services to major automotive operators across Europe. His role ranges from providing special analysis of vehicle performance in a range of markets to advice for manufacturers on successfully bringing new cars to market.

CAP independence

For 33 years CAP has enjoyed a reputation for independence and integrity. The CAP Used Car of the Year Award is therefore linked in no way to the company’s working relationships with any manufacturer, supplier or service provider in the automotive industry. Manufacturers occasionally use a CAP award within their own marketing information because they value the genuinely independent, rather than commercial, perspectives which inform CAP’s day to day decisions on market performance.  The winner of the CAP Used Car of the Year Award is always decided by CAP’s expert judges without the prior knowledge of the winning manufacturer.