Ford Sierra XR4i

Is a pristine £25k XR4i a smart buy given the three-door Sierras' changing fortunes, asks JJ

Cost New £9,170 Price £24,995


ight, let’s get the obvious out of the way first, this is a lot of money for an XR4i. As recently as 2016 these struggled to find homes for anything more than £5000. Today £7k is now the going rate for a very good example. Is this XR4i really worth the additional £18k?

Charles Smalley, Sherwood’s sales director, is unsurprisingly confident the car’s worth every penny. He used to sell these new and doesn’t remember any as pristine as this. A recollection backed up by the XR Owners’ Club who say this example is in ‘better than factory’ condition. It’s been taken back to bare metal and rebuilt from scratch with mint, genuine Ford parts. It’s been an astonishing labour of love for its former owner and must surely represent the very best XR4i in existence.

There are photos detailing the work done and an exhaustive history that includes the original purchase invoice and owner handbooks. Quite frankly this XR4i is faultless. The mark one Sierra nose is perfect, as is the Diamond White paintwork.

Inside the rare Oxford Blue interior is unmarked. The only deviation from standard is an updated stereo, which I’d put back to standard if I was lucky enough to be the next owner. Everywhere you look this car is achingly clean. It really is better than new. The door shuts have no grime or oil on them, the door check straps are gleaming and new. Carpets and fabrics show no signs of wear or fading. Even inside the wheel arches, all is pristine – I almost feel guilty for driving this car. Almost… That guilt soon passes as soon as I spin the V6 into life. It’s got a rowdy rumble to it that brings to mind a lost era of fast Ford naughtiness.

The power figure is now no longer impressive, but it still provides big grins, especially when matched to a playful rear-wheel drive chassis. Handling is confidence-inspiring if a little soft. You can push on in the corners, but be aware that the V6 makes plenty of torque fairly low down so it’s easy to provoke the rear to misbehave. Unsurprisingly for a car that’s been so carefully put back together, the mechanical components feel tight and new.

So Is it worth £25k? If you were to restore a similar low-mileage XR4i to this immaculate state, it would take a lot more than £25,000. If you’re looking for the very best XR4i on the planet, we’re pretty sure your search ends here.

Ford Sierra XR4i

Year:     1984
Mileage:     24,000
On sale at:     Sherwood Restorations

Engine:     2792cc, 6-cyl, SOHC
Transmission:     RWD, 5-speed manual
Power:     150bhp@5700rpm
Torque:     160lb-ft@3800rpm
Weight:     1205kg

0-60mph:    7.8sec
Top speed:     130mph
Economy:     24mpg

Choose your Ford Sierra XR4i

1982: First Sierras delivered to customers. Reception is lukewarm with the styling blamed for putting off customers. Fleet buyers rumoured to want the more conservative Cortina back.

1983: Sales aren’t meeting expectations so a performance ‘halo’ model is devised. Originally to be fitted with a 2.3-litre version of the Cologne V6, the new XR4i doesn’t have the torque to fulfil its sporting role and gets the Granada’s 2.8-litre unit instead.

1985: Many XR4i's options are made standard, while its design is toned down to appeal to a wider group of buyers. After just 18,000 sales, the XR4i is replaced by the less flamboyant XR4x4.

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