What is it?
This is the latest evidence that not even the smallest cars are immune from the creeping influence of SUVs.
Ford’s not-quite-a-crossover is a slightly taller, slightly tougher version of the Ka+ five-door supermini — one that the company is hoping will help it top the record-breaking 200,000 SUVs Ford sold in Europe last year.
Quite how active you’ll actually get while behind the wheel is up for debate; while you get SUV-friendly features such as a boosted ride height, chunkier bumpers and wheel arches, as well as standard roof rails for sporty types to lug their gear around with, this is still very much a supermini best suited to town and city driving.
So that may make the car more suited to the perils of off-street parking than any kind of off-road adventure, but the 15in alloy wheels, chrome accents on the grille and foglights, exclusive interior fabric and slightly tweaked front end go a long way to helping the Active variant stand out from the standard car.
Ride height has been raised by 23mm, giving the Ka+ Active that upright, crossover feel that’s so in demand right now, while a larger anti-roll bar works with the electronic stability control to reduce the chances of rollover while those rails are fully loaded. It sits on 185/60 tyres, slightly skinnier than the 195/55s found on the standard car, for a marginally softer ride.
Otherwise, the mechanicals are mostly unchanged. The sole petrol engine is the 81bhp 1.2-litre three-cylinder unit also found on the rest of the Ka+ range, with 85lb ft of torque, a top speed of 105mph and hitting 0-60mph in 13.5sec. A 1.5-litre diesel also joins the line-up — a first for the Ka+ — but Ford isn’t expecting it to be a big seller. There’s still no Ecoboost variant, either, in order to keep some space between the Ka+ and the Fiesta.
The Ka+ Active has the same MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension as a regular Ka+, as well as a five-speed manual gearbox raided from the new Fiesta’s parts bin.