Patrick Le Quement’s Ford Sierra XR4i and XR4x4 were produced from 1983 to 1993, and have attracted a following owing to their large V6s, sporting nature, and 4WD in the case of the XR4x4. Both are based on the Sierra: a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive car seating five people. Both were produced solely as hatchbacks in three- and five-door flavours.
Styled in part to resemble Porsche’s 928 and copied by Rover for its three-door Rover 200, the Sierra XR4i used an additional pillar and clever graphics to look less like a three-door Sierra and more like a large coupe. Replaced after just two years by the five-door Ford Sierra XR4x4, the XR4i remains an intriguing side-note in Sierra history. It was also exported to America as the Merkur XR4Ti.
Two years after its introduction Ford replaced the Ford Sierra XR4i with the five-door XR4x4 – similarly sporting trim, but without its unique shell and with the additional benefit of four-wheel drive. The first cars were delivered in 1986, alongside the Ghia 4x4 estate.
In 1990, the XR4x4 was joined by a lower-powered 2.0 derivative – though here we’re focusing on the 2.8-and 2.9-litre derivatives. Production ended in 1993 along with the rest of the Sierra range.
Ford Sierra XR4is and XR4x4s predominantly came with the Ford Cologne V6, in 2.8- and 2.9-litre derivatives. These engines are shared with the Granada, and the 2.8 is shared with late Capris. Both engines were fuel injected, and naturally aspirated. Power was transmitted via a five-speed MT75 gearbox, to the rear wheels. Some cars used Ford’s well-established Pinto engine in 2.0 guise.
Sierra 2.8s and 2.9s of all flavours drive well, especially the more overtly sporting XR4i and XR4x4. The angled centre console lends them a sporting premium air not unlike a contemporary BMW, while the throb of the V6 reminds you you’re in more than a humble rep car.
Prod your right foot and the engine responds with a surge of torque, not unlike the larger Granada but with the extra urge apparent from its smaller size and lower weight. The majority of the drivetrain is shared with the Mk 3 Granada, while much of the trim is shared with contemporary Ford Sierras. Parts are relatively common, alongside tuning parts from specialists such as Burton Performance. The Cologne is also simple to work on, with a wealth of specialist knowledge among the enthusiast community.
Check the lower half of your Ford Sierra XR4i or XR4x4 for rot. Check the sills, door bottoms, boot floor and valances – common problem areas for any Sierra. New panels are not available, but rust can be repaired unless it’s been allowed to really let go.
Electrically there’s little to break; electric windows and other toys are typically reliable in service and there are no complex electronics in the engine bay to cause problems.
There’s little in value between the Ford Sierra XR4i and XR4x4 V6s, though XR4x4s are most desirable in 2.9EFI format and least so as the rare 2.0 four pot. 2.8s fall somewhere in the middle. The rare 2.9i Ghia 4x4 estate is often converted to XR specification – while these are similar, these are not factory XR4x4s and shouldn’t be treated as such.
For similar fast fun, check out the Vauxhall Cavalier SRi, MG Montego, and larger cars such as the BMW 528i. Four-wheel-drive on a budget can be found in many older Subarus and the BMW 525iX.
|Year||Make||Model||Submodel||Body Type||Average value|
|1982||Ford||Sierra||1300||5dr Hatchback||£ 2,200 2,600 3,500 5,600|
|1982||Ford||Sierra||1600||5dr Hatchback||£ 2,200 2,600 3,500 5,600|
|1982||Ford||Sierra||1600||Estate||£ 2,200 2,600 3,500 5,600|
|1982||Ford||Sierra||2000||5dr Hatchback||£ 2,400 2,800 3,700 5,800|
|1982||Ford||Sierra||2000||Estate||£ 2,400 2,800 3,700 5,800|
|1982||Ford||Sierra||2300||5dr Hatchback||£ 2,500 2,900 3,800 5,900|
|1982||Ford||Sierra||XR4i||3dr Hatchback||£ 3,000 4,600 8,000 11,600|
|1982||Ford||Sierra||2300 Diesel||Hatchback||£ 2,500 2,900 3,800 5,900|
|1982||Ford||Sierra||2300 Diesel||Estate||£ 2,500 2,900 3,800 5,900|