Value-focused model aces the basics buts lacks style
At a glance
- New price: £8,995 - £10,295
- Insurance group: 1 - 5 Get quotes
- Affordable and well-equipped
- Competitive Ford finance deals
- Comfortable but fun to drive
- Space for four passengers
- Decent luggage space
- Bland styling compared with rivals
- Interior design could be bolder
- Few personalisation options
- Limited engine and trim choice
If you want a small five-door Ford, up until now your only choice has been the Fiesta. The new Ka+, however, replaces the cheaper Fiesta models and the previous three-door Ka city car – with a brand new, posher Fiesta on the way in 2017.
It’s not the only supersized city car on the market, however, with sensible five-door rivals coming in the form of the Hyundai i10, Vauxhall Viva, Citroen C1 and closely related Peugeot 108. The spartan Dacia Sandero is also available for a similar price and offers an even greater amount of space.
So why would you want the Ka+ over the Fiesta – or the numerous affordable alternatives? Ford states that this new car prioritises value, equipment and fuel efficiency while remaining fun to drive. And it feels like a substantial car for the money.
New entry-level Ford
Prices for the Ka+ at launch started at around £9,000 with monthly payments starting around £150 per month (on a 36-month 9,000-mile-per-year contract with a £1,000 deposit). This compares with more than £200 per month for an entry-level Fiesta. This makes the Ka the cheapest way into driving a brand new Ford.
While some small cars focus on style with endless personalisation options from zany patterns to lurid paint and bright interior trim, the Ka+ is a much more serious prospect. It doesn’t aim to compete with rivals in the design stakes but instead has neat and tidy styling inside and out and plenty of standard kit.
Only two engines and two trims
Though Ford is known for offering countless versions of most of its cars, the Ka+ is not one of them. Just two 1.2-litre petrol engines are available, with two specifications offered. Base Studio trim comes only with the less powerful 70hp motor, while Zetec trim is available with 70hp and 85hp motors.
Fuel economy for both models is identical, with each setting drivers back just £30 in annual car tax at 2016/17 rates. A number of rivals offer lower claimed fuel consumption, however, meaning that if you want the most economical small car, this isn’t it. On the other hand, in 85hp form the Ka+ is one of the faster city cars.
At this end of the market many cars feel like they’ve had equipment stripped out to cut the price. With just two specification levels on offer, this is not the case with the Ka+.
Even the basic car includes Bluetooth, an alarm and a trip computer plus a handy speed limiter and hill start assist. Those after an automatic gearbox, however, will be disappointed, as just a five-speed manual is available with both engines.
Range-topping model cheaper to finance than entry-level car
Ford is offering much lower APR on the Zetec models than the entry-level Studio model. This means that those looking to finance a Ka+ from Ford can get the range-topping 85hp Zetec model for less than the 70hp Studio version.
With low interest charges plus a deposit contribution from the manufacturer it can actually be cheaper to buy the Ka+ at the end of the finance contract than paying cash upfront.