Ford Ka+ Active (2018 – 2020) Review

Ford Ka+ Active (2018 – 2020) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Ford Ka+ Active is an SUV-inspired twist on the conventional Ford Ka+ small car, but it offers little in the way of any extra capability. It handles well and is comfortable, though.

+Better looking than the standard Ford Ka+. Improved driving position. Practical for its size.

-Short on safety equipment. Small engine range. Modest performance and economy.

The Ford Ka+ was the smallest offering in the company’s line-up. As it was based on the Ford Fiesta platform, it offered a decent drive and was good value for money. The line-up was then expanded with the creation of the Ford Ka+ Active, which used SUV design cues and raised suspension, as on the Ford Fiesta Active. Read on for our full Ford Ka+ Active review.

It’s not hard to spot the visual differences between the Ford Ka+ Active and conventional Ford Ka+.

The ride height has been increased by 23 millimetres, there is black cladding around the sills, wheelarches and bumpers, and the front grilles are finished in black, too.

There is also a front skid plate, but this sits on the lower bumper rather than running beneath the car, so will offer little in the way of additional protection.

Roof rails are added to make carrying larger items easier.

Under the bonnet, the Ford Ka+ Active is available with a choice of a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol offering 85PS, or a 1.5-litre diesel. Other models in the Ford Ka+ range were offered with a 70PS version of the petrol, but this is not available in Ford Ka+ Active guide.

Both are fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, with front-wheel-drive only.

The Ford Ka+ Active also benefits from additional specification, which includes 15-inch alloy wheels, the option of Canyon Ridge metallic paint and interior upgrades such as Active scuff plates and a leather steering wheel.

All-weather floor and boot mats are fitted to cope with muddy boots, while the seats are finished with striped fabric and stitching unique to the Active model.

Because the Ford Ka+ Active is based on the Ford Fiesta rather than the previous generation Ford Ka, it offers a more substantial driving experience.

The raised suspension certainly helps around town, absorbing poor road surfaces to deliver a usefully comfortable ride.

The downside is that there is a little more body roll compared with the regular Ford Ka+, but for many buyers this will be a worthwhile trade-off.

Similarly the Ford Ka+ Active steers with a good level of precision, giving confidence to the driver and making it an enjoyable small car from behind the wheel.

It is not as much fun to drive as the contemporary Ford Fiesta, but it is better than the majority of its rivals in this area of the market.

Less impressive is the performance of the petrol version. It’s adequate at best; the 1.2-litre unit is not particularly keen and can become noisy when pressed.

The 1.5-litre diesel offers a useful increase in performance as well as better fuel economy. But as the majority of versions sold were petrol, diesel variants may be hard to find.

The Ford Ka+ Active offers some useful benefits over the standard car without much in the way of compromise. But if you are looking for a mini-SUV with better credentials, there are alternatives which provide more in terms of off-road capability.

What does a Ford Ka+ Active (2018 – 2020) cost?