This updated city car is set to become a class leader in the value end of the B-segment, but did it impress Laura Thomson?
What is it?
This is Ford’s replacement for its diminutive and outdated Ka. Boasting small-car simplicity combined with the Fiesta’s sleek looks, the KA+ is a practical city car that performs well at motorway speeds, too. With class-leading space, it’s set to become a new leader in the value end of the B-segment.
What’s under the bonnet?
A 1.2-litre petrol is the only offering, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The engine comes in either a 69bhp or 84bhp guise – the latter of which is exclusively available on the higher-spec Zetec trim. In the more powerful offering, 0 to 60mph still takes 13.3 seconds, while the model has a top speed of 105mph. Despite its lacklustre performance, the KA+ can sit comfortably at motorway speeds, and with impressive economy figures of 56.5mpg and producing 114g/km of CO₂ it is a frugal option.
What’s the spec like?
Impressive, particularly in the higher-grade Zetec trim. The KA+ starts at only £8,995 in the Studio trim, which, while basic, nonetheless includes front fog lights with daytime running lights and an AM/FM radio with a neat device dock. But the model really comes into its own in the higher-grade Zetec guise, with 15-inch alloy wheels, a DAB radio with 4.2-inch TFT screen, Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance and cruise control all standard. A £300 upgrade to the CityPack is advisable, as this adds heated power foldable mirrors, rear power windows and rear parking sensors.
What’s it like to drive?
Adapted for European drivers from the Indian KA+, the steering and chassis set-up make it somewhat more direct than the Fiesta, but overall it’s reassuringly refined and stable in cornering, at high speeds and under heavy braking. Its Fiesta-grade hydraulic engine mounts, increased sound-deadening, different door seals and a number of aerodynamic adjustments combine to make for low road and wind noise in the cabin.
What do the press think?
Auto Express said: ‘While it might not be the most stylish small car, the Ford KA+ counters this with impressive practicality. Even more impressive is the way it rides with composure and refinement.’
What do we think?
Ford has done an impressive job of converting a low-cost world market model for European drivers. With the basic Studio trim KA+ weighing in at under £9,000 and offering perks usually only seen in the upper end of the B-segment, the model promises to become a popular option. However, for less than £1,500 extra, more drivers are expected to opt for the 84bhp KA+ Zetec.