After reading some reviews of the Ford Ka on this site I feel obliged to put across my opinion.
I have owned 2 Ford Ka's in my lifetime, along with countless other Fords, Citroens, Peugoets and Vauxhalls. I have also driven pretty much every small or cheap car going, from Kias to Corsas, and I have to say, the Peugeot 106/Citreon C1/Toyota Aygo is the nippiest. The Nissan Micra is the best at cornering. The Smart ForTwo is best for parking, and the Corsa has the most mirrors!
However, the Ford Ka, up until recently, had not changed it's design in 15 odd years and was still one of the most popular cars on the market, which has to say something, surely?
Now I know it's not the fastest, or the most economical. It only really comes in one engine size and specification and the boot space is tiny, but it really is a fantastic car all told.
Why do I say this? My first Ka took me to Wales and back every weekend for two years (a 210 mile journey each way) on a tank of petrol, with no problems, even though it did more than 60,000 miles in the first 3 years. In total, servicing costs amounted to no more than 2 sets of new tyres and 3 annual services @ £99.
My second Ka used to be my sisters', she in turn had used it to travel from uni (top of the M25, 200 odd miles each way) every weekend with no problems and I have used it to drive to work (100 mile round trip each day) for the past 9 months. The MOT is due next month and I can be confident that all I need is a new headlight bulb (£5 from halfords and I can fit myself) and 2 new tyres (£15 a corner including fitting).
Yes, the interior is cheap, it only comes with a tape player as standard, but really does it matter? I have a 'tape' which plugs into my MP3 player and plays tunes just fine, and actually, for me, cheap and reliable is a good thing.
How the new Ka (which shares a platform with the new Fiat 500, in my opinion a much more appealing car) will fare, only time can tell. The old Ka, however, will run and run.
Now for the technical stuff (bear with me, I'm a girl)
Engine 1.3 litres
Petrol - a full tank usually costs me £45 and takes me around 250 miles on motorways, however I have been accused of driving like an old lady so boy racers would probably use more than this.
Seats - 4 (not the usual 5) but there is adequate legroom and bottom room in the rear seats
Boot - this is a weird shape because the tail lights cut into the opening but it is still fine for shopping. You can also put the back seats down a bit but it's never going to have a massive carrying area.
Gears - 5 plus reverse
Techy stuff - none, manual windows, no sunroof, radio/cassette, no central locking, no alarm no anything, but in my opinion that's a good thing because there's less to go wrong!
Speed - max speed is around 100 miles per hour and 0-60 is in the region of 14-16 seconds so quite reasonable for a small car. It also goes up hills without slowing down which is one of my main criteria for a good car.
Noise - then engine is quite quiet, however the road noise is very loud and you have to have the stereo quite high if you go fast.
Insurance/tax - this is quite cheap and good for first time buyers or anyone without massive no claims bonus.
Overall a good, economical car, great value for money. I woudl recommend this car to anyone, and in fact, I just have!
NOT TRUSTWORTHY KA BRAKE DEFECT CANNOT BE RECTIFIEDFORD KA HAS POOR BRAKES. HAVE BEEN TOLD IT IS A DESIGN FAULT AND THAT EVEN REPLACING THE BRAKES WILL NOT IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE. HAVE SPENT TIME AND MONEY TRYING TO FIND THE FAULT WITH MY GARAGE AND AA ONLY TO BE TOLD BY MR.CLUTCH THAT ALTHOUGH THE CAR BRAKES ARE PERFORMING 50% AND WOULD PASS THIS YEARS MOT, REPLACING THEM WOULD NOT ALTER THE POOR PERFORMANCE AND I HAVE TRIED TO GET SOME INFO FROM THE MANUFACTURERS TO DATE HAVE HAD NO SATISFACTION. FOR THIS REASON I WILL NOT BE PURCHASING ANOTHER FORD KA.
