Sensibly priced, surprisingly spacious, not at all awful to drive
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.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
Less exciting than the original Ka, less awful than the last generation. It’s not going to set any pulses racing, but the Ka+ is a decently sized, keenly priced alternative to the familiar budget-city-car fare. If your ‘must have’ list includes ‘competent’ and ‘well-priced’, and doesn’t include ‘especially exciting’, this is worth a look.