Product Type: Ford cars
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Funky Fun First Ka
Ford Ka 3 3-dr
Member Name: upton66
Ford Ka 3 3-dr
Date: 21/04/01, updated on 21/04/01 (766 review reads)
Advantages: Good Value
Disadvantages: Few identified yet
A first car for my daughter. She has bought a brand new ex stock Ka3 for £8000. The model includes air conditioning, power steering, electric windows, CD player, central locking and immobiliser, and on the outside the all-the-same-colour bumpers. It also has front seat height adjustment, which is essential for anyone with long legs, as the steering wheel cannot be raised. Even with the driving seat lowered the taller driver still only just has enough room to clear the lap. Seat height adjustment is not available on the very basic Ka, which is a bit feeble.
You get used to the funky design, all curves and swerves both inside and out, overall the Ka appears to be very well thought out. When the model first appeared I didn't take to it but maybe tastes have caught up with Ford's forward looking design; perhaps it was ahead of its time.
First for the downsides and these are my only criticisms. The pedals are narrow and very close together and take some getting used to; you need to be careful not to rev as you brake, but you soon make adjustments to your driving position. This isn't the quietest car, the engine is very smooth but the road noise is noticeable, the Ka lacks much upholstery on the doors that would have helped muffled it. The suspension is pretty hard and you notice all but the smallest potholes, maybe this is supposed to give you the sporty contact with the road feel that I am not used to but it does make the ride in the back pretty hard. The front side windscreen struts are too wide and reduce your forward visibility, you need to take a little extra care to peer around them before you change lane and overtake, again you get used to this, but on the plus side, looking rearward, there is very little blind spot.
There are several very positive points that I like. The manual gearbox is slick and you can make very rapid progress, it pulls away very happily in second when you are all but stationary and accelerates well th
rough all the gears including fifth. The wing mirrors appear to be on extra long stalks and give good rear and side visibility and are not too curved to give a false sense of distance behind. The dials are the all-the-rage white background with black numbering, this sensible idea should have been put into practice years ago. The steering wheel has the 10-to-2 bumps on the steering wheel, which should make everyone hold the wheel properly and give them much better driving control.
The legroom in the front is pretty good with the seats pushed back and so long as the front passengers aren't too selfish there is passable legroom in the back. The backs of the rear seats are plastic coated, which should help protect the fabric from knees; there are also seatback storage nets. The rear windows open to provide extra ventilation. The air conditioning can quickly clear the windows during these damp months and should be welcome if summer ever comes; overall the heating system is very effective. The glove box in the front is a bit fiddly, accessed by a lift-off lid; it is small but better than nothing. The cigarette lighter/power point is inside the ashtray. The boot is surprisingly large, and for that bit more space the rear window ledge/luggage cover is removable. The radio/CD player, which has a removable control panel for security, offers superb sound quality through two speakers in the doors, though, with, no sensible glovebox, there is know where to store the CD's.
On locking the car the immobiliser is advertised by the flashing light in the dashboard clock and another one on the radio when the control panel is removed.
The power steering makes parking easy together with the good lock, but there is still plenty of feel of the road, it very effectively lightens at low speed and gives you more to do at speed. The Ka is a pleasure to drive.
All the controls you need are in pretty logical places. The headlamps are worthy of note;
they consist of three bulbs namely side, driving and full beam and provide exceptionally good visibility and prove very restful on the eyes at night. On dipped lights visibility is probably as good as most cars on full beam with no evidence of glaring oncoming traffic, and when on full beam provide really extended vision. You can also adjust the angle depending on your load to get the best range.
The 1400 engine is very nippy and with careful driving should easily achieve 40mpg. Insurance is cheap, road tax is at a lower rate and with an annual service at the Ford garage, which at present doesn't seem to be too pricey, her Ka should hopefully give years of cheap, trouble free motoring.