I went from a rover mini cooper s to a ford ka 3 years ago. Okay, it doesn't have the style, personality and good looks of the mini, but it does have the elusive fun factor! Okay, the interior may be minimal and cheap looking, but it's nippy, quick off the mark and easy to park! (Although the back is wider than the front so remember this). The most main reason why I love mine is because it's reliable, like all fords. It hasn't let me down once in three years. Parts are also cheap, so inevitably when it needs repairs it wont hurt too much. It only has two seats in the back, which is occaisionally is annoying, but it does mean that it's suprisingly roomy in the back for two, and the curved roof gives plenty of headroom. (It can be tricky squeezing in an out of the back for the less nimble). I've never been uncomfortable driving it, even on long trips. You can also fold the back seats down if you need to transport a lot of stuff, and you'll be surprised how much you can fit in! It's also pretty economical of fuel, especially under 60mph.
I have had my Ka for a year and a half now. I didn't go out looking for any particular car, but the Ka was the best price for a low mileage (22,000 miles on the clock) in the second-hand dealers that I visited. Everything was ok for the first few months and then things started to go wrong with it, first it was the battery, then the alternator, the tyres, the door handles etc. etc. The worst thing is that although the car is cheap the parts and labour aren't. To get the alternator out the mechanices had to take off the entrie front bumper section plus some other bits in the engine area as it's so squashed in, taking 3 hours rather than 1! The changing of the door handle mechanism wasn't simple either and also had to be taken into the garage!
Apart from it falling apart (only 3 years old btw) I find that the car feels cheap and rattles. I also doubt it would be very safe in an accident..
However on the plus side it is very nippy, can easily get up to speed when coming onto dual carriageway junctions and the like. It also has a proper spare tyre, rather than the silly space saver one's that you often get in smaller cars.
I definitely wouldn't recommend a Ka to anyone and can't wait 'til I can get a new car!
IF YOU ARE A YOUNG GIRL LOOKING TO BUY YOUR FIRST CAR THEN READ THIS!!
I bought my Ka Collection this time last year, after saving for months on end and browsing numerous car sale websites and garages. Armed with £2,000 cash and a stubborn want for a black car (yes, it HAD to be black!) I set out. At the time I was dead set on buying a Clio, but I could simply not afford one. I had considered buying a Ka, however to me, they just mustered up the image of a dippy young blond singing away to her Britney album at a set of traffic lights. It was only when mum returned from work one evening and announced that their was a 51 plate BLACK Ka collection for sale up the road to us, that I seriously considered buying one. And boy am I glad I did.
I have not once wished I had gone for another car, (nor am I glad that waited for a black one 'cos she hott!) She has the colour coded bumpers which, I'm sorry, make the car - I cannot stand the grey/plastic looking bumpers on some of the standard Kas. And apart from looking trendy, modern and feminine, she has been (touch wood) 100% reliable. She runs like a beaut, drives like one too, and doesn't cost me an arm and a leg in tax and insurance. I love her dearly, and honestly, can't see myself even looking for another car until I have run this one into the ground!! Happy driving!
I've never been a fan of Ford Ka's and to be honest I don't think they're the best looking cars. However, my parents persuaded me that it would be a good first car and I have to say I'm glad I listened to them.
The Ka is a very small car but it was ideal for learning to drive in, as it is easy to park and a very easy car to drive. The boot size is rather small, but it does the job and fits a week's worth of food shopping in. The leg room in the back is also better than I expected it to be, however, the fact that it only has 4 seats can be rather irritating. Being a 3-door car means passengers often struggle to get in and out of the back seats.
In terms of storage, there is room to put items in the side of both doors, there's a handy shelf on the passenger's side above the glovebox, and there's also a compartment to store a few items in the back of the car, which is a decent space, and has a lid so that items will be stored out of sight, which is useful. A word of warning about the glovebox though, it is very small! There is also netted storage on the back of both front seats. There is also a very small storage space that contains the cigarette lighter, and that is useful for storing loose change ready for any car park charges! There is space to be put a drinking bottle just behind the handbrake in the rear of the car.
I have found the Ka to be very fuel efficient, and it isn't too expensive insurance-wise, which is very helpful for young drivers who often have ridiculously high insurance costs. It is, however, very slow to accelerate and often struggles when trying to go up a hill, which can be rather frustrating and embarrassing! I have found the lack of acceleration speed to be of particular frustration when driving on the motorway, as I have often pulled into another lane to overtake another vehicle, but then found that I'm unable to move off quickly and see the car behind me rapidly approaching my boot! This lack of acceleration does therefore need to be borne in mind, as it could lead to a hazardous situation.
