If you are in the market for a small and effective runabout, the Ford Ka makes a case for itself. In 1.2 Style trim it’s cheap to insure, reasonably clean and, in our experience, will rarely deliver less than 40mpg and sometimes more than 50mpg. Likewise, the diesel engine offers decent economy and low running costs in a well-priced package.
Trouble is, many of its rivals score on these counts too - plus, in the case of the very best in the class, several others.
The Fiat 500 and Volkswagen Up, for instance, deliver a dash of style and plenty of kit for a similar price, while other city cars, notably the Hyundai i10, Fiat Panda and Kia Picanto, offer far better value for money with a combination of low prices, strong build, cheap running costs and plentiful equipment. As five-doors, they’re more practical, too.
For us, the Ka has lost some of the charm of the original; the no-nonsense mechanicals, sense of style and low, low running costs mean the old model is still sought after on the used market today.
The same cannot be said of the latest model, and used (and trade in) prices reflect that. The only upside for new Ka buyers is that there is room to haggle at dealers - discounts of at least 10 percent on list prices are normal, and we'd recommend would-be buyers use online broker sites to ascertain the latest prices before asking a dealer to match them.
The 2016 Ford Ka+ is making positive strides to remedie the malaise caused the second gen Ka, which rather than aiming to replicate the original is aiming for practicality and affordability.