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

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

    Volkswagen Up

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

    Hyundai i10

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

    Suzuki Celerio

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

    Fiat Panda

  • Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE is priced from £7995

    Vauxhall Viva


First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    8 October 2015
    The greatest driver’s Boxster ever, and far enough removed from the GTS to be worth the compromises its complex hood demands
  • Car review
    7 October 2015
    Does the Zenos E10 have enough to oust Caterham and Lotus off their throne
  • First Drive
    7 October 2015
    Performance diesel variant of Audi's fifth-generation A4 is effortlessly fast, while also proving comfortable and spacious
  • First Drive
    2 October 2015
    Track Edition GT-R takes key elements from the range-topping GT-R Nismo and offers them at a more affordable price
  • First Drive
    2 October 2015
    We've driven the Golf R Estate abroad and thought it was top drawer, but we need a UK drive to be sure.