Plus mark for new

Ford Ka

Ford Ka+, front
Ford Ka+, side
Ford Ka+, side, action
Ford Ka+, rear seats
Ford Ka+, interior
Ford Ka+, rear
Ford Ka+, boot

FORD'S all new Ka+ is set to take to the road as a bargain priced replacement of the Ka which first appeared 20 years ago and proved a popular model in the small car sector.

But any resemblance to the original is marginal as the new supermini has five doors and is almost as big as a Ford Fiesta with which much of its underpinning and other components are shared.

It joins Ford's small-car line-up alongside the best-selling Fiesta, and the Ka+ provides an new alternative for buyers who want a spacious, well-equipped and high-quality small car at a price starting from £8,995.

Ford says that demand for affordable small cars is increasing in Europe, with price, fuel efficiency and comfort among the leading factors in buyers' decision making.

The all-new Ford Ka+ is a five-door hatchback based on Ford's global small-car platform, and offers good space for five people despite its overall length of less than four metres.

The Ka+ is deisgned to be high on practicality with 270 litres of luggage space - enough to accommodate two medium-size suitcases - plus 60/40 split-folding rear seats, and 21 stowage locations for small items throughout the cabin.

Ford is claiming class-leading front headroom of 1,002mm, rear legroom of 896mm and rear hip space of 1,335mm.

The interior delivers enough room for a two metre tall passenger to sit behind a two metre tall driver.

Equipment in the new Ka+ is upmarket and includes the MyFord Dock in the centre of the instrument panel that enables occupants to store, mount and charge mobile devices such as phones and navigation systems.

Large front door bins can each hold a 1.0-litre bottle, a 0.6-litre bottle and a small umbrella.

Another feature is a hidden stowage bin within the end of the instrument panel which is only accessible when the driver's door is open, allowing valuables to be hidden out of sight.

Outwardly the new small Ford may not share many of the original Ka's styling but it looks purposeful with a distinctive high-mounted trapezoidal grille with large, swept-back headlamps and all models offer a smart, integrated finish with chrome detailing for the front grille, together with body-coloured bumpers, door handles and door mirrors.

A two-piece rear skirt with black insert adds character specifically for European models and also reduces replacement costs in the event of low-speed accident damage.

The interior features a grained finish on the instrument panel and contemporary trim materials in a dark charcoal colour scheme.

The Ka+ comes with a standard five-speed manual transmission and the tried and tested 1.2-litre engine has improved fuel efficiency with the use of low-friction engine oil and regenerative charging, which saves fuel by maintaining efficient charge levels in the vehicle battery by capturing ‘free' electrical energy when drivers coast or brake.

There are two series options - Studio offered with a 70bhp engine and Zetec which will be offered with both 70bhp and 85bhp options. Both engines achieve COemissions of 114g/km, with combined fuel consumption of 56.5mpg.

Studio and Zetec both come with standard safety equipment including six airbags, electronic stability control with hill start assist, and a tyre pressure monitoring system that can advise drivers with a warning light when a tyre is significantly under-inflated.

All models feature a comprehensive standard specification including chrome front grille, front fog lamps with day running lights, power front windows, electrically operated door mirrors with side indicators, perimeter alarm with remote central locking, a speed limiter and Ford's Easy Fuel system which is deisgned to prevent filling up from the wrong pump.

S[ecial edition Ka+ Zetec Black and White versions will also be available to order later this year.

The Ka+ Zetec Black and White editions contrast either a black body colour with white roof and door-mirrors, or a white body with black roof and door-mirrors.

Both versions feature black 15-inch alloy wheels and are offered exclusively with the 85ps 1.2-litre Duratec engine.

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