Ford Ka

All-new version of Ford’s entry-level supermini

Evo rating
from £7,995
  • Better than a Fiat 500
  • Lacks the old Ka’s ultimate chuckability

Could this be the cheapest way of having genuine fun in a new car? That’s the idea, in which case the new Ford Ka carries on where the old one, replicated 1.4 million times in its 12 years, left off.

The re-make is the same length as the original but 4in taller, with an outline rather like a Fiat 500’s. That’s because under the skin it is indeed the Fiat; it even emerges from the same small-car factory in Tychy, Poland.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

Inside, you’ll find Fiat stalks and a 500-mirroring disposition of dials and switches, but the style is entirely Ford. Outside, Ford’s trapezoidal nose design has morphed to make a sort of face, while the shape of the side windows and the tail reprise the previous Ka.

Fine. But the Fiat 500, Abarth excepted, is not the rousing drive it should be, and that bodes badly for the Ka. Except that Ford has made the suspension work properly by making the springs 30 per cent softer, re-tuning the dampers to suit and adding a hefty rear anti-roll bar to increase the torsion beam’s roll stiffness by a massive 70 per cent, to the benefit of pointability. At the front the anti-roll-bar bushes are softer, the steering column’s universal joints have been repositioned to give a more linear steering response and the electric power steering has been recalibrated to improve on-centre feel.

Advertisement - Article continues below

It’s a transformation that Fiat would do well to emulate. Like the original Ka, this one is supple over bumps yet crisp in its response to commands. The steering lacks the transparency found in the old Ka, but at this end of the market it’s the price you pay for an electric system’s economy benefits.

Engines are a 68bhp 1.2 and a 74bhp diesel 1.3, both by Fiat. I tried the petrol one that most will buy, and while hardly rapid it feels quite keen thanks to Ford’s sharpened throttle mapping. In the end, though, this Ka isn’t quite the entertainer that the old one was, and sadly there’ll be no SportKa this time, but if I owned a 500 I’d seriously consider buying a set of Ka suspension bits from the local Ford agent.



Most Popular

sports cars

Porsche ditches four-cylinder for flat-six in Cayman and Boxster GTS

New models eschew turbos with detuned 4-litre from the Spyder and GT4
15 Jan 2020
Toyota GT 86

Toyota GT86 vs Mazda MX-5 vs Abarth 124 Spider – lightweight sports car shootout

Three affordable sports cars from Japan and, er, Japan battle it out on the Yorkshire Dales
14 Jan 2020
Aston Martin DBX SUV

Aston Martin DBX prototype review

It might be late to the party, but has Aston Martin’s first ever SUV nailed the brief?
15 Jan 2020
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019