The Ka has electric windows in the front, and small manually-operated windows in the back, which open to the side and aren't particulary effective, as they don't open very far. You can also have air-conditioning as an optional extra if you are willing to pay for it. I don't have air-conditioning in my Ka, but I wish that I did, as the car gets ridiculously hot in the Summer and the 'cool' air setting only sends out warm air when the sun is shining. The heating, on the other hand, is effective and doesn't take too long to warm up.
Overall, I would say that the Ka is a good first car, mainly because they're cheap to purchase and run, even if they are so small. Please don't purchase this car though if you need to regularly use the motorway or want lots of boot space, as this isn't the car for you.
I bought a Ford Sport ka and was very pleasantly surprised.
The Sportka is surprisingly nippy, handles brilliantly, with a great gearchange. There are some negatives, but if you're wanting a relatively new, good looking car that stands out from the crowd and drives well this is the car. Negatives for myself is that the fuel tank is relatively small and I've only acheived 260 miles on a full tank, the size of the cabin is very small as well. I do a lot of motorway mileage and this car is not ideal for this kind of commuting due to a rather thrashy sounding engine.
However if I was to recommend a car the Sport ka would be top of my list to enthusiastic drivers, my partner has a new fiesta but rates the sport ka as a better drive, running costs are minimal tyres are a little expensive, but touch wood mine hasn't needed much work.
So the Ford Ka...
Let'stake it from the obvious - If your a woman, chances are you'll think its "cute", if your a guy you'll think its dumb. Its not got the best styling and its not very aesthetically pleasing, especially with the older models having the matt paint a huge front and rear black plastic bumpers. The only good side to having these bumpers is if you have a bump there is zero damage to your car, and they are easily changed with new ones if they are damaged.
One thing to note about the body on the Ka is that the area around the petrol cap is prone to rust, as well as the under side of the car, so if you are looking to purchase one of these cars, regardless of age, do check these spots.
So let's move onto the interior. I know the newer models had the option of leather, but i only had experience with the older Ka which had a very pink and purple spotted cloth seat pattern which was wrapped around some very uncomfortable seats. Room in the rear is very limited. It was a real struggle fitting adults in the rear of the car. Also note, the Ford Ka is a four seater, not a five seater. There is no middle seat.
Most of the dash and handles are made from a very nasty plastic and never seem to be in a great colour, mine were purple.
Moving onto performance...well to be honest there wasnt any. I cant recall exact figures but the Ka came standard with roughly 55 bhp, and weighs right on the edge of 890kg, which is light but the engine is extremely underpowered reaching 60 in a lowsy 15 seconds. This made it very impractical to overtake and made everyday driving a nightmare. In order to make the Ka perform at all meant keeping the revs high which in turn makes the mpg suffer.
To top it all off, the Ford Ka isnt a cheap car compared to its rivals, and you get next to nothing for your money. What you are paying for is the Ford name.
I have owned a 1.3 3dr KA for a couple of months now... and I hate it.
It's cheap 'n nasty... nowhere near as nippy as my last car (Peugeot 106 Escapade).
Looks stupid, everything rattles, gearbox is rubbish, makes a silly whiring noise (it's a 'Johnny Cab).'
On the plus side.. Not much, but can handle my daily motorway journey better than my old Peugeot.
Cant wait to get rid of it.
I have been very pleased with my Ka, having owned it since May 06. I was rear-ended last week and, with some trepidation, peered around to the back of the Ka to survey the damage. To my shock and surprise, I had sustained merely cosmetic damage to the paintwork whereas the Proton saloon owner who had thoughtfully crashed into the back of me, whilst busy lighting a roll-up, was missing a radiator grill and nursing a smashed in bumper!! Very satisfying!!!
The KA is my first Ford and definetly my last. I love the way that it look as it is a proper girly car. I think it is really fun to drive but my boyfiend describes the drive as gokart or shopping trolley like. It does get blown around alot when it's windy as it's so light but on a plus side it does about 40-45mpg on the motorway.I would love my KA if it wasn't for the bodywork. The paint chips from the smallest of stone hit. It is rusting on the boot around the wipper and has corroded under the driver side door. The 6 year Ford perforation warranty is a joke as I have a 2003 model which they wont repair. (Make sure you get bodywork stamps in your service book at every service/ repair otherwise it is invalidated).
