Could the spirit of bonkers Cosworths live on in the new hot Focus?
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£11,479 when new
The Ford Ka’s greatest weakness is the previous model. Despite this latest version getting lots more fancy plastics inside, better packaging for the rear seats and boot, and now a diesel engine, there’s simply no way it can ever exceed the heights the first Ka reached. Not with a chassis as dull as it’s got. At least the diesel adds another level to this latest version. It doesn’t transform it into what we’d want from a 21st-century Ka, but it does at least go for ever on not much fuel. The combined fuel figure is 67.3mpg and CO2 is 112g/km. Impressive stuff, to the point where you wonder what the forthcoming Econetic version will manage. Just how low can these things go? Perhaps it’ll spray lavender in the air. The trouble is that the execution isn’t quite as good as the theory. Around town, it’s all pretty quiet and refined, but at motorway speeds it buzzes quite a bit. I seem to remember the Fiat 500, which shares the same engine, being quieter. The Ka doesn’t feel underpowered though. Even at those motorway speeds it’s responsive and it doesn’t feel overwhelmed out of town. It’s just a pity the whole package is underwhelming.
£11,790 – £21,520
The 500 looks tempting and fun where so many cars in this segment are drab.
£9,515 – £15,245
Toyota has changed more about the little Aygo than you might think, but the dull and rather small cabin keeps it behind the best of the rest
£8,940 – £14,165
The Fiat Panda has ruled the city car roost for too long, reckons Hyundai - he new i10 is after its crown