I have an admission to make. 

I didn't know that in the gadget crazed throws of i2008, you can still buy a new car with nothing more than a tape deck and radio for entertainment. I was dimly aware that you could still get cars without central locking, but imagined that they were only available from makers who still class a heater as a selling point.

Not so. I had a go in a 57-plate 1.3 litre Ford Ka at the weekend, courtesy of a well-known daily rental company. It came with seats, a dashboard, wheels and a body shell. And that's about it.

The only concession to modernity was power steering, which did nothing to dull the car’s legendary dynamics. In fact, it was one of the most engaging cars I've been in since I sold my Peugeot 205 GTi, not least thanks to its complete lack of pretence at being anything other than a bog standard means of transport.

The Ka is a minor phenomenon in the modern motoring world. It still looks fresh and hasn't aged inside, despite being nearly 12 years old. It's just over 3.5 metres in length, rides well, looks great, is cheap to produce and cheap to buy. It also has class-leading dynamics.

Of course, it fails on CO2 output (147g/km), and residuals are terrible because there are so many on the used market already. So bad, in fact, that you can get a five year old car with only 20,000 miles on the clock for just over £1000.

List price is £7345 for the base Studio variant I had the luck to sample, but if you can't get an entry-level Ka for under £5000 from your local dealer then you're not bargaining hard enough.