Ford Ka 1.3 TDCi (2009) evaluate


Ford’s simply launched a diesel model of the brand new Ka. And why not? All of the {hardware} was there for the taking as a result of the Ka is predicated on the Fiat Panda/500 platform, in order that’s the place the engines come from too. This one’s a 1.3-litre common-rail turbodiesel with 74bhp, so it’s 7bhp up on the Fiesta’s PSA-sourced 1.4. The query is, will anybody purchase it?

Are you saying the brand new Ford Ka diesel’s no good then?

Removed from it – simply taking a look at numbers actually. Ford plans to promote 19,000 Kas within the UK this 12 months; it’s the chief in a rising phase, and 48% of consumers go for high Zetec spec. That’s the one trim degree you should buy the diesel in, and Ford expects the break up to be biased 96% in the direction of the 1.2 petrol. So when you purchase the TDCi, you’ll be one among solely 365 who do.

Does it need to be so uncommon?

The official figures recommend this 74bhp automobile matches the 68bhp petrol to 62mph and beats it by 1mph flat out, and it’s about 6% forward on emissions and a fifth higher on gas effectivity (however bear in mind, diesel gas prices 12% extra on the UK pump). So there’s not an enormous quantity in it – particularly when the diesel prices £686 greater than the petrol model to purchase within the first place.

However there’s little question that, to drive, this can be a significantly better automobile than the petrol Ka. The diesel’s a punchy, free-revving engine that even manages to sound enthusiastic – when you’ve obtained previous some low-speed whine and clatter, anyway. Its urge fits the perky character of the Ka and makes you’re feeling very assured about nipping out and in of tight areas in site visitors. By comparability, the petrol model feels quite uncouth – its engine is surprisingly loud (a lot louder than it’s within the 500) and must be revved more durable to maintain up.

Any signal of Ford’s dealing with magic?

A bit. Fact be advised, it’d be a significantly better automobile if it shared bits of the Fiesta platform quite than being a revised Fiat. It’s mentioned to be 70% stiffer in roll than the Panda and it definitely feels extra subtle than the five hundred. There’s an anti-roll bar for the rear torsion-beam axle, the springing feels extra pliant, the experience is much better damped and there’s much less crashiness from the entrance suspension – although it’s not totally eradicated.

There’s extra resistance and liveliness to the steering too, and you may have some enjoyable on twisting nation lanes. However…

>> Click on ‘Subsequent’ under to learn extra of our Ford Ka diesel first drive

However what?

Nicely, I feel I’d really quite have the five hundred. You see, higher to drive although the Ka is, it’s nowhere close to the gold commonplace of the Fiesta. That Fiat base foists a horrible driving place on you – excessive and really upright with stretched arms and splayed legs, so that you’ll quickly be nursing a bundle of aches – and there’s a good bit of highway noise to cope with too. The Ka diesel isn’t a restful automobile. Wonderful within the metropolis (although the experience is bouncy there) however far much less beguiling on the open highway, too.

When you’re going to pressure these sort of compromises on me then I would like cheering up with a little bit of attraction. And the five hundred, camp and retro although it could be, has that by the bucketload. The Ford appears to be like like a shrunken Peugeot 206, by comparability, and presents a hard-edged inside with not one of the sense of event afforded by the colorful Fiat’s.

Verdict

I’m positive Ford may give loads of monetary causes for getting in its foundation for the brand new Ka. Drawback is, it’s changed an icon with a compromise. Sure, I do know the outdated Ka had an historic engine and doubtless imitated a cardboard field in an impression, however it outlined the category and regarded like completely nothing else on Earth. It even felt greater within the again than the brand new one does, too.

The brand new 2009 Ford Ka is way extra generic and simply doesn’t really feel Ford-ish sufficient. It’s sound sufficient by way of practicality however the spare sprinkling of Ford chassis magic right here and there jogs my memory of when some blokes in Longbridge glued chrome and walnut to a Honda and claimed it was a brand new Rover. If you would like a really nice product, begin from scratch.

The five hundred is a extra attractive prospect than the Ka, even when the diesel makes a greater fist of it. However I’d sooner have a base-model Fiesta than both of them.

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