This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Ford Ka (09-16) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Only one engine is available in the standard Ka - a peppy 1.3-litre unit which initially had 60bhp before it was improved to deliver 70bhp in 2002. It is smooth enough and rarely feels underpowered as the eight-valve engine has been tuned for low-rev response so it’s great around town and for nipping in and out of traffic. It's fairly noisy at higher revs though and the drone can become tiring on motorway journeys.

The SportKa comes with a 1.6-litre engine that delivers a modest 95bhp and a 0-60mph time of 9.7 seconds, however thanks to its low weight it's great fun to drive, especially on country lanes. The gearchange is light, easy and responsive, making the Ka an ideal car for those who have just passed their tests.

Thanks to its small size and short overhangs the Ford feels agile and even when thrown into a bend it copes well with minimal body roll and high levels of grip. The steering is precise and there’s good feedback while it turns in sharply - take it out on a twisty back road and the Ka is in its element with a buzzy go-kart feel. Although power steering was optional on basic pre-1997 models, it was made standard across the range and certainly takes the hassle out of town driving and parking.

One surprising issue with the Ka is the disappointing turning circle - which is strange considering it's supposed to be a city car.