Greater than a decade’s publicity has finished little to dim the allure of the Ka. It nonetheless feels sharp and interesting to drive, with involving steering, a responsive engine plus a trip and dealing with compromise that few rivals can match. Nevertheless, whereas the cabin design is neat, it falls approach behind others by way of house and high quality. Saddest of all, although, is the dearth of thought and care that has gone into this run-out mannequin – providing some low-cost stickers is a poor effort. Hopefully, Ford will have the ability to rectify this for the 2008 model.

The blue oval mini has been a classy convertible, sporty scorching hatch, rugged rally automobile and the premise for quite a few ideas – not least a particular property known as the Touringka. So, with the long-awaited alternative set to reach early subsequent yr, Ford has launched a swansong model of the prevailing mannequin to have fun all that has gone earlier than.

Known as the Ka-ligraphy, it’s primarily an ordinary model with a set of snazzy bodywork graphics and flashy alloy wheels. The brand new decal set proven on our mannequin is named Butterfly, and it covers the rear wings, boot, and corners of each the roof and bonnet. Relying on the color of your automobile, the floral sample is available in both a pink/purple or pink/purple mixture.

If this isn’t to your liking, then you’ll be able to select a star signal theme, and even an ‘I luv my Ka’ tattoo-style sticker. In concept, the adjustments are a fantastic thought, and provides drivers an opportunity to actually personalise their vehicles. Sadly, the decals lack the funky allure of comparable choices on the MINI or new Fiat 500. The truth is, the general look is that of an inexpensive aftermarket accent, slightly than a rigorously thought out set of add-ons.

Put merely, the entire package deal simply doesn’t provide the sort of versatility its rivals ship, with nothing truly altering the character of the Ka. There isn’t the depth of alternative supplied by the MINI or 500, and admittedly it’s all too little too late. For this strategy to work efficiently, Ford wanted to offer homeowners a lot better scope for modification.

It is a disgrace, as a result of beneath the gaudy graphics there may be nonetheless a fantastic automobile. Regardless of its age, the Ka seems contemporary and familiarity has not dented its visible influence, though the fussy alloys of this mannequin is not going to be to all tastes.

Get inside, nevertheless, and the cracks are starting to point out. The curvy dashboard seems the half, however the high quality of the plastics lags effectively behind newer challengers. Area is a matter, too, with occupants sitting within the again struggling essentially the most.

Out on the street, the little Ford redeems itself. The wheel at every nook stance means there may be a whole lot of enjoyable available in bends. Sharp and correct steering provides go-kart-like responses, whereas the trip continues to be composed in any respect speeds. Regardless of the Ka’s advancing years, it stays a fantastic driver’s automobile. Even the prehistoric 1.3-litre engine feels sturdy, if a little bit breathless and coarse at excessive revs.

At £8,595, the Zetec Local weather mannequin pushed right here seems costly when in comparison with newer, extra spacious opposition. And with this in thoughts, the £390 Ford is asking for the sticker pack appears significantly steep.

RIVAL: Hyundai Getz GSi
THE compact Korean presents consumers more room, tempo and gear than the Ford. On high of that, it has a helpful five-year guarantee. Nevertheless, the Getz can’t match the Ka for fashion or driving enjoyment.

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