I had to get the suspension changed when the car was only 3 1/2 and the spark plugs and leads had to be changed afer only six months of being replaced due to rusting.
I guess the KA would make an ideal first car but be very wary of rust.
I have owned my little KA for just over a year now and i havnt looked back since. i am a 21 year old girl and i think that the ka is perfectly suited to any young woman.
the ka is small and light and is quite sporty looking from the front especialy if yu have the color coded bumpers. the ka collection 2002 comes with everything you could possible want. CD Placer, electric windows, color coded bumpers, power steering, and stylish looks.
insurance is low on the ka even though it boasts a 1.3i engine which considering the size and weight of the ka is more than adequate.
it is gread on petrol and i get nearly 100miles from 15pounds a week out of mine, tax is also cheap for this little car.
despite looking small and dinky from the outside there is a lot of space in the ka, also the dash is all moulded and rounded and looks very stylish. the interior of my ka is all silver and black and the seats are a dark grey and have little silver heart shapes all over the material, it definetly looks the part.
I have now been the proud owner of a 1997 Ford KA2 for 3 months now and I can say there will be no turning back!
For a 18 year old girl the car is VERY cheap to insure, and also very cheap to run. The KA uses £15 per week of petrol and travels around 100 miles per week.
The ka is very spacious in the front, despite the ka being small, and back passengers have never complained either. I find the seats very comfortable and dont mind long distance travelling in them. The boot is small, but can be expanded using by a couple of inches using the upright position on the back seats. I also found this good for my friend who has a few back problems and needs to sit upright because the seats drop 50/50, so one passenger can sit back, another upright. The dash is very funky, mine being black with a light blue trim. The radio and controls are all integrated within the trim, making it look very neat. The fans that blow out the heat inside are shaped as spheres, and are really different to typical car fans. (All Very Girly!) The dials the car has are very basic, with a fuel and speed counter, and the rest indicated by lights which will come on if a problem is spotted (ie engine overheating)
The glove box on the car is quite non-existant in the front, but there is a removable tool box which reveals cup/book holder and room for a few bits and peices. The main glove box is in the back on the left. The lid lifts up to reveal a glove compartment, and it is very spacious. The passengers in the back also have cup holders built in the floor.
Driving the KA is very easy. The bumpers are very tough, so if like me you just passed your test and are worrying about parking its not really a concern. The rear window is small, but it is very easy to judge what is behind and how far away the car behind is. The KA loves corners and twisty roads, and you can definatly feel the grip it has on the road. The KA2 model I have drives very well, and can tackle road. The KA has a very good feel, and feels just like a new car, despite the age.
Disadvantages to the KA will definatly be that the bodywork rusts. Thankfully mine is OK, but there are signs of rusting near the petrol cap, and top of the bonnet. Hopefully this wont develop any further! The boot is not lit, so if you are unloading the boot at night you need to feel about to see if something has escaped from the bags. Not too much of a problem, but it would be nice to have a light. The KA also develops some strange knocking noises, i have heard comments about this from other KA owners. If you travel alot on a motorway or dual carriage way make sure you build up speed on the slip road as the KA's acceleration is quite slow but once up to 70mph it is very happy and willingly goes with the flow.
Excellent first car, excellent car in general, and with the newer editions I would definately consider a newer KA in the future and recommend it to anyone!
A little while ago, I had a bad week. I knew it was going to be a bad week by Sunday morning. Going out to load the car with garden rubbish (enough ivy for a university), we discover a Sainsbury's To You van has hit my Megane. It didn't just bruise it. Nope - it took the entire front moulded bumper off. I was, to say the least, less than impressed (especially with Sainsbury's attitude, which was along the lines of 'not our problem, talk to the van owner's insurance company).
ANYWAY, nothing could be done on Sunday. On Monday, my car was towed, and I was lent, as its replacement, an 02 registered Ka, with just under 5,000 miles on the clock. For five days I drove the Ka to and from work, and a bit more. And this is the result.
