What's the used Ford Ka+ hatchback like?
Sadly, the Ford Ka+ is no more because people are drifting more towards small SUVs such as the Puma. However, used car buyers looking for an inexpensive and practical five-door town driver that's easy to park, while also being remarkably capable beyond city limits, should find plenty to like in the Ka+.
Engine choices are limited to just three options. Early cars come with a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with either 69bhp or 84bhp, while facelifted examples have a revised 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine (again in 69bhp or 84bhp forms) or a 94bhp 1.5-litre diesel. All versions of the Ka+ come with a five-speed gearbox
Trim levels are limited to the ultra-cheap Studio or better-equipped Zetec, which gets desirable features such as alloy wheels, air-con and an infotainment system. In 2018, the Ka+ Active was unveiled, which provides a raised ride height and other off-roader-inspired trinkets to make it look tougher, but the suspension changes ruin the ride and make it wallow in the bends, so is worth avoiding.
On the flip side, standard cars ride extremely well and deal with bigger bumps better than many larger vehicles. It steers nicely, too, and, pushed hard, it corners neatly, just like the first-generation Ka. However, none of the engines are particularly brilliant out on the open road. All petrol versions are a little disappointing because they're unrefined and can feel laboured, and both these and the diesel version will need revving hard to get the best from it and doesn’t sound pleasant when you do. If you can ignore the engine, though, this is a fine driver’s car.
Inside, there’s plenty of space for a six-footer to sit behind a six-footer in front, and the boot’s a reasonable size for this class, with 60/40 folding rear seats as standard. All the controls are logically placed and easy to locate, and feel pleasant enough to use. However, some of the materials used are a little low-rent and there are plenty of hard, scratchy plastics on view.
What used Ford Ka+ hatchback will I get for my budget?
To find a decent early example, you'll need £6000 to get into a Ka+. If you increase the budget, £8000 will get you a 2018, post-facelift Ford Ka+, at the time of writing.
If you fancy the pseudo-SUV Active version that arrived in 2018, expect to spend £8500 or more.
Check the value of a used Ford Ka+ with What Car? Valuations
How much does it cost to run a Ford Ka+ hatchback?
The more powerful 84bhp 1.2 petrol engine actually has better running costs than the less powerful 69bhp version: 56.5mpg versus 55.4mpg, respectively.
The 1.5-litre diesel is quite the fuel sipper thanks to 76.3mpg fuel economy.
As with fuel economy, the 84bhp 1.2 has lower emissions of 114g/km compared with the least powerful 69bhp 1.2 that puts oft 117g/km.
The 1.5-litre diesel emits only 99g/km of CO2.
Car tax (VED)
Any example registered after 1 April 2017 will fall under the current flat rate system rather than the older version that was based on the CO2 emissions the car produced. Find out more about road tax costs here.
Servicing and insurance
Expect servicing costs to be reasonable. Once your Ka+ is outside of the manufacturer's warranty period, you can take advantage of lower-priced essential servicing starting from £169 at the time of writing. For comparison, the equivalent level of service for a Skoda would be £184.
The lower-powered Ka+ is placed in insurance group 1, whereas the higher-powered car is in group 5.
Which used Ford Ka+ hatchback should I buy?
The 1.2-litre engine is more palatable in its most powerful 84bhp form. The extra power means it doesn't have to be pushed as hard as the 69bhp version, which is why it's the one we’d choose.
We’d certainly recommend you track down Zetec trim cars rather than the entry-level Studio models, since Zetec comes with far more kit and won’t set you back that much more on the used market.
Our favourite Ford Ka+ 1.2 84bhp Zetec
What alternatives should I consider to a used Ford Ka+ hatchback?
The Skoda Citigo is great to drive, with a comfy ride and agile handling. The interior’s well thought out and reasonably spacious, too, and its nifty size makes the car a delight in town, while still offering room for four.
The Suzuki Celerio has a practical interior and its performance is surprisingly peppy for something so small. It also handles well and is excellent value on the used car market.
The Dacia Sandero is a spacious and surprisingly practical car, and also the cheapest new car on the market. Used, the Sandero holds its value surprising well, which often means it makes more sense as a new car purchase.