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Second of Ford's Active family, but strictly for on-road use

Ford Ka Plus Active (18 on)
Enlarge 23 photos

PROS

  • Toughened-up SUV appearance
  • Efficient petrol and diesel engines
  • Comprehensively equipped for the price

CONS

  • No four-wheel drive option
  • Lacks any real advantage over a Ka+

At a glance

New price £13,280 - £14,880
Used price £7,345 - £11,500
Used monthly cost £181 - £284
Fuel economy 49 - 68 mpg
Road tax cost £145
Insurance group 6 - 10 How much is it to insure?

PROS

  • Toughened-up SUV appearance
  • Efficient petrol and diesel engines
  • Comprehensively equipped for the price

CONS

  • No four-wheel drive option
  • Lacks any real advantage over a Ka+

Rugged SUV-inspired styling cues set the Ford Ka+ Active apart from its more orthodox Ka+ hatchback sibling, a model that benefited from a series of improvements for 2018 when this tougher-looking version was introduced.

Active is the tag Ford is applying to these otherwise conventional hatches that have undergone a crossover-style makeover; Ka+ Active joins the Fiesta Active that also arrived in Ford showrooms during 2018. Sadly for Ford, interest in the Active was lacklustre to say the least and both it and the regular Ka+ were discontinued towards the end of 2019.

Does the Ka+ Active have four-wheel drive?

Forget any notions of the Ford being an alternative to the Fiat Panda 4x4 – a small car with the go-anywhere ability of a mountain goat.

Instead, the Ka+ Active remains front-wheel drive like the hatch it’s based upon, vying for marketplace attention with the likes of the Dacia Sandero Stepway, Kia Picanto X-Line, less expensive versions of the Suzuki Ignis and Vauxhall Viva Rocks.

The Ka+ Active’s introduction also heralds the arrival of two new engines that also feature in the refreshed Ka+ hatchback.

Brown 2019 Ford Ka+ Active dynamic front three-quarter

Expected to be the most popular is a new three-cylinder 1.2-litre Ti-VCT non-turbocharged petrol motor in both 70hp and 85hp forms.

It’s joined by a diesel for the first time in the Ka+ – a 95hp 1.5-litre TDCi turbocharged unit that’s better-suited to drivers who cover a higher annual mileage.

Official performance and fuel efficiency figures will be confirmed nearer the Ka+ Active’s on-sale date in the UK, but with standard stop/start systems they should prove to be frugal.

What’s different about the Ka+ Active?

While the Ka+ hatchback majors on being a spacious, value-for-money supermini, the Active version is adorned with a number of superficial alterations designed to make it more appealing.

Like an SUV, the Ka+ Active sits a little higher on the road – the ride height has been increased by 23mm compared with the conventional hatch – while the bumpers, sills and wheelarches are clad in black plastic, suggesting a latent toughness. At least it’ll brush off car park scraps without ruining the paintwork.

2019 Ford Ka+ Active left-hand drive dashboard

A set of unique-to-Active 15-inch alloy wheels complete the exterior makeover.

Inside, the modifications look more subtle and are limited to the introduction of brown – sorry, Siena Hazel – stitching and flashes on the upholstery.

Is the Ka+ Active well-equipped?

As part of the improvements to the whole Ka+ range, the Active version benefits from an expansive range of standard features.

Electric front windows and door mirrors, remote central locking, a starter button and hill-start assist are part of the package, while optional features include the Sync3 multimedia system complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic lights and wipers, and rear parking sensors, available at extra cost.

219 Ford Ka+ Active Sync3 in use

Primarily though, the Ka+ Active isn’t one you’d buy for luxury touches – the focus here is on practicality and decent value. Unlike many cars in this segment there’s space – just – for five, while useful features such as an external tailgate release and 60:40 split rear seats complete the picture.

Also read:

>> Find out why the Fiesta Active is a better buy in our full review

>> Need a propoer small SUV? Find out which is best 

Brown 2019 Ford Ka+ Active dynamic rear three-quarter

Other Ford Ka models: