Ford Ka Hatchback full 9 point review
The single engine available – a 67bhp 1.2-litre petrol – won’t set the road alight. It's well suited to city driving, though, and its appetite for revs makes it pretty fun to work hard.
Ride & Handling
The Ka borrows its underpinnings from the Fiat 500, but tweaks to the suspension and steering make the Ford better to drive: it’s nimble through corners and the steering is accurate. The ride is pretty good for such a small car – it’s still fairly firm, but more settled than the Fiat 500 it’s based on. Having said that, a Hyundai i10 or VW Up are both far better to drive than the Ka.
Work the petrol engine hard and it makes a racket. There's also lots of wind noise around the door mirrors and the top of the side windows, and patched-up surfaces create more road noise than we’d like.
Buying & Owning
The Ka’s biggest downfall is its price – especially considering the limited spec and shortage of options. The large discounts will help, but resale values aren't as good as a Fiat 500's. At least the petrol engine is reasonably economical and efficient.
Quality & Reliability
In the Ka, Ford has avoided the retro-route Fiat took with the 500, but has still come up with an attractive and workable interior. It's clearly built to a tight price, but bright colour options keep things cheery. Reliability is a worry, though: the Ka was rated as poor in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey.
Safety & Security
The Ka scored four stars for adult protection in its Euro NCAP crash test. Whichever version you go for, though, only two airbags are fitted as standard – that’s simply unacceptable in this day and age. You can pay extra for four more – plus stability control – but that just pushes the lofty price even higher.
Behind The Wheel
Getting comfortable isn’t terribly easy, because you can’t adjust the reach of the steering wheel, and moving it up or down upsets the angle. The high seating position isn’t exactly sporty, but it does give a good view of the road. The simple design of the dashboard means it's easier to use than a knife and fork.
Space & Practicality
As city cars go, it's not too bad. Larger rear passengers won’t fancy a long trip, but those up front are well catered for. The boot’s a reasonable size, too – if you can haul your gear over the lofty lip. The rear seats fold down, but they aren’t split in the cheaper models.
Entry-level Studio trim doesn't get much kit at all – it misses out on electric windows, central locking and air-conditioning, for example. Our favourite trim, Edge, has these, plus extra body-coloured exterior trim and more cabin storage. Zetec models have alloy wheels and a heated windscreen, so are worth it if you need these, but you can buy a far more accomplished rival for the same money.