Size and Space
It's OK - but tiny! Having said that, the interior is roomier than you'd expect - there's plenty of headroom - My husband's head was NOT brushing the ceiling - impressive given my husband is 6'5" tall - even my then nearly 12 year old daughter in the back seemed reasonably comfortable - though that was on a short journey. Also, for such a tiny car, the driving position is quite high - I can still see over the tops of many other cars. I took no long journeys, but the seating position was reasonably comfortable - I had no back pain, nor discomfort once I made all the appropriate adjustments.
I didn't actually use the boot, since my journeys were, as mentioned earlier, mostly to and from work. But the boot IS small - we would REALLY struggle to get our weekly shop in there - and forget putting a large pushchair easily into the boot.
The brakes are mushy, but the gearbox is very good - responsive and easy to shift accurately. It's kind of strange driving a car where the tyres are at each of the four corners of the car - I mean almost exactly at the four corners. I felt very silly, as it should be easy to park such a small car, but because the 'feel' of it is so different as a result of its shape, I struggled (but I am a very lousy parker anyway...).
It's a 'basic' model - 1.3 litre engine, but for all that, it's quite nippy, since it's a very light car. Apart from the weirdness of manoeuvring mentioned above, the steering was easy - it was responsive, yet didn't over tax my feeble muscles.
Again, surprisingly for such a small car, there are some quite nasty blind spots - the main mirror is really too small (I couldn't see the whole rear windscreen through it), and I had to really stretch to turn around sufficiently when reversing, so that the largish rear pillars didn't impede my view.
The pedals (particularly the accelerator) are dinky and too close together - when my husband drives it, he struggles not to press two at once. Annoyingly, there is nowhere specific to rest your left foot when it's not depressing the clutch.
Well...as I said, this was a basic model. Whilst it did have metallic paint (as if I care about things like that), it had no flashy digital readouts, no buttons to press (except on the radio).
The windows are windy windows - no electric doodads - not even central locking - though, of course, there are only two doors (three if you count the boot.) It took me AGES to work out how to lock the passenger door from the inside - there's no obvious button or toggle. It turns out (through trial and error), that you push, instead of pull, the lever that opens the door. Gee, I hope that makes sense.
On the plus side, the radio was good - it has a much better sound system than my Renault does. The speakers were better, and the search facility to find stations was easier to use than it is on my Renault (which is just as well). I did, however, miss the steering column radio controls that my own car has. Sadly, the car wasn't supplied with an instruction manual ), so there are still buttons on the radio whose functions are a mystery to me.
The dash is very clear, and again, basic - no rev counter - just a slightly cluttered speedo and an old fashioned odometer, and a clock that is, apparently, 'unique' to the Ka - I dunno - it was an analogue clock. I struggle to get enthused about such things.
Despite the lack of manual, I had no trouble finding the controls for the lights - like on many other cars I've driven; the lights were controlled from a dial on the indicator stick (left hand side of the steering column). The wipers were a wee bit trickier - to turn the rear wiper on, you pull the right hand stick towards you - on many other cars I've driven, that action washes your windscreen. But you get used to things like that.
Right - please remember here that I only drove the Ka for a working week. So, apart from fuel consumption, I've needed to do a bit of research for this section. For a full, anorak rundown of the technical specifications, check out http://www.carsource.co.uk/ka - I guess every car type has its fanclub...
From my own experience, I can tell you that it seems reasonably economical (as you'd expect) - the place I rented it from works on an 'empty to empty' policy - so I got the car with a bit under a quarter tank of petrol, put £10 in it - that got it to half full - I've done around 150 miles and haven't had to add any more juice. (Just as well I looked before setting off to the petrol station - the petrol tank is on the other side from the Renault's.)
Therefore, assuming that I paid around 80p a litre for petrol...hang on, let me do the maths...That's around 12.5 litres I stuck in the car...I THINK (maths is not my strong suit) that I was getting around 12 miles to the LITRE. Now, 1 UK gallon = 4.546 litres apparently. It seem therefore, I put around 2.75 gallons in the car (though didn't use all of it), which makes for around 54 miles to the gallon (?!) - umm...seems very high, to me, as the official figures, according to carsource.co.uk, are 47.9 mpg combined figure (93/116/EC - hey - doesn't THAT look impressive), though according to Ford, the combined figure is 45.6mpg.
