Ford had a troublesome transient for the brand new Ka. It needed to be higher constructed than its predecessor, safer and extra refined, but retain the dynamic skills and cute seems to be that made the unique such a winner. The good information is that Ford has pulled it off! The Ka is extra mature and rather less sharp, however continues to be enjoyable to drive. It’s not quick, however it would put a smile in your face. And it’ll value little or no to run, too. Nicely performed Ford for making the perfect small automotive on the earth proper now.
It has been a very long time coming, however the brand new Ford Ka is lastly right here. And Auto Categorical is first behind the wheel!
The unique Ka has been a roaring success since its launch manner again in 1996, due to a successful mix of affordability, simplicity and elegant dealing with. Consequently, 500,000 have been bought within the UK.
With the current success of the brand new Fiesta, expectations for the next-generation mannequin are excessive – and so they must be. The Ka faces actual competitors from the wonderful Fiat 500, with which it shares its chassis and engine vary.
Fortunately, the little Ford seems to be nice. It has a nostril that brings it into line with the remainder of the agency’s fashions, and the general form carefully resembles the Fiesta, with pointy headlamps, a curvy bonnet and sculpted flanks.
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However there’s no mistaking the Ka’s heritage from the rear, because the tall, rounded bootlid and chunky rear bumper clearly trace on the cute styling of the outgoing mannequin.
Behind the wheel, customary devices and a daring centre console substitute the teardrop-shaped sprint of its predecessor. The laborious plastics give clues to the Ka’s finances worth, but it surely nonetheless feels nice – and the switchgear is effectively laid out. The seats are comfy, whereas the inside has a shocking quantity of legroom entrance and rear.
There will probably be a alternative of 4 trims when the Ka hits the UK – Studio, Type, Type+ and Zetec. Patrons may also have the choice of goodies akin to a Bluetooth telephone connection and a six-speaker stereo, in addition to a quick-clear windscreen and heated seats – a singular possibility within the small automotive sector.
Hearth up the 1.2-litre petrol unit, and the Ka pulls away easily. As with the unique, it’s no ball of fireside – the 0-62mph dash takes 13.1 seconds – however it’s revvy and responsive. Ford’s engineers have labored on the dinky engine to chop emissions to 119g/km – meaning solely £35 a 12 months for street tax – and gas economic system is up 21 per cent on the previous mannequin to 55.5mpg.
Nevertheless, it’s not straight-line tempo that’s going to promote the Ka. The pin-sharp dealing with from the earlier mannequin isn’t fairly intact – but it surely’s nonetheless good enjoyable.
Ford has vastly improved rigidity and reworked the Fiat-sourced suspension, steering and chassis, which not solely makes for tidy cornering, but additionally for top-notch security and glorious crash safety. Flip right into a bend, and the Ka comes alive. The electrical power-steering system is superb, providing loads of suggestions by the wheel – extra so than within the 500.
Add this to the beautifully balanced journey, and also you’ve received a grippy little hatchback that’s comfy too.
The child Ford doesn’t boast blistering tempo, but it surely actually presents low-speed thrills in an reasonably priced, sensible bundle. Think about loads of customary gear and it’s the whole lot a small automotive needs to be.
Examine our drive within the diesel Ka right here.