3 year old Micra or Ka? - jeremyb
I'm looking at buying either a 30k 2000W/X Ford Ka or Nissan Micra 1.4 at auction, both of which I would hope to snag for around 3 grand. Can't decide which, and would appreciate advice. These are my requirements:
1. My wife is on a provisional and needs to learn to drive.
2. She's 28, but I suppose I still need a low insurance group.
3. I want to sell the car privately within a year (assuming she passes) for the same amount I paid for it.
4. I want something fairly quiet and smooth riding, so it doesn't drive me insane on the motorway.
5. I want mid-40s plus economy, and reasonable torque/power.
6. I don't want to be getting it fixed this year, so I want reliability (read nightmares about Ka).
7. I'm borrowing the 3 grand, so I can't spend more.
8. If possible I'd like the balance of a manufacturers 3 year warranty to give me auction peace-of-mind.

So I reckon it's narrowed down to the Ka or Micra 1.4 - which is the better bet?
3 year old Micra or Ka? - Obsolete
I have owned a Ford Ka and a Micra 1.0. The Ford Ka only has 3 doors and it can be hard to get in the back for the elderly/infirm. It can also be a bit noisy at motorway speeds compared to the Micra though it is very smooth. In fact the Ka feels significantly more stable than the Micra at speed. It can pop along at 90 and feel very smooth. At that speed my Micra felt distinctly ill at ease. I would suggest you take a motorway test drive in each to check the ride and noise. Overall the Ka handles much better than the Micra (much less corner lean, more stable in cross winds) but they are both pretty easy to drive.

IMHO the Ka is also a lot more stylish and less geriatric.

A little mentioned point is that the (basic) Ka does not have a recirculation switch on the heater which is annoying in traffic as you suck up fumes.

Also I think other road users tend to show no respect for the Micra as I get much less aggro in the Ka. My (red) Micra seemed to make some road users see red!

Ford garages seem a bit poor. Nissan garages tend to be better. It must be something to do with how Nissan and Ford manage their relationship with dealers.

Resale values on both seem quite good.

I prefer the Ka but both are decent budget cars.
3 year old Micra or Ka? - Keith S
Want to sell it in a year for what you paid? Ha!

Seriously though, I agree with the point about the Micra handling.

However I would say Ford dealers are better than Nissan, at least in my experience.
3 year old Micra or Ka? - Dave_TD
Want to sell it in a year for what you paid?

Picking up a W-plate car (or Ka!) for £3k at auction should ensure this happens, I would have thought.
My cousin bought an R-plate Ka last November for £2850, at the time the price range for reasonable examples was £2500-£3000.

Jeremyb - If your SWMBO is only 28 (and hey, mine\'s only 24!) then she will probably be at least a little concerned about any potential car\'s image - in which case for her a Ka would win hands-down.
3 year old Micra or Ka? - jeremyb
Fortunately she doesn't care about image! So does the Ka still win?
3 year old Micra or Ka? - Obsolete
I think part of it is the deal you can get at the time that might make the decision for you.
3 year old Micra or Ka? - Dave_TD
The residual values are likely to be helped by image though. The Micra has just been replaced by a completely new shape, whereas the Ka is about to receive a makeover while remaining fundamentally the same to look at (a bit like the Focus did 15 months ago).
The Ka is also more popular now as a new choice than it has been in any year since launch, with 40,000 being sold in 2002, the most yet.
Of course, this will make the Micra cheaper to buy, model-for model! You pays your money...
3 year old Micra or Ka? - jud
I wouldn't even consider the kA the 1.3 engine is ancient, and on a recent post a new buyer found the underneath covered in surface rust, the micra has proven reliability and a two chain cam. Along with the usual Nissan reliability.
3 year old Micra or Ka? - DavidHM
Jud - you're not implying that the Ka has a belt though are you? Unusually it's a choice between two chain driven cars.

FWIW, I can't decide. The Micra undoubtedly has a better engine, more space and practicality, and is probably quieter (if not more stable) at motorway speeds.

The Ka, on the other hand, handles better, looks more modern and will be easier to sell on due to low insurance and obvious cuteness. A franchise service might also be a little cheaper.

Long term reliability isn't the most important thing because he's not proposing to keep the car for that long. Depending on what's available, I'd be leaning towards a Ka2 or Collection, which comes with electric windows and central locking as well, for easier resale, but it's not clear cut in my opinion.


Value my car