The original Ford Ka went on sale to huge critical acclaim in the autumn of 1996. The first example of a whole new design generation known as New Edge, it was truly a pioneering car for Ford of Europe. Beneath the skin it was a far from complex piece of machinery, but for most of the time it was more than good enough, even if the engine felt quite long in the tooth from day one. Despite this, it was fun to drive and rewarding to own. It spawned a ‘warm’ Sportka version and the soft-top Streetka, too.

The first-generation Ford Ka achieved many things in many different countries during the 12 years it remained on sale, including numerous design and best car awards throughout Europe. But surely its greatest feat was reaching over 1.4 million homes, over half a million of which were in the UK.

We Europeans loved that original New Edge Ka, right up until the very last one rolled off the production line in 2008. So you could say that its successor is under unprecedented pressure to succeed.

Ford’s solution to the near-impossible-to-solve equation of how to make money out of a high-quality, desirable city car was to join up with Fiat and split the development costs. Which is why beneath its new skin the new Ka shares 80 per cent of its components with the Fiat 500. 

There is no end of trim options available to suit every taste; as well as the more usual Studio, Edge, Zetec and Titanium models, you can also choose from araft of special editions including Grand Prix, Digital or Metal, offering different takes on the Ka theme.

Only two engines are available: a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel, both shared with the Fiat 500.

Looking for a used Ford Ka for sale? Visit PistonHeads Classifieds

Top 5 City cars

  • Volkswagen Up
    The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition

    Volkswagen Up

    1
  • Hyundai i10
    The Hyundai i10 is offered with either a 1.0-litre petrol engine or a 1.2-litre petrol engine

    Hyundai i10

    2
  • Suzuki Celerio
    The Celerio is an all-new city car from Suzuki

    Suzuki Celerio

    3
  • Fiat Panda
    Panda’s 4 star EuroNCAP crash score falls short of some rivals

    Fiat Panda

    4
  • Vauxhall Viva
    Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE is priced from £7995

    Vauxhall Viva

    5

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lotus Elise Cup 250
    First Drive
    29 April 2016
    The fastest, most track-focused and most expensive Elise ever made. It's simple, raw and immersive
  • Porsche 911 Targa 4S
    First Drive
    27 April 2016
    Slick looks, open-top fun and 911 handling sound brilliant, but the Targa has historically trailed the Coupé. How does the new model fare on UK roads?
  • Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d
    First Drive
    26 April 2016
    Jaguar's debut SUV wowed us abroad, but does it still impress as much here on the UK's roads?
  • Car review
    26 April 2016
    Electric saloon is ramped up beyond ‘insane’ for yet more effect
  • Car review
    26 April 2016
    Is this a genuine supercar slayer for top-rank sports car money?