Ford Ka for the city

Ford Ka, rear
Ford Ka, interior

IT is hard to believe that the present Ford Ka has been around since 2009 and, in fact, I still see far more of the previous more quirky Ka out on the road.

The later model is more conservative in styling and was developed alongside the popular Fiat 500 using some of the same engines and, in 1.2 petrol guise, giving almost exactly the same performance and economy.

The Ka is fun to drive and very cheap to insure and to run. It can handle motorway speeds without a problem and almost all bought secondhand will have been customised by previous owners from the extensive list of Ford options.

A supple ride makes it very comfortable to ride in and it's perhaps a bit more of a ‘grown-up' car than the model it replaced.

Engines are a 68bhp 1.2 petrol and a 73bhp 1.3 turbo diesel and, while the diesel has the better economy, the petrol is far more plentiful and still manages a government average of 55mpg.

Take into account the extra cost of diesel models and you're better off with the petrol, which offers fair acceleration and safe, sure road holding along with that excellent ride.

The entry Studio model is very short on equipment and is to be avoided for that reason. There are no electric windows and there's no sign of aircon. That's a given in most small cars these days.

All the cabins are well-built and neatly laid out and the mid-range Zetec, although more expensive, comes with all the kit most people would want, including folding rear seats, electric front windows, remote locking and heated electric mirrors.

FAST FACTS

Price:Pay about £3,100 for an '11 11-reg Studio, or £4,850 for a '13 13-reg Zetec

Mechanical:68bhp, 1,242cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:99mph

0-62mph:13.5 seconds

Combined MPG:45

Insurance Group:2

C02 emissions:119g/km

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