The Ford Ka is a cute city car that mixes an enjoyable, easy-to-drive experience with a useful helping of practicality and low running costs. If that sounds like your kind of car, you’re in the right place to find out everything you need to know.
Not to be confused with the later Ford Ka+, the second-generation version of the Ford Ka was sold in the UK between 2009 and 2016. We’ll tell you what it’s like and explain the trim levels and engines that were available when the Ford Ka was last sold in 2016. It was a fairly popular car when new, so there are lots of used examples to choose from, too. While you’re here, why not check out the Ford Kas in stock with heycar?
Take a look at a Ford Ka for sale on heycar to discover just what’s on offer.
The Ford Ka is quite a stylish little car, both inside and out. It can’t match the visual appeal of the Fiat 500 it’s based upon, but top-of-the-range models look rather smart on their alloy wheels. There were also some special edition models finished in jazzy colour schemes.
This is a really easy car to drive. The steering, pedals and gear level all feel nice and light, and you get a great view outwards through the large windows.
Nipping around town and parking are an absolute doddle. Out on the open road, you feel connected to the car, the body doesn’t really lean over much in corners and it has a smooth ride. It can even be rather good fun if you’re in the mood. The modest amount of power its engines produce mean the Ford Ka can feel a bit sluggish when accelerating, but it bowls along happily once you’re up to speed.
There’s plenty of space in the front of the Ford Ka. The seats are mounted quite high up, a clever trick that frees up more legroom in small cars, and even those over six feet tall will have enough headroom. There’s just about enough space in the back for a couple of adults, although children will be far more comfortable. The boot’s 224-litre capacity is big enough for a weekend away; if you need more space, the back seats fold down.
There’s a wide spread of trim levels available, plus the special editions we mentioned earlier. You can choose a petrol or a diesel engine – the latter was only available for a few years and is relatively rare. Either way, running costs are very low. All versions of the Ford Ka have a manual gearbox.
The Ford Ka is a really good city car. It’s practical enough, feels good to drive and won’t break the bank when it comes to fuel and maintenance. It also stands out from the massed ranks of Fiat 500s.
Asking prices for used examples are relatively low. However, considering the Ford Ka didn’t cost much when it was new, retained values are pretty good. It has proven to be generally robust and reliable, but the diesel engine does have some issues and needs diligent servicing to prevent any problems.
Other city cars you might want to consider include the Kia Picanto, the Peugeot 108 and the short lived Vauxhall Viva. The Ford Ka is a great option, though, especially if you enjoy driving because it offers the best experience from behind the wheel.
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We would recommend you follow the herd and stick with the 1.2-litre petrol. This engine is certainly no firecracker, but provides adequate performance around town, and can return more than 50mpg in mixed driving.
Yes, the diesel is more frugal, returning close to 70mpg, but used examples can have issues with their Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), which is quite expensive to fix, so are best avoided on the used market.
Likewise, unless you're a real masochist, we can't see a reason to subject yourself to the discomfort of the stripped out Studio models. In fact, we'd skip straight to a Zetec, which at least has most essentials. You'll still need to closely check the spec list to see if the model you're looking at comes with Bluetooth or ESP.
The special edition Grand Prix and Metal trims are very highly equipped and look appealing inside and out, but their larger wheels do not do the jiggly low-speed ride many favours, and we'd avoid them as a result.
With city cars, the emphasis is on affordability, and some of the trim levels are quite sparsely equipped. As you go up through the range, though, you’ll find the kind of features you’d expect on much bigger cars.
Ford also offered various special edition models, including the Zetec Black Edition and Zetec White Edition. As the names suggest, these special edition cars have the same features as the regular Zetec, with packages of black or white styling details. Other models included the Tattoo model, several Grand Prix editions, the Digital and the Metal. They all featured various themed styling elements to further personalise the Ka for owners.
The Ford Ka’s exterior dimensions are:
The Ford Ka’s boot size is:
The Ford Ka went off sale before the changes to the road tax system in 2017. That means every model is subject to a variable rate of tax based on its CO2 emissions, but since there are just two engines, it's cheap.
Petrol buyers need to cough up just £35 per year to keep their car on the road, while the rarer diesel model will save you £15, but both will be significantly cheaper than a used city car registered after April 2017.
Depending on exactly which model you get, the Ford Ka is rated in insurance groups 2-6 (out of 50 groups in total). Your annual premium should therefore be very low.
Read our full Ford Ka review