Ford Ka (2008 – 2016) At A Glance
As you may well have read or seen elsewhere, I have a FIAT 500. And I'm not going to pretend the new Ford Ka has nothing in common with it.
It's basically the same car, or Ka, however you spell it.
The market quite likes it, but is not prepared to pay as much for a Ka as for a FIAT 500.
Ford Ka 2009 Range Road Test and Video
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Real MPG average for a Ford Ka (2008 – 2016)
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Reviews for Ford Ka (2008 – 2016)'s top 3 rivals
Ask Honest John
What is causing my Ford KA to lose power when driving up hills?
"I have just bought a 2013 Ford KA. It has 13,000 miles on the clock. We live on a steep hill and it can barely get up the hill from a standing start with one driver and no luggage. Our old KA could do it no problem fully laden with two adults! The car dealer says the engine is smaller than the old KA, the car heavier and in order to get enough power/momentum to get up the hill we have to rev the engine hard. Is this right? "
Presumably, this is the 1.2-litre petrol engine that develops 69PS. It's a very slow engine - the 0-62mph dash takes a leisurely 13.4 seconds. This means it will require a lot of hard work on challenging hills. That said, it might be worth looking at the car's service history. The mileage suggests the car has spent most of its life standing outside. If it hasn't been serviced for a long time then dirty air and fuel filters may be impeding its performance.
We want a small car for less than £2000. What advice would you give to a clueless buyer?
"We need a second car for local trips (the school run, popping to the shops etc - no long motorway journeys). I don't want to spend more than £2000 and I've narrowed it down to three (I think), all with full service history and falling around 2008-2010. They are Toyota Aygos 1.0-litre (mileage 45-79k); Hyundai i10 1.1 or 1.2 (mileage 44-55k); and Ford Ka (2009-10) 1.2 (50k or 84k). My head says Hyundai. What advice would you give to a clueless cash car buyer?"
At this price point, it's best not to focus too much on searching out a particular model. Keep an open mind and seek out a good car for sale locally. You might find a hidden gem – a car that's been well cared for, being sold by an honest private seller and for a good price. Evidence of regular maintenance is desirable (although don't necessarily expect a fully-stamped service book), as is a long MoT test. We'd generally advise avoiding trade sellers at this price range – there are quite a few unscrupulous sellers shifting cheap cars that have been plucked from auction and are fit for scrap. That said, you might find a reputable dealer selling a good car that's been taken in part-exchange.
The Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto and Toyota Aygo (as well as the very similar Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1) are all good choices that'll be cheap to run, although their popularity with young drivers pushes prices up. You could also look at the slightly bigger Ford Fiesta – the 1.25-litre engine is very reliable and there are loads about (so you can be picky about condition).
If my MoT fails and I want to scrap it, can I drive it back from the test centre without undertaking the repairs?
"I have an ageing Ford KA, which iI'm confident will fail its MoT test this summer. Having spent hundreds of pounds in previous years on MoT repairs, should it fail again this year I am inclined to scrap it. I can find no mention of this on various websites as an option following an MoT failure. If I choose to take this action, can I drive the car home and onto a breakers yard? If not, how do I proceed?"
I think you will be forced to spend some money on the car to assess its condition. Obviously, if the faults are classed as Dangerous, the car will fail the MoT and be deemed illegal to use on the public road until they are fixed. I would recommend speaking to your local garage about your options before the MoT - they may be willing to scrap the car for you in a worst case scenario.
I want to replace my aging Ford Ka with something reliable, but a bit more robust - what do you suggest?
"I'm looking to change my car in 6-12 months time. I drive a Ford Ka, which I have had since new and it will be six years old this year. I currently drive along a lot of A and B rural roads, so I'm looking for something a bit more robust. However, I'm not sure whether to go down the SUV road or upgrade to a slightly bigger car. Whatever I get will need to be economical and reliable as a priority. Also, I don't have a family to drive around so I'm wondering whether I actually need a very large family car for one person. I would love to have a convertible or something sporty but not sure that's the most practical option. I've got absolutely no idea what to even look at."
How about a Ford Fiesta? It's bigger than your Ka, so will feel more robust, while also being reliable and cheap to run. It's also fun to drive and you could opt for the rugged Active model if you want something a little more SUV-like. Also, consider small crossover SUVs like the new Ford Puma, Peugeot 2008 and Volkswagen T-Cross. These have higher seating positions - which might be good for the kind of driving you do - without being significantly bigger or more expensive to run than a hatchback. As a left-field choice, if you don't need much in the way of practicality, take a look at a Mazda MX-5. They're reliable and cheap to run, while also being sporty and fun to drive.