Ford of Europe bets its future on a car that appears truly radical.
Exactly forty years ago, the European automotive landscape was upended by a new car that looked like nothing we had seen before. Even more surprising was that it came from Ford, that most conservative of automakers, which had made its fortune from producing cars that were… just as expected. Ford was emphatically not in the business of challenging its customers’ expectations, but meeting them head-on.
The company’s ultra-cautious approach to product development had created generations of cars that were only modestly and iteratively updated from their predecessors. This suited both conservative private buyers and cost-conscious fleet operators, for whom reliability and low running costs were by far and away the most important factors for them to consider in choosing a new car.
Ford might have followed both automotive fashion and advances in technology, but it did so from a safe distance. It was the very antithesis of, for example, Citroën or Lancia, two manufacturers that continually pushed the boundaries of what was possible in technical and aesthetic terms and, as a consequence, often tested the patience and loyalty of their customers in so doing. The wildly oscillating financial performance of both automakers and their regular brushes with bankruptcy was something that a company like Ford would never countenance.
The Cortina was the car that exemplified Ford’s ‘value engineering’ approach to its products. Introduced in 1962, it was light, efficient and simple to build. It handled, steered and rode adequately well and was reasonably comfortable and economical. The mechanicals were simple enough that anyone reasonably proficient with a set of spanners could maintain it in good condition. It enjoyed some stardust from the high-performance Lotus Cortina, but it was at heart simple and reliable family transport, nothing more and nothing less.
Four(1) further generations of Cortina would follow, each one developing and refining the formula just as much as was necessary to keep the car competitive. Ford also perfected the art of differentiation, producing a broad range of trim and engine variants, from the poverty-spec 1.3-litre L to the fully-loaded 2.3-litre Ghia, so providing not only a car for every budget, but also a ladder of aspiration for owners and users to climb.
Ford’s domination of the medium-sized saloon and estate market segment was, in the UK at least, aided by a distinct lack of serious competition from domestic(2) automakers. Vauxhall had always seemed to shy away from taking on the Cortina directly. In the 1970s, it was essentially a two-model manufacturer, and both the Viva and Victor were half a size larger than the Escort and Cortina respectively.
In 1971, British Leyland belatedly introduced the Morris Marina, which had been benchmarked against the Cortina Mk2. By the time it reached production, Ford had already moved the game on with the 1970 Cortina Mk3. Although no longer overall than the Mk2, it was significantly roomier inside, thanks to a 76mm (3”) stretch in the wheelbase to 2,565mm (101”). By comparison, the Marina’s wheelbase was just 2,438mm (96”) long and some of its engineering was pretty outdated even at launch. That, and British Leyland’s woeful reputation for build quality, militated against the Marina, although it still sold well enough
Ford’s only other UK-manufactured competitor was Chrysler Europe’s Hillman Hunter, a conventionally engineered saloon and estate that had been introduced in 1966 and not meaningfully updated since. It was not a bad car, but now quite outdated and outclassed. Neither the Victor, Marina or the Hunter ever seriously challenged the Cortina’s sales success.
In Europe, however, the Ford Taunus TC2(3) did have a direct competitor in the 1975 Opel Ascona B. The Ascona was just 20mm (¾”) shorter than the Taunus and was a handsome looking conventionally-engineered two and four-door saloon with a good reputation for reliability. GM saw an opportunity to make a pitch for the valuable company car market in the UK, then dominated by the Cortina, and redesigned the Ascona B with a ‘droop-snoot’ front end to become the Vauxhall Cavalier. The Cavalier immediately began to make inroads into this market, threatening the Cortina’s hegemony.
This would not be the only threat Ford would face. By the late 1970s there was a notable shift in the European automotive market. Growing affluence amongst Ford’s traditional customers was raising their expectations. Increasingly attractive and sophisticated cars were coming onto the market and levels of reliability had improved to the extent that buyers were no longer frightened of technical complexity and, in particular, of front-wheel-drive. Ford’s traditional strength of simplicity and reliability was diminishing in importance and the ‘Dagenham Dustbin’ jibe often levelled at its cars was really beginning to hurt. Even the upmarket Ghia variants were increasingly regarded as slightly tawdry and lacking in genuine class.
