New Ka - same old

fun

IT'S hard to believe that Ford's first little Ka was on the market for no less than 12 long years.

However, that's a pretty long lifetime in any motor manufacturer's book.

But by 2008 and one million happy customers down the road, the cute and cuddly, fun-to-drive machine really had passed its sell-by date.

But instead of just updating and tweaking their little best-seller, Ford delivered a completely bold new design for their second generation Ka, while retaining much of the original machine's DNA.

The new Ka still drove like the original, with its kart-like point-and-shoot dynamics which made it so much fun.

It also had the same youthful spirit of its predecessor, but with looks more attuned to 21st century styling.

The front end showed a cheeky grin, while you could also see some of the distinctive rear end of the original.

Ford wisely retained many of the characteristics that proved so popular in the original Ka, like its cheap-to-buy and cheap-to-run qualities, lashings of comfort and practicality for such a small vehicle, but more importantly, its host of on-board safety measures which offered security to both driver and passengers while on the hoof.

At its launch, six trim levels made up the new Ka range from entry-level Studio to Flagship Titanium and all came fitted with the 68bhp 1.2-litre Duratec petrol engine which could return more than 55mpg and pump out a top speed just a shade off 100mph.

For those seeking an oilburning option, Ford's 1.3-litre 74bhp Duratorq diesel engine was available in Zetec and Titanium models. It offered a similar performance to the petrol derivative, but with lower emissions and nearly 50 per cent more torque. Fuel economy was also higher at 67.3mpg.

However, for those wanting to be seen to be different, Ford offered three individual personalised interior and exterior packages in order to transform the Zetec-trimmed Ka.

The three themes were Grand Prix, Tatoo and Digital Art and offered the choice of brightly-coloured grille surrounds and special alloy wheels, to embossed leather seats, to highlights for the door handles, centre consoles and air vents.

Yet for the vast majority of buyers who just wanted a small city car that could mix it with the big boys in town and prove comfortable and economical on longer journeys, then the new Ka took a heck of a lot of beating.

Even in Studio trim buyers got a lot for their  money. MP3-compatible six-speaker CD sound system, tinted windows, body-coloured bumpers, tilt-adjustable steering wheel and see-you-home headlight delay were just some of the on-board standard specification

Anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, Isofix child seats, intelligent protection system with front airbags and power steering also came as standard, making the little Ka a family favourite that now makes a great used buy.

Prices for a 2009 09-plate entry-level 1.2-litre Studio model which has covered around 50,000 miles can be found from between £3,050 and £4,230, while a top-of-the-range 1.3-litre diesel Titanium example will cost from £4,200 to £5,750.

Move up a couple of years to a 2011 11-plate and prices jump from around £3,975 to £5,180 for the 1.2-litre Studio model, to between £5,700 and £7,350 for an oil-burning Titanium with 30,000 miles on the clock.

 

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