2018 Ford Ka+ revealed

The Ford Ka+ budget car gets updated looks, new engines and extra equipment, plus there's now an SUV-inspired Active version...

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Steve Huntingford
05 February 2018

Priced from £10,795 Release date September

The original Ford Ka was a stylish city car, whereas today's Ford Ka+ prioritises practicality over fashionable looks. However, Ford is hoping to once again appeal to the heart with a new Active variant inspired by that most in vogue of car types: the SUV.

The Ka+ Active features a raised ride height (by 23mm), roof rails, tougher-looking bumpers, a black front grille and black wheel arch mouldings. Meanwhile, inside you get scuff plates embossed with the word 'Active', bespoke seat fabric and steering wheel designs, and all-weather mats to protect against muddy shoes and boots.

2018 Ford Ka+ revealed

Other versions of the Ka+ are also being updated – albeit more subtly – with mesh in place of the current horizontal grille slats, and standard front foglights and daylight running lights highlighted by C-shaped chrome details.

There’s no word yet on what equipment will be fitted as standard, but rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, cruise control and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring will all be offered, as will the touchscreen infotainment system from the latest Fiesta.

Perhaps the biggest weakness of the current Ka+ is its underpowered 1.2-litre petrol engine, so it’s good news that this is being replaced by a new 1.2 that’s claimed to have up to 10% more torque at low revs. Outputs of 69bhp and 84bhp will be available, with the latter likely to be the one to go for, although a 1.5-litre diesel engine that emits just 99g/km of CO2 is also joining the range.

2018 Ford Ka+ revealed

Prices for the new Ka+ start at £10,795 – a £1000 increase on today’s entry-level model. Although Ford hasn't yet confirmed how much the Active model will cost, we’d expect it to attract a further premium of around £1000.

The Ka+ Active joins the Fiesta Active, which was revealed last year, while an Active version of the next Focus family car is also planned.

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Read our full Ford Ka+ review >

The best small cars of 2018

If you don't want to wait for the new Ka+, the good news is there are plenty of excellent small cars already on sale. Below we count down our top 10 – and reveal the models to avoid.

10. Honda Jazz

2018 Ford Ka+ revealed

The Honda Jazz has long bridged the gap between small cars and mini-MPVs, and the latest version continues that tradition. It offers class-leading space and practicality and should outlast you with its outstanding reliability. It's just a shame the ride is rather unsettled.

Our pick: 1.3 i-VTEC SE

Read our full Honda Jazz review

Find a great Honda Jazz deal

Read our used Honda Jazz review

9. Renault Clio

2018 Ford Ka+ revealed

The Renault Clio is an established name in the small car world, and it's still a popular choice in the UK. There's plenty of scope to personalise this stylish hatchback, and while it's a little bit behind rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo when it comes to engine quietness, the diesel engine recommended here is a real delight. The interior is reasonably spacious, too, even if some of the fixtures and fittings feel a little cheap.

Our pick: 1.5 dCi 90 Dynamique Media Nav

Read our full Renault Clio review

Find a great Renault Clio deal

Read our used Renault Clio review

8. Audi A1

2018 Ford Ka+ revealed

The Audi A1 is the classiest of all the small cars, with a high-quality interior that's pure Audi on a small scale. It has a strong range of engines in its line-up and offers an enjoyable drive. Go for the five-door Sportback version and there's room for two adults to sit reasonably comfortably in the back, too, although there are still more practical choices.

Our pick: 1.4 TFSI 125 Sport

Read our full Audi A1 review

Find a great Audi A1 deal

Read our used Audi A1 review

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