2016 Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85 review
A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
The Ford Ka+ is the full stop at the end of an experiment in city car making for one the world’s largest industrial powers, an experiment that began – quite promisingly – fully 20 years ago with the original Ka. But having sold almost half a million examples of the Fiesta-based trend-setter over its 12-year lifespan, Ford turned to a joint venture with Fiat for its 2008 replacement: a follow-up with much less of the quirky appeal of its forebear, and which proved only a fraction as popular.Now, with its attention turned to more lucrative growth areas of the global car market than Europe, Ford has decided that it’s not worth investing in the proprietary technology needed to maintain a presence in the niche where the likes of the Volkswagen Up, Renault Twingo, Fiat Panda, Hyundai i10 and others compete. Instead, it’s offering us a car that shares about as much with the first Ka as Jeremy Clarkson does with Jeremy Corbyn.The Ka+ is slavishly conventional full-size five-door supermini, built in India, designed with practicality, simplicity and unadorned value for money squarely in mind and offered with a choice of 69 and 84bhp 1.2-litre petrol engines – and it is wholly unlike its three-door only, style-conscious namesake. Developed on Ford’s global supermini platform and therefore sharing much with the current Fiesta, it’s a meat-and-potatoes sort of small car that, Ford hopes, will take it into the market territory that the likes of Skoda, Kia and Hyundai are abandoning as they move upmarket. And yet, as bargain small cars go, the Ka+ is actually a pretty good one.