Ford Ka

The Essentials

  • Price from £8,725
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 68.9mpg
  • What is it? The Ford Ka is good to drive, but rivals such as the VW Up offer more for your money.

Great

  • Cute looks that you can personalise
  • Cheap running costs
  • Good to drive

Gripes

  • Not enough standard safety kit
  • Too much cabin noise
  • Difficult to get comfy in the driver's seat
  • Drive

    Great fun: zippy handling around corners and settled ride on main roads

  • Inside

    Not enough adjustability, but good layout and quality

  • Safety

    Not enough airbags as standard even on most expensive versions

  • Reliability

    Should give no major problems

  • Space

    Good for the size of car - even the boot is quite usable

  • Standard and extras

    Very basic and you could spend a lot on options

  • What's it like to drive?

    We've come to expect a lot from Ford's small cars, and on the road the Ka doesn't disappoint. Both engines are good for town driving, but the petrol is more fun thanks to its free-revving nature. Both versions are comfortable, soaking up the bumps in the road and still cornering with enough fizz to put a smile on your face. However, noise is an issue: the petrol is at least a nice-sounding engine, even if it's audible most of the time, but the diesel's roar is a real ear-sore.

  • What's it like inside?

    The seating position is quite high, and the lack of adjustment in the steering wheel (it doesn't slide in and out) can make it difficult to get comfortable. But the clearly laid-out instruments and decent amounts of space go a long way to remedying that.
    Those sat in the back will want to be small children, or on a short trip, but the Ka isn't pretending to be anything other than a city car. The boot is bigger than that in a Fiat 500, if not quite a match for the VW Up, making it very usable despite the high lip at the entrance.

    The Ford Ka majors on personalisation, so there's a plethora of optional style kits and add-ons that you can use to create a bespoke look.

  • How reliable is it?

    Owners didn't rate the Ka highly in the latest JD Power owner satisfaction survey; reliability was rated average but vehicle quality, dealer service and running costs were all rated below average.
    The biggest problem is safety equipment. In standard form you only get two airbags - pathetic given that plenty of rivals, such as the Fiat 500, come with more twice that number. The Ka scored four stars for adult safety and three for child protection when crash-tested by Euro NCAP crash tests. The Fiat 500 fared slightly better.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Ford Ka isn't as cheap to buy as it should be considering the meagre spec. The low running costs go some way towards making amends and discounts are available, but resale values won't be great - a Fiat 500 or a VW Up is a better buy.