Ford had, of course, already embraced transverse engines and front-wheel-drive in its 1976 Fiesta Mk1 and would do so again with the 1980 Escort Mk3, but the packaging benefits were less significant in larger cars, so the decision was taken early in the development of a replacement for the Cortina to stick with rear-wheel-drive. Instead, Ford would wow potential customers with a design so apparently sophisticated and futuristic that it would radically change the market’s perception of the company and its products. The Cortina name would also be banished to history and a new name, Sierra, would lead the company into its brave new future.
Championed by Robert Lutz, Ford’s Director of operations, the Sierra was designed to take on the upper-middle class European marques in sophistication and appeal. Lutz wanted a more dynamic image, especially in Germany, where the ageing Taunus/ Cortina model was viewed as a throwback. Work on Project Toni, as the new model was codenamed, started in Ford’s Köln-Merkenich studios in 1977, with styling overseen by Ford’s European Vice-President of design, Uwe Bahnsen.
At the same time in Rüsselsheim, Opel was pondering its replacement for the Ascona B / Cavalier Mk1. Like Ford, it would switch to transverse engines and front-wheel-drive for its smaller models, the 1979 Kadett B and 1982 Corsa A. Unlike Ford, however, its Cortina rival would also make the switch.
The Ascona C and Cavalier Mk2 were launched in August 1981 as part of GM’s global J-Car programme. The revolution that had taken place under the skin was hidden beneath a crisp, handsome and totally contemporary bodystyle that was an uncontroversial evolution of its predecessor. To emphasise its continuity, both the Ascona and Cavalier names would be retained. Moreover, the new model was offered in both two and four-door saloon and five-door hatchback variants, ensuring that all bases(4) were covered.
Prior to the launch of the Sierra, there were conservative voices within Ford who worried that the radical look of the new car would alienate traditional buyers. Ford attempted to prepare the market for the Sierra’s arrival by releasing a concept car in September 1981, exactly a year before the production model’s unveiling. The concept, dubbed Probe III, looked extraordinarily futuristic but was essentially the already finalised production model dressed up with a different front end, faired in door mirrors and rear wheels and other aerodynamic addenda, including the double rear spoiler that would appear on performance versions of the Sierra, in order to achieve a remarkably low Cd of just 0.25.
Despite it being widely trailed, the production Sierra was still a real shock when it was unveiled in September 1982. Not only did it look nothing like a Cortina, or anything else on the road, but it was a hatchback with no saloon alternative. This was at a time when conservative buyers still regarded a separate boot as a necessity on a ‘proper’ car, so was a risky call on Ford’s part.
And so, the battle lines were drawn. Which automaker would prevail: GM Europe, with the Ascona / Cavalier, its conservatively handsome front-wheel-drive challenger, or Ford Europe, with the Sierra, its radical aero looks concealing a conventional if well-engineered mechanical package?
The story will continue in Part Two shortly.
(1) The Mk5, more correctly known as the Cortina ’80, was a heavily re-engineered Mk4 with a new, flatter roof and deeper side windows.
(2) Readers might wonder about the emphasis on UK-manufactured competitors. The reason for this is that, even as late as the 1970s, many British private buyers and fleet operators still demonstrated a notable preference for locally built cars over imports.
(3) From 1976 on, the new Cortina Mk4 and Taunus TC2 were identical cars, apart from badging and minor trim variations.
(4) Apart from an estate, however. GM assumed the larger Rekord / Carlton estate would suffice, but in 1983 it began importing an estate version of the J-Car from Australia, where it was sold as the Holden Camira. It would not prove to be a sales success.
53 thoughts on “Sierra Shock (Part One)”
The situation you describe for Dagenham was completely different in Merkenich.
After years of telling their customers that inline engines and RWD were the way to go they suddenly sold FWD cars with V4 engines (Taunus 12m P4 and later P5). After the Bahnsen-designed modernist ‘bathtub’ 17m P3 and its towned-down successor P6 they took a wrong turn with the 17m P7 which had the shortest possible model life before becoming the P7b which was a complete failure in the market.
Ford Cologne faced much stronger competition than Dagenham seems to have had. Opel always was very close in sales numbers and sales of Taunus TC as well as Opel Ascona took a serious nose dive from the Audi 80 which sold more than either of them and from the then new VW Passat which sold more than both of them combined.
Taunus TC sales dipped from around 125,000 units per year to around 50,000 – Audi sold 75,000 80s and VW 125,000 Passats.
