RAC Cars News


New Ford Ka+ set to have low-cost appeal

By raccars Published


The new Ford Ka+ aims to appeal to drivers who might otherwise choose a used car rather than a new vehicle by boasting a price tag of less than £9,000. The Ka+ will go on sale next month with prices starting at £8,995 and the promise of cheap running costs to boot.

The new Ford Ka+ also aims to deliver the space of a supermini for the price of a city car. And, despite the name, this model is not an off-shoot of the Ka, which is being retired as Ford realigns its small car strategy. The Ka+ is almost as big as the Ford Fiesta and uses many of its components, including its chassis technology.

A new Ford for a new era

The original Ka’s launch during the mid-nineties was revolutionary in the city car sector thanks to its engaging handling and affordable price. However, the second-generation cars did not prove as popular and the new Ford Ka+ aims to follow current market trends rather than looking to the past.

Ford’s European head Jim Farley said the Ka+ would fit into the ‘exploding’ B-car value market, offering five-door practicality and plenty of space for the minimum outlay. The new Ka+ is a true five-seater and, although it has 40mm shorter than the Ford Fiesta, it is 29mm higher. It has a large 270-litre boot which includes 13 litres of space hidden under the floor.

The car also boasts no less than 21 different storage areas and the boot space can increase to 849 litres when the rear seats are folded down.

A platform for perfection?

The Ka+ is underpinned by the Ford ‘global B’ platform, on which the Fiesta is also based, and extensive work has been done to create a refined vehicle suitable for the European market. The Ka+ is built in India and forms part of Ford’s plans to target fast-growing markets but the company has also taken note of the specific demands of the European market in the wake of a lacklustre sales performance by the Ford EcoSport compact crossover.

Refinements for Europe include an anti-roll bar at the front which benefits from a 47 per cent increase in stiffness, new dampers and springs, more sound deadening, hydraulic engine mounts, a change in door seals, turbulence-banishing aero tweaks, more stiffness to the front sub frame, different rear suspension bushes, revised suspension and faster steering. This makes it a fairly comprehensive overhaul.

Under the bonnet of the new Ford Ka+

The Ka+ has a standard 1.2 petrol engine, offering either 84bhp or 69bhp, and is coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox. It is claimed it can achieve 56.5mpg and release 114g/km of emissions, regardless as to which version is chosen.

Trim level choices

The lowest-cost trim level is the Studio, where prices start at the aforementioned £8,995. The Zetec, meanwhile, is £1,000 more expensive. The Studio package includes electric front windows, Bluetooth, air conditioning and a MyFord Dock system allowing smartphones to be clamped to the dash.

It is expected that the Zetec will account for 80 per cent of all sales, however, and this includes 15-inch alloy wheels, DAB radio, AppLine and Ford’s SYNC system. There is also the option to add parking sensors, rear electric windows, heated front seats and automatic climate control.

The new Ford Ka+ Zetec 85 will start at £9,995 and feature the 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, which produces 84bhp and 112Nm of torque. It takes 13.3 seconds to travel from zero to 62mph and has a top speed of 105mph.

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