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The Top Gear car review: Ford Ka+
For:Sensibly priced, surprisingly spacious, not at all awful to drive
Against:None of the vim of the original car, none of the vim of a Fiat 500, none of the vim of a Mini
What is it?
If you’re more than a quarter of a century old, this is not the Ford Ka you remember. If you’re less than a quarter of a century old, let us explain.
Once upon a time, way back in the mid-Nineties, Ford launched a car called, confusingly, the Ka. No one could work out whether to pronounce it ‘kah’ or ‘karrrr’ or indeed ‘K.A.’, but name aside it was a brilliant little thing: zippy, peppy, perky and a whole bunch of other enthusiastic words ending in ‘y’. By the standards of the time, at least, the Ka was a revelation: a city car that was interesting to look at and even more interesting to drive.
Then, a decade later, came the second-generation Ka, based on the ‘Nuovo’ Fiat 500 but with precisely 100 per cent less charm. It was, in a word, rubbish. No zip, no pep, no perk.
But now the Ka is reborn with an added plus-sign at the end of its name, a plus-sign that lends it the advantage of seeming faintly scientific and milliennial but the disadvantage of being near-impossible to find in Google.
So can the Ka+ recapture the keen-handling spirit of its granddad? Well, in a word (and at the possible risk of rendering the rest of this review redundant)… no.
But that’s because the Ka+ isn’t, sadly, being pitched as zippy, peppy, perky follow-up to the original Ka. This new one is all about one thing: value. Starting at just under ten grand, it promises to offer medium-car space for small-car money. Does it succeed? Let’s have a look.