Ford Ka+ (2016 – 2020) Review

Ford Ka+ (2016 – 2020) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Ford Ka+ is not a very exciting car to look at, but it does offer plenty of cabin space, drives sufficiently well and is practical.

+Impressive levels of comfort and refinement. Spacious interior and large boot. Well equipped. Good ride and very comfortable.

-Not as efficient as its rivals. Bland styling. 1.2 petrol engine is characterless and slow.

Insurance Groups are between 1–5
On average it achieves 86% of the official MPG figure

Ford borrowed most of the Ford Ka+ from its Indian market line-up, but retuned the suspension considerably to meet European drivers' demands. As such, it’s decent to steer, but not as much fun as a Ford Fiesta. The engines are the weakest link in the Ford Ka+ armoury, while the likes of Kia Picanto, its Korean stablemate the Hyundai i10 or the solidly built Volkswagen Up are more rounded and appealing. Read on for our full Ford Ka+ review.

When new, the Ford Ka+ majored on being the firm’s cheapest new model, with its sub-£9k price pitching it squarely against the best five-door small hatchbacks on the market.

Good build quality and low running costs made the Ford Ka+ easy to recommend, although some were disappointed by the bland styling and sluggish performance. These traits are still relevant for the Ford Ka+ as a used buy.

Despite the name, the Ford Ka+ is not actually related to the Ford Ka – it’s actually based on the Ford Fiesta. Yet, despite being shorter than the best-selling small hatchback, the Ford Ka+ is a proper five seater and has a usable 270-litre boot.

There were only two trim levels to choose from – Studio and Zetec – but both versions got lots of kit as standard, including front foglights, electric door mirrors, Bluetooth and electric front windows.

However, unlike the competition, there are no colourful customisation options for the interior, which means you have to make do with lots of dull grey plastic. Ford added the pseudo-SUV Active model towards the end of the Ford Ka+’s time on the new car price lists.

Despite being an entry-level car, the Ford Ka+ doesn’t feel below par when it comes to quality. All of the doors shut with a satisfying clunk and the switchgear in the cabin feels on par with anything you’d find in the Ford Mondeo or seven-seat Ford S-MAX.

Soundproofing levels are also impressive, which means the cabin is quiet and a relaxing place to sit.

The Ford Ka+ impresses on the road with a smooth ride that does a good job of ironing out bumpy roads and potholes. The steering is precise and light, which makes it easy to navigate tight urban streets and exploit gaps in traffic.

The large windscreen and wide door mirrors also provide excellent visibility, which makes reversing and parking a stress-free experience.

The engine and gearbox choices are limited. In fact, there is just one engine – a 1.2-litre petrol that comes in two versions, 70PS or 85PS. And there’s only a five-speed manual gearbox.

Both returned an official 56.5mpg, but even in its most powerful form, the Ford Ka+ is slow footed, with 0-62mph taking 13 seconds. Opt for the 70PS unit and you’ll be waiting 15 seconds to hit motorway speeds, which makes busy junctions and slip roads a frustrating experience.

Despite its shortcomings, the Ford Ka+ is a decent small hatchback, even if it sorely lacks the company’s excellent 1.0 Ecoboost engine. The interior gets all the basics right, with lots of space and impressive build quality.

Running costs are also low, but, there’s no hiding the fact that the 1.2-litre engine is weak on performance. The dull interior only enhances the fact that the Ford Ka+ desperately lacks the fun and style of its rivals.

Ask Honest John

Where is the fusebox on a Ford Ka+?

"Where can I find the fusebox for Ford Ka + 2018? Looked under bonnet of car as other sites say the fuse for washer pump is there. Tried there but no single fuses that I could see. Looked in glovebox and not sure if it's behind there but can't see how to take it off."
The fusebox is located in the glovebox, but you need to open the glovebox, squeeze the sides of the lid and manoeuvre it downwards in order to access the box itself.
Answered by David Ross

How does hill start assist work?

"I have a 2016 Ford Ka + but don't fully understand how 'Hill Start Assist' works, being reluctant to release the handbrake on a hill before increasing revs and engaging the clutch."
According to Ford, Hill Start Assist temporarily stops you rolling backwards or forwards when making a hill start. The system works by maintaining pressure to the braking system for an extra 2.5 seconds, giving you more time and control as you move your foot from brake pedal to accelerator. However, if you are more confident doing a traditional hill start and using the handbrake as normal then you may as well carry on the good practice.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

What is a good car for a new driver?

"We've promised our granddaughter a car for her 17th birthday, including insurance, total budget about £8000. She has not yet passed her test, and is not a racy driver ( pleased to say ), but she is popular and will no doubt end up ferrying friends around once she's passed her test. Have you any suggestions as to an appropriate car, and things to look out for, please?"
For a new driver a low insurance group is vital, so we would suggest cars such as the Ford Ka+, Kia Picanto, SEAT Mii, Skoda Citigo or Toyota Aygo, all of which are among the cheapest cars to insure. A large proportion of the budget will be taken up with insurance so it is sensible to factor this in when looking at purchasing a car. We would also recommend looking for a car with a full service history whenever possible.
Answered by David Ross

What would be a good first car for a new driver?

"Can you suggest make and model for a first car for a newly qualified 18 year old driver? Low cost please, including insurance (say less than £5k)."
For a new driver a low insurance group is vital, so we would suggest cars such as the Ford Ka+, Kia Picanto, SEAT Mii, Skoda Citigo or Toyota Aygo, all of which are amongst the cheapest cars to insure. With a budget of £5000, a large proportion of that will be taken up with insurance and a used car will mean a lower premium in any case, so we would suggest this is the best option.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Ford Ka+ (2016 – 2020) cost?