Driving

Ford Ka+ review

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Ford Ka+
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23 Nov 2016 11:22 | Last updated: 22 Aug 2018 16:45

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Changes made to the Ka+ from the Indian-market Ford Figo on which it’s based have been numerous and significant. These have made the Ka+ surprisingly decent to drive by the standards of other small cars in the same price range.

The first thing you notice is the ride. It’s no luxury saloon, but it smooths over bumps better than many more expensive cars. The soft springs mean the body leans over noticeably in corners, but the Ka+ doesn’t feel floaty over high-speed crests and compressions like a Dacia Sandero. If you choose Active trim, the Ka+’s ride height is raised by 23mm; this has a detrimental impact on ride and handling, so is only worth considering if you need the extra ground clearance.

The Ka+ doesn't steer anywhere near as sweetly as the more expensive Fiesta or even a Skoda Fabia, but it's less prone to wandering around on the motorway than the Sandero and you even get a bit of feedback filtering up from the front tyres.

In fact, the Ka+’s weakest area is its 84bhp 1.2-litre engine, which is rather gutless. It has a particularly flat power delivery at low revs and even around town it barely feels up to the job. The engine also sounds quite coarse note when you accelerate and you're exposed to plenty of wind and road noise if you're brave enough to venture onto the motorway.

The same criticisms can be levelled at many city cars but, even then, the Ka+ would be left in the dust in the 0-62mph sprint against our favourite versions of the Kia Picanto and Volkswagen Up. So, unsurprisingly, in the small car class the Ka+ is even further behind in the playing field, with even the Sandero outgunning it in a straight line.

You can also have a 94bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine, but we have yet to drive it and it’s only expected to account for a miniscule number of Ka+ sales. A 69bhp version of the 1.2 petrol engine is also available, but given the disappointing performance of the more powerful 1.2, we'd definitely recommend avoiding that. It’s a shame, because the car’s credible handling deserves a better choice of engine than what’s on offer.

 

Ford Ka+
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