Product Type: Ford cars
Newest Review: ... it very very easy which was a great advantage for me especially living in a big city where spaces are few and far between. The petrol ... more
Small but not perfectly formed
Ford Ka in general
Member Name: scooch12
Ford Ka in general
Advantages: Great car for driving in busy towns
Disadvantages: Air conditioning and clearing the windows on a cold day = horrendous
The Ford KA. My first car and second. Today I'm going to review my second, the shape that is available currently from the dealers and the one I owned up until recently for around 3 years. As I was getting a new car, I bought their Zetec model which at the time was the model with the most features on. The list price of the car was close to £11000 which now looking back, I think was ridiculous for what is essentially a basic, small car (the salesman will probably knock some off by haggling). Now, there is also a higher spec Titanium model available and some limited edition grand prix versions. The more basic models are the Studio and Edge - they come with fewer features but have a lower price tag.
It is available in an array of solid and metallic colours including red, purple, blue, grey, silver and white. When I bought mine, the dealer told me that the KA has a chassis based on the Fiat 500 and ford have then added their own body kit to it. At the time they were hard to purchase and I had to visit several ford garages in order to get one as they were out of stock everywhere (not something I'd come across before!) but now they are more readily available both new and second hand.
The KA I owned came with all the standard features that the basic KA offers, which I might add isn't a lot - antilock brakes, immobiliser, driver and passenger airbags and power assisted steering being it's main features. The Studio model was the basic model at the time of my purchase and the things they made out to be features in the brochure were a little patronising in my view - one of the features listed was 'door mirrors, manually adjusted' (really, surely all cars have these?!). My 2009 zetec model had the following in addition to the more basic ones:
Colour coded features such as tailgate and door handles
Sporty clocks and trimming inside (in white)
Tinted back windows
Remote Central Locking
There are also things that didn't come with any model as standard, things that I would have to add for an extra price if I wanted them, some of them for around £400 a go! Bluetooth for example. There's an ipod docking connection in the centre console but this can't be used to make and receive calls via the stereo system, it just allowed me to listen to music from my phone through it - good idea but there wasn't anywhere to put my phone apart from the cup holder. In fact the cup holder is the only real place, apart from the glove box and side door compartments, that anything can be stored in.
Driving the Car
It is a great little car to drive, although my husband disagrees as it's far too small for his liking. I think the KA is still predominantly a girly car even with the updated design, to be honest he hated being seen in it. Comparing it to the older model, I don't think it handles the road half as well. This is definitely noticeable going around major corners in particular. My husband compared driving my second KA like driving a little van and I think by this he meant that you feel quite high up in the driving seat (and that's without messing with the height adjustment seat!), which was noticeable from the previous model where I felt very low down. The car is very nippy leaving the traffic lights, the 1.2 engine suits such a small car. It's predecessor had a 1.3 engine. Mine was a petrol tank 1.2, but it is also available as a 1.3 diesel.
I have no issue with the room at the front of the car, but I do with the back seat area. The reason I've now changed my car from the KA was because of having a baby. It was just in no way suitable for all the baby stuff I need to take out with me now, that's the main reason I traded it in. Plus, to get my baby's car seat into the back I had to turn it on it's side (the car only comes as a 3 door hatchback). This isn't something that's possible when she fell asleep in the seat. My options were either to wake her up to take her out to put the seat in the car or delay using the car until she'd woken up. I also bought one of the smallest travel systems for my daughter, yet it still was a struggle to get into the boot of the KA.
My KA was not without it's problems. The air-conditioning was horrendous, in fact it was almost laughable and got to the point where I just didn't use it because it had so little power. Whenever I complained to ford about this though, they said it was all due to it's small 1.2 engine. That makes me question as to why it is sold as a feature on this car - it obviously can't cope with it so why make it a feature? In winter I also had many issues and I tried to take advantage of the free 3 year warranty the car came with but got nowhere, It went to the garage three times and every time after looking they told me there was no problems with it (there clearly was). The car used to ice up on the odd occasion inside the front windscreen! One morning it was so bad I had to start scraping it inside. Not good for a car that was 2 years old at the time. Another thing was when it was steamed up inside on a cold day - it would take just under 3 miles of driving for it to have completely disappeared from the back windows. Not good.
I feel that Ford will need to up their game to keep the KA competing with other small city cars. There are so many car manufacturers making their own versions of a city car, often at a cheaper price. I don't see really what more you get for your money with the KA, particularly with the issues I experienced on my car. I've now got a fiesta, just because it's easier to put the pram in for my daughter. I'm not always going to automatically just going to buy fords though, I think they need to do a bit more to try to retain customers - next time I'll have no hesitation to look at all manufacturers before buying. I rate the KA 3 stars just because it's a good car for zipping about town in.
Thanks for reading :o)
Summary: Average car, much prefer the Fiesta