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£9K Ka+ is new Ford small car option

Fiesta-sized but taller car targets Vauxhall Viva and Fiat 500.

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Ford will put its all-new Ka+ on sale in October, with prices starting from £8,995.

The five-door city car replaces then existing Ka and is an all-new design, targeting the likes of the Vauxhall Viva and Fiat 500 as more buyers turn to smaller models.

It is it built in India and sold there as the Figo, but has been heavily upgraded for European sale – Ford’s EcoSport crossover also comes from India.

Sitting on Ford’s global small-car platform, the Ka+ is much more comparable in size to the Fiesta supermini rather than the car it replaces. It is very slightly shorter than the Fiesta but 29mm taller, which with careful packaging of the interior allows Ford to claim best-in-class status for the 1002mm headroom, alongside rear legroom of 896mm and hip room of 1335mm.

The car will also accommodate two large suitcases in its 270-litre boot, while the rear seats also fold in 60:40 format. A total of 21 stowage areas are dotted throughout the car including the ‘My Ford Dock’ in the centre of the instrument panel that allows charging of phones and navigation systems.

Just two powertrain options will be available for the Ka+, both based around Ford’s 1.2-litre Duratec petrol unit, effectively a downsized version of the 1.25 unit in the Fiesta.

The unit is offered in 70 or 85hp power outputs and Ford claims combined cycle fuel economy of 56.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km for both options.

A notable change from versions of the car sold in Asia and South America is the chassis, which includes bespoke springs and dampers, a rear torsion beam axle, new brake pads and tyres, and a re-engineered front sub-frame.

The steering is faster, 2.6 turns lock to lock with speed-sensitive assistance and the front anti-roll bar is stiffened by 47 per cent.

Ford has also worked hard to improve the car’s refinement for European buyers, with improved door seals, Fiesta-specification hydraulic engine mounts tuned to absorb vibration and soak up road bumps, additional sound deadening material in the engine bay, windscreen pillars and doors, new rear suspension bushes and even aerodynamic fins on the door mirror mounts to prevent buffeting.

Ka+ models with the 70hp engine will be offered in entry-level Studio grade while the 85hp version will also be available in Zetec. Standard equipment on all includes a chrome front grille, front fog lamps with daytime running lights, electric front windows and door mirrors, a perimeter alarm with remote central locking Speed Limiter and Ford’s Easy Fuel system to prevent mis-fuelling.

Zetec versions add 15-inch alloy wheels, manual air-conditioning, Ford’s Sync voice-activated communications and entertainment system (including an AppLink that enables voice-activation of a range of smartphone apps and Emergency Assistance), a leather-trimmed steering wheel with remote audio controls and cruise control.

The MyKey system is also supplied with Zetec variants, – aimed at parents letting their children drive the car, this allows maximum speed and audio volume limits to be set, and prevents safety aids being disabled.

Ford will also be marketing Black and White versions of the Ka+ Zetec in 85hp form. These will come with either a black body colour with white roof and door-mirrors, or a white body with black roof and door-mirrors, and include black 15-inch alloy wheels.


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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.