Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • One petrol engine, two power outputs
  • Neither goes particularly quickly
  • Five-speed manual is the only gearbox

Whichever model of Ford Ka+ you plump for, its limited performance is served up by a non-turbocharged petrol engine sending power to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.

The Ka+ is light on power, but thankfully light on weight too. As a result, the 1.2-litre Ti-VCT 85hp model is reasonably sprightly for this class of car, accelerating from a standstill to 62mph in 13.3 seconds and keep going to 105mph.

Around town the engine is smooth and pulls well from low engine speeds, while the light, progressive clutch makes this an easy car to drive slowly. You will have to make full use of the engine’s rev range to keep up with faster traffic on the motorway, as it takes a while to build up speed, though.

With around 20% less muscle the 70hp version of the same engine lags behind the more powerful Ka+, requiring a lengthy 15.3 seconds to hit 62mph. Both models have a similar amount of pulling power, meaning the lesser engine is more capable than the figures suggest. Although, you will feel the lack of power when approaching a steep hill for instance.

With just a small price difference between 70hp and 85hp models, many buyers will be tempted to opt for the more powerful version, as it’s likely to feel a little happier on dual carriageways and motorways – especially if you work the engine hard when it outpunches its less powerful sibling.

Handling

  • Keen(ish) drivers should enjoy the Ka+
  • Light steering is perfect for city driving
  • Tackles motorways with ease

The Ford Fiesta is one of the tidiest handling superminis around and with so much Fiesta DNA crammed into the Ka+ it’s no surprise that it takes corners with such enthusiasm. Not only is it simple to drive, but it’s more enjoyable than most cars of this price.

The steering, which is nicely light and direct at low speeds, manages to inspire confidence at higher velocities, with a good level of weight around bends. Throw in controlled but comfortable suspension and this makes the Ka+ surprisingly sharp around corners, while proving very stable on the motorway.

With its small dimensions and tight turning circle the Ka+ is easy to place on the road and should be easy enough for most drivers to park. The chunky steering wheel and stubby gearlever fall nicely to hand adding to the sense of control from behind the wheel.