Maybe that’s an explanation why Ford Cologne created such a bold product.
They sold 2.6 million Taunus TCs in eleven years (1.1 million in the first five years) and 2.3 million Cortina MkIII to MkV.
They sold 2.9 million Sierras in twelve years. Would this number have been higher for a less radical design?
Ford numbers are difficult to read because they include cars made all over the world.
Good morning Dave. Thanks for adding the German perspective behind the launch of the Sierra. Very interesting.👍
I’m always astonished by the high degree of resistance front wheel drive met in the British market.
German customers were buying front wheel drive cars much earlier – maybe all those DKWs were useful for something in the end. Cars like reborn Audi, Renault R4 and R16 or Fiat 128 sold quite well in Germany and paved the way for front wheel drive.
Thanks Daniel and Dave. It’s fascinating how perspectives differ between the Continent and the UK… I mean in the car market, obviously 😁. Especially before the UK joined the Common Market. As I understand it (from here and AROnline mainly) Ford had the UK corporate market all but sown up until GM suddenly remembered that they had another European division in Opel that was developing cars as well. Vauxhall and Opel were also very separate worlds at the time, with both brands being sold in each other’s markets (Opel in the UK, Vauxhall on the Continent), if memory serves. On the Continent, things were quite different, as Dave describes, with Ford never really having the kind of dominant position it enjoyed in parts of the UK market.
When exactly did Volkswagen become the juggernaut we know and fear today, anyway? Surely not when they had little else besides the Beetle. Was it the Passat that started the whole thing?
Still, somehow all this talk of an aerodynamic new car has me thinking of the Ioniq 6 (which looks rather better in dark colours than in light ones), somewhat ironically:
Still, I can’t see Ford making a cheeky ad like Hyundai did when the Sierra was introduced…
In the late Sixties forty-three percent of all ars on German roads were VW Beetles. That’s what I would call ‘owning a market’.
When people lost interest in the Beetle VW established its tradition of getting bankrupt in regular intervals and being rescued by a bright mind with a determined will (Toni Schmücker, Ferdinand Piech and whoever hopefully will be the successor to Herbert Diess).
VW as we know it today was kick started by the Passat – look at the sales numbers quoted above and remember it was a car in a class where VW had no creditable offer before (Typ 3 TL ‘Traurige Lösung’ = sad solution – what a nickname for product).
The Golf built on the Passat’s success.
It’s a weird thought that a manufacturer with no tradition in FWD hatchbacks started a market segment named after its first product there.
The Passat always was seen as kind of a problem child for VW but for decades but it outsold the likes of Mondeo and Vectra/Insigna combined by a considerable margin.
Thanks, Dave. That does rather constitute owning a market. I have to admit that I didn’t know the Beetle was quite that dominant, although I do know about VW’s struggles to move on from it. The Passat really was a gamechanger for them. I’m not sure how it was on the rest of the Continent: one would imagine a lot of Renaults, Simcas, Citroëns and Peugeots in France and a lot of Fiats in Italy, but other countries had less dominant national industries, I think. Renault, Peugeot and Citroën are still large, but not to the extent that VAG (and its premium countrymen) dominates.
Thanks, editors! I hadn’t even gotten round to finding the Hyundai ad.
You’re welcome. 🙂
Unlike the P7a, Taunus 17/20m P7b was not a complete failure in Europe (W. Germany included). It sold reasonably well, even though it was an extended redesign of the P7a.
What I find intriguing is the survival rate for Sierras …….which seems to be almost zero. When did anyone last see a Sierra on the road ? You are much more likely to see a Cortina (any model) on the road than a Sierra.
In the spring I saw two Sierras – both the later, facelifted ones. But yes, they are not common. And nor are Renault 18s, Peugeot 505s or many of the other cars from this class and period. What I see most of are Opel Asconas of the same vintage but I must stress, it´s a relative thing. I might see three or four a year as I wander around Jutland. The Danish veteran car club magazine has comparision this month of the Sierra 2.0 V6 and the Mazda 626 2.o of the same time. That makes for two unicorns in this neck of the woods.
The Sierra isn’t extinct yet. As at Q1 2022, there were 1,934 taxed on UK roads and 11,512 declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification, the declaration the owner has to make if the car is not taxed). I would guess that a significant proportion of those on the road are top of the range XR 4×4 or Cosworth models.
A friend of a friend drives an IS200 these days, but loved his late model Sierra enough to put into store in a farm shed, whence I expect it will emerge as a classic in the next 5 to 10 years. But I agree that they are pretty rare as daily drivers these days. In fact, I can’t think when I last saw a Mondeo Mk1, but that’s a different discussion..
Isn’t it interesting that, often, the more ubiquitous the car was when in production, the rarer it becomes in its afterlife. I suppose this is because their intrinsic values fall to levels that they become totally uneconomic to maintain and repair, especially if there seems little chance of its value rising as it becomes rarer.
This phenomenon doesn’t just affect mainstream models: an acquaintance of mine bought an Aston Martin DB7 some years ago for around £30k, convinced it would appreciate in value over time. Given how many were produced (by Aston Market standards), over 7,000, I couldn’t see it happening. A quick look on AutoTrader this morning reveals a selection of very smart looking low-mileage examples, all advertised for less than £20k.
I did the same buying a BMW Baur TC4 in 2016.
Not sure at all it was a smart move… 🤔
Cars like the Sierra disappear from view because there is so little reason to keep them alive unless it is a special model. Nothing about them is remarkable enough for all but the avid fan to even notice their passing. Nothing exceptional in almost any aspect and with a build quality that makes cost effective longevity an unlikely proposition.
Also in this case not helped by what was for Ford the genuine leap forward in terms of quality and driveability represented by the Mondeo.
Hi Gustavo. I had to Google ‘BMW Baur TC4’ to find out what car you were talking about:
You are indeed unlikely ever to meet another one on the road!
That’s the car Baur built despite of being told by BMW not to do it because the open top E36 was presented shortly after it. It’s rare for a reason abd it cost Baur a lot if money.
There were Baurs you could buy at your BMW dealer but not the E36.
About this kind of common, “non-enthusiast” cars, when they´re 15 year old or more, I say they´re a 300 euros worth of a workshop invoice from the scrapyard. Even something relatively easy to repair like a new alternator in a perfectly good 2006 Megane/Focus/Astra makes its owner think that throwing money to an old car is a completely waste and that it makes sense to lease a new car…he/she will be paying a monthly payment for the rest of his/her life.
By the way, after reading the Megane II piece from a few days ago, I surprised how few Meganes I see on the road, considering Renault sold a lot of them in Spain.
Speaking of convertibles, that was something else the Sierra didn’t offer.
The first Cortina came out in 1962, didn’t it?
Noted and amended, thank you Jonathan.
Good old Sierra! A car that was a statement. Loved it. Thank you Daniel!
I remember the Sierra arrived at the same time as the Citroen BX, which showed-up the inept styling of the Sierra. What struck me, apart from the dreadful wheel-trims, was the thickness of the window frames with their radiused corners. very similar to my first car – a 1946 Anglia….
They made a decent effort of turning it into a swan though, in the shape of the Sapphire.
The Sierra/Sapphire repeated the story of Jaguar Mk1/Mk2.
I remember quite well when I saw my first Sierra on a dealer forecourt – a red base level car with grey bumper-cum-grille which looked quite good and very unexpected for a Ford.
I admired the boldness and the risk they took with the Sierra. And don’t forget that it took Opel another four years to finally ditch the rear live axle from the car one class above.
Inept? That´s a bit much. I had a chance to see a Mk1 Ford Sierra in the Danish Design Museum and to spend a long time examining it. I find it very well executed and after 40 years it still looks fresh – as if Dieter Rams met Uwe Bahnsen in Merkenich. I also like the BX. Both are great bits of design for different reasons.
The Mark V Cortina was superbly detailed. The first Sierra was not – it was a blob that feigned the aerodynamic efficiency that the contemporary Audi 100 possessed.
The drag coefficient of the Sierra at launch was 0.34, whereas the contemporary Audi 100’s was 0.30. The Audi was a longer car and had completely flush side glass. The Sierra estate was as aerodynamic as the hatchback – a remarkable achievement.
By contrast the predecessor Cortina’s drag coefficient was about 0.45, so the Sierra’s aerodynamic efficiency was hardly feigned.
Much as I love the Citroën BX, it actually had a higher drag coefficient than the GSA it replaced.