My driving was mostly to and from work (I worked in the armpit of London), around an hour to get about 12 miles each way...which at best could be called combined. However, my husband DID test it on the motorway. And...um...I do have a habit of coasting. Sorry, I digress.
I live in blissful ignorance of details such as 0-60 speeds, service costs and intervals, and all the other techy bits some folks are desperate to see! So some more research is in order. So, in the interests of consumer helpfulness, I've had a look at the Ford website (www.ford.co.uk/ie/ka). Apparently, it takes 14.1 seconds to go from a standstill to 62 miles per hour. That may be, but the car FELT nippier, probably because of its size.
Like I said before, I rented this car. So I've never had it serviced, clearly, and can't discuss how often nor how much it costs. This is, however, a Ford, and so finding service centres shouldn't be difficult. I think.
According to Ford's own website, the car starts at £6,495. Adding extras will, of course, make the Ka more expensive (doh!). As expected, the car falls into a low insurance bracket (2E, apparently...). I suspect it also falls into the lower car tax bracket.
The insurance should pay for the rental. I rented the Ka from the folks who fixed my Megane at £15.00 a day - not the cheapest car rental, but it was convenient (local to me) and an approved courtesy car supplier (since the folks who repaired my car were chosen by the insurance company).
As mentioned here more than once, I do not own a Ka. I drove it as a replacement whilst my Megane was being repaired. I'm missing the techy bits (I'm the type of gal for whom the gnomes run REALLY fast when you turn the key)...I can talk about it as a car to, say, rent, but I couldn't recommend nor 'not recommend' it to buy, as I have no idea how reliable it is.
OK, now that's out of the way, what did I think? The Ka was adequate for my needs. There were, of course, good points and bad points, which I have mentioned above, but I'll summarise here:
Nippy, easy to steer, excellent clutch and gearbox, good radio, very roomy in the passenger cabin (especially for such a tiny car), excellent fuel economy.
Mushy brakes (you should have seen me when I picked up the Megane - I nearly sent myself through the windscreen), no fun gimmicky doodads, no electric side mirror adjusters, no central locking, tiny boot, only three doors (which is a pain when you have a child).
I liked it. However, I wouldn't personally buy such a small car, as I have a family. Whilst I like gadgets and doodads, once I had driven the Ka for a short time, I only really missed the central locking and electric windows and mirrors. The fact it has an analogue clock and the odometer is of the old fashioned wheeled type (you know, where you can watch the numbers roll over) didn't really bother me.
In an ideal world, I'd take the radio, gear box and clutch from the Ka and combine them with the size, brakes and doodads from the Megane, and maybe increase the engine size a wee bit - now THAT would be a good car!
The main thing is, though, that if I WERE looking to buy a new or used Ka, I would have a very, very good look at the brakes before making a decision.
Well, I guess that's it. Were you to visit a Ford dealership, you would no doubt test drive the Ka for yourself. You'd also no doubt enquire about service intervals and the like. No test drive, though, tells you what it's like to drive for a week. This, I hope I have done.
Are you looking for an ultracompact car? Then I would certainly recommend you consider the Ka, keeping in mind all the points I've made above. It's reasonably priced and seems cheap to run, yet is still fun to drive. Just check those brakes!
And, as always, drive safely and soberly.
I have been driving this car for 5 months now and I am very very happy with it. I live in an area with many narrow streets and blind corners and the power steering proves a valuable asset. The little Ka just winds its way in and out with no trouble. I am a first time driver and first time car owner and not yet very experienced at parking. In this case the power steering has helped me out of or rather I should say into a lot of tight spots. The area I live in is also very hilly with many snake-like bends. The Ka may be small but for a little car it just whizzes up those hills with no trouble; the engine is very powerful for its size. The only criticism I would have is that the doors are so long that it takes a lot of space to open them far enough to be able to get out of the car. If someone is parked very close to the side of you then you may have trouble leaving the car. The colours are lovely. I have aquarius blue and every time I am out with the car I feel a little like a child with a new shiny bicycle -- I want everyone to turn their heads and look at me. But of course I am not a child and drive very carefully because I want this little jewel to last as long as possible unscathed.