You may remember the Ford Ka being that small three-door city car. It was driven by teenagers because it was cheap to buy, insure and run and it was so small it didn’t seem like it could crash into anything or do any damage. Well, that model has gone and Ford has launched the Ka+. A five-door version.
Now before you say it, the Ka+ is 40mm shorter than the Ford Fiesta and 29mm taller. There is a difference between the Ka+ and the Fiesta. In fact, the Ford Ka+ starts out cheaper than the Fiesta, has the practicality of 5 doors and does offer more space than the previous Ka and more headroom than the Fiesta. This of it as a crossover between a city car and a supermini. Both cars are also available through car leasing at Hippo Leasing if you are interested.
Unlike the Ford Fiesta, the Ford Ka+ does not come with an EcoBoost engine. Its entry level engine is a 1.2-litre petrol engine, which is based off the Fiesta’s old 1.25-litre petrol engine. It produces 69 bhp and it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 15.3 seconds.
This may surprise you, but the entry level Ka+ is faster and more powerful than the Ford Fiesta. Ford Fiesta’s entry level is the 1.25-litre petrol engine that produces 60 bhp and it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 16.9 seconds. This is likely down to the fact that this model of Fiesta is growing old and therefore the Ka+ engine is an updated version.
The more powerful Ford Ka+ produces 84 bhp. That comes from the same 1.2-litre engine and accelerates from 0-60 mph in 13.3 seconds. It has a combined fuel economy 56 mpg, which comes with a £30 annual road tax bill.
The greenest model Fiesta is far better than the Ka+, but that is down to a 1.5-litre diesel engine that delivers 95 bhp and a 0-60 mph in 11.9 seconds. It has a combined fuel economy of 88.3 mpg.
Let’s talk interiors
Ford have designed the Ka+’s interior to focus on function rather than form. Everything is black, made from durable grained plastic for the dashboard. It is all well-built as you would expect from Ford. The seats are also charcoal black.
Now compare that with the Ford Fiesta and there is a colourful difference. Well, not really. The Ford Fiesta does have more stylish trims to give a contrast to the black dashboard, which is missing in the Ka+.
With infotainment systems, Ford isn’t generous with either of these cars. In the Ka+’s entry level, you get a standard stereo with volume knob and the Zetec model offers a 4.2-inch screen that is not touchscreen. The Fiesta offers a 4.2-inch TFT screen for many of its mid-range models and a 5-inch screen for its Titanium models. Like the Ka+, these are not touchscreen. Other manufacturers have given their city cars and superminis proper infotainment touchscreens like the 7-inch screen in the Toyota Aygo.
Instead of the usual 12-volt power socket and additional space to store your phone, they have included the MyFord Dock. In reality, it is a plastic phone mount that allows you to charge your phone, whilst also using it as a sat-nav. It is a big step forward when faced up against its rivals who still stick with the 12-volt power socket. However, some may say it is simply a cheap alternative to a proper infotainment system.
The space inside the Ford Ka+ gives generous headroom for the driver and passengers, allowing for tall, six-foot adults to sit comfortably. The driver doesn’t get to adjust the height of their chair. So taller drivers, they may feel they are sat too high up. If you open the boot, you find a capacity worthy of a city car, delivering 270-litres. The Ford Fiesta is only slightly larger with a 290-litre capacity boot.
Ford have based their new Ka+ on the Brazilian version of the previous Fiesta generation. This has required them to “Europeanisation” of the car. In basic terms, this means the Ford Ka+ should drive as well as the Ford Fiesta, which is itself a brilliant and fun car to drive.
The Ford Ka+ steering is informative and accurate. It matches well with the ride of the car that is balanced to give you an enjoyable drive. The steering is also direct, which allows you to place the car wherever you would like on the road. Unlike the Ford Fiesta, the Ka+ is closer to a city car than a supermini and does struggle to get up to speed on the motorway. But it does do very well driving around your town or city.
Whilst the Ka+ is similar to the current Ford Fiesta in different ways, it does have less choice when it comes to engine sizes. However, the Ka+ starts out at £8,995, whilst the Ford Fiesta starts from £13,545. If you are looking for a cheap entry level car, the Ford Ka+ may be the affordable option.
In 2017, Ford is launching their new generation of Ford Fiesta. We will see how the Ford Ka+ stands up against the new Ford Fiesta.
If you are interested in any of these cars, Hippo Leasing, who specialise in car leasing, offer fantastic lease deals on both these vehicles.