Aside from the spoiler, which when the Sierra was a common sight I always assumed was an attempt to make it look more sporty rather than a necessity due to poor design, I can’t remember anything striking about the Sierra. Probably just familiarity but alongside contempory cars it only looked good against the willfully unfortunate looking BL offerings.
More importantly as a member of a Cavalier owning family I never got saw or got into a Sierra with a feeling of envy. They looked a bit pants from the outside and felt a bit pants on the inside.
Ford’s strength has always been to make cars that are…fine. Their aim is to make cars that are, well, just fine for the lower mid-market and they usually hit that mark. Unfortunately that mark is quite low so when they miss it their cars go from just fine to quite poor pretty easily. It always felt the Sierra missed that mark.
What you find on the inside is important too. Around 1983 my little freelance business was doing OK and it was time to replace my 150,000 mile 1973 blue-over-rust-and-filler Cortina with its coat-hanger radio aerial (probably worth more than the rest of the car put together). I settled on either a Sierra or a Mk 2 Cavalier, either around 18 months old. I liked the shape of the Sierra and its claim to modernity and its less cramped interior, but I was biased towards the Cavalier because it was FWD. On the downside, the Cavalier seemed bumpier and harder-sprung. When it came to the test drive, though, about 30 seconds decided it. Sitting in the Sierra, all I could see was a collection of apparently randomly arranged plastic boxes with either nothing in them (“useful storage”) or some miscellaneous switch. The radio seemed to be somewhere around ankle-level. Everything the outside claimed went to hell inside. It was cheap, nasty and confusing. The Cavalier dash, on the other hand, seemed solid, clear and rational and reminded me a bit of a friend’s Saab. Things fell easily to hand and it all felt properly joined-up. I chose the Cavalier as that was what I was going to be looking at and working with.
How wrong are you, Daniel…
On my local gas pump, I once met…
…the OTHER one residing in the country 🤭
Did you buy a lottery ticket that day, Gustavo? 😁
But regarding the Sierra, I may briefly write:
I beg to differ – I was 13 when it showed it’s wheels, and at the moment there was nothing – nothing – available to the average person that could scream ‘future’ louder than it.
Not the contemporary BX anyway, on a landscape still full of CX and GS.
It looked aerodynamic, and that was the word of the future.
Especially the one without the grille between the headlights.
They were the Probe 3 and Probe 4 for the people.
I remember that the Sierra was a roomy car, enough to support a family. It was active in the local rally and road race championships, winning and dominant in the hands of talented race drivers. In the world rally championship not so dominant in these legendary 80s. The three door with this large side window spoke Cosworth engine even stationary. Huge after market road wheels with large tyres. An icon of this decade, posters hung from the walls of teenagers. They are difficult to spot nowadays. When I see one, memories come to mind of better times and far better music.
I’m pretty sure that there are a few Sierra’s sitting in the bodyshop next to where I get my Mercedes serviced. The owner only works on Ford’s and has a large collection of his own. Pictures may follow…
The Sierra Ghia photographed very well in the launch advertisements and looked rather futuristic:
The reality for entry-level buyers was rather less beguiling:
That base model with the diesel engine must have been a real delight to drive.
I´m intrigued by the rear view mirrow, it´s a completely different design to the rest of the range and I can´t believe Ford was saving money even in something like that.
The Sierra Ghia that seemed futuristic and confident is transformed in something weak, feeble and undesirable, and that proves (again) how important is the detailing in a car´s design.
That blue car with nice alloys isn’t a launch photo – the top-end cars were launched with woeful plastic wheel-trims.
Hi b234r. Yes, those manual door mirrors with their high-set pivots were unique to the low-line Sierra and weren’t used on any other Ford model, as far as I am aware. Like the unpainted grille, they seem designed to put you off the base model and coerce you into paying extra for an ‘L’ version.
Here you go, Mervyn:
The Sierra L had the dangly door mirrors too.
Towards the end of the 1970s Ford were terrified of the threat from the Japanese car manufacturers. The Sierra was conceived as part of Ford’s “AJ” or After Japan programme, which was to be a product-led renaissance.
Bob Lutz was told by Ford CEO “Red” Polling that the money wasn’t there for the Cortina’s replacement to be front-wheel drive, so instead he fired up his development team by reminding them that good-to-drive BMWs were RWD and by challenging them to lead on design.
