The surprise figures, put together by research from CAP, suggests Ford has managed to achieve a balancing act between achieving market penetration with the highest possible share of sales and used values that do not penalise owners when they wish to sell.
Cap's analysis took a benchmark car from each range for the sample, which was registered in March 2002 and tracked through 2003 with 20,000 miles. Depreciation was calculated from each car's retention of list price between January and December 2003.
The BMW 3-series is paying for its increased fleet sales with a 12.56% drop in its value last year, while Ford managed to get the Mondeo, Focus and Fiesta in the top five.
Black Book senior editor, Tony Styles, said: 'We are all used to seeing strong residual values for cars like the Golf and 3-series, but Ford has succeeded in not only winning the battle for Britain's favourite new car but also produced two of the best used value performers.
'Mondeo's performance in achieving the lowest depreciation among the 10 biggest sellers is also remarkable. This sector has come under massive pressure in the used market during recent years, as used car buyers switched into smaller cars or MPVs, reducing demand for the traditional fleet/family car.
'Ford also fell behind Vauxhall in fleet sales last year and this bodes well for on-going residual values by reducing the pressure on used prices caused by mass disposals at the end of fleet contracts.'
Residual value top 10 (2003 registrations and % depreciation
Ford Mondeo: 60,046 -4.05
Volkswagen Golf: 67,226 -4.83
Ford Focus: 131,684 -6.42
Renault Megane: 71,660 -6.52
Ford Fiesta: 95,887 -6.85
Vauxhall Corsa: 108,387 -7.21
Renault Clio: 83,972 -8.66
Vauxhall Astra: 96,929 -9.04
BMW 3-series: 65,489 -12.56
Peugeot 206: 82,667 -14.14