Hi Joel. Thanks for your comment and welcome to Driven To Write. 🙂
Will you be touching on the estate version in the next part(s)? To my mind, it’s more elegant than the saloon and less likely to divide opinion.
Hi Dale. Not explicitly, but the series implicitly covers all Sierra variants. As looks are pretty subjective, I’ll leave readers to make up their own minds as to which they like best (or dislike least!)
In two further instalments, we will cover the ambivalent reception to the original model and Ford’s rearguard action to rescue it.
Enjoying playing catch-up after a fraught day – looks like another O’Callaghan master class; thank you Daniel. Regarding comments about the British reluctance to adopt FWD, it was down to general conservatism (small ‘c’!) of the masses – plus instinctive mistrust of anything French. Herbert Austin created the British people’s car (the Austin 7 – front engine, RWD) and thus established the norm. The Ford 8 (shamelessly copied and improved by Morris) continued the theme and any deviation from it was automatically suspect. BMW’s first car was the Austin 7 but the German people’s car was the VW Beetle, hence its success. It was the French, surely, led by Citroen who pioneered FWD. Fast forward to the Sierra and Ford were being very brave indeed – I remember being mightily impressed at the time. Not that I’d have ever given one garage room – but that’s a different story!
The Sierra’s door/window frame configuration and radiuses weren’t too far removed from the seminal Golf’s (necessitated by a choice to continue using some tooling that was used on the Beetle), and perhaps more notably the 928’s, a car which debuted around the time the Sierra was gestating, and one which unusually for a GT was a European Car of the Year, and is still noted for its “futuristic” design.
Ford may have misjudged the public reaction, or as I recall someone quoted rather unforgettably in Car around the time that the Mondeo debuted, that the Sierra bore the scent of “burnt fingers”, which I interpreted to mean that they overthought and overworked the theme, losing the perspective of the marketplace.
I’d wish to hear from PLQ to fill in more details on these matters, because the Sierra in particular left quite an impression on everyone whether they liked it or not.
gooddog: DTW will turn to the subject of the Sierra’s styling in a separate (forthcoming) article.
Same here – playing catch-up, JTC, and ‘hear, hear’ to your comments about Daniel’s piece.
Re the British and front versus rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive was very popular among private buyers, from the early ‘60s onwards – BMC’s 1100 / 1300 was a top-seller for many years. It was fleet buyers who were more cautious – the largest fleets, who undertook their own serving, would have been resistant to investing in training and new tools. Others were just cost-conscious and didn’t want to risk something new. That said, I’m not aware of any front-wheel drive system which was unreliable in any car.
Coming back the Ascona, it really was a nice piece of design. Coincidentally, I stumbled across this short promotional film, a few days ago, which gives a good view of the car. I recall travelling in its Cavalier equivalent in the late 70’s and I recall how taut and well-made it felt.
But, errr, was the Mini a RWD that the Brits and the world were so admonished?
Good morning Faisal. I’m not sure it was FWD per se that was the concern with the BMC Mini and 1100/1300. Instead, it was the very tight packaging of the mechanical components dictated by Alec Issigonis in his quest to maximise passenger and luggage space that earned the cars a reputation for being difficult to work on. The other UK manufacturers and their dealers were, of course, more than happy to perputate that concern to potential customers in the sales pitch for their RWD cars. There was also, I’m sure, a resistance to the unfamiliar amongst many potential customers. I wonder how many owners of the BMC A60 Morris Oxford / Austin Cambridge bought a Cortina rather than a Maxi as a replacement for these reasons?
I remember my dad test-drove a Sierra once. He wasn’t impressed as the car was returned after he only drove around two block or so, much to the unpleasant surprise of the Ford dealer.
It was however a sales success in the Netherlands, with 148,868 units sold, which is even more than the once ubiquitous Citroën BX. 1,631 Sierras are still registered on our roads, about the same as the BX.
I remember a time when Sierras were very unpopular as trade ins. Owners of a well maintained average spec Sierra were quoted a price of a tank of gas. Some of them gave the cars away their children who drove them for a couples of more years before they were scrapped. Only 9 Sierras for sale here at the moment. They’re asking € 3,250.
I´ve just seen the ad for this lovely 5 door 2.0i Ghia with only 90,000 (or 190,000? 290,000?) kms on the clock, a/c and sunroof, for €4,600€. Probably rust- free, if it spent its life around the centre of Spain.