New Ford KA a big plus

The new Ford KA+
The new Ford KA+

When the marketing gurus add a plus sign to the name of a brand, it is fair to assume that you are getting something extra. Space is the ingredient that Ford promise in the KA+, the smallest car in their catalogue and compared to others in the segment they deliver on that promise with a surprisingly big interior from such a small frame.

I have travelled further in the KA+ than most other cars that I test, with a trip to West Cork thrown in to my normal weekly workload and while it may not be aimed at buyers who put up big mileage, the little KA+ was reasonably comfortable in the circumstances.

Being an A segment car, it packs a lot into its tiny shell. Legroom, headroom and elbow room is really impressive. It won’t seat five, but four adults will be comfortable and there are enough storage areas to meet their needs. Boot space is restrained by size too although not as restrictive as some of the competition.

Like most Ford models ,the KA+ handles itself really well and there is sufficient feedback to make the drive a positive experience. As expected it is terrific around town with parking in tight spaces and buzzing in and out in traffic made simple. Out the country it is what it is; a small car with attitude. Speaking of attitude, I do wish that drivers of bigger cars would treat small car drivers with more respect and not bully them on the road.

On the minus side, the 1.2-litre 85PS Zetec engine didn’t quite live up to the task and needed a lot of encouragement especially on the open road and in the hilly sections of the journey. It has a five-speed manual gearbox and it had to be worked hard to maintain enough momentum at times.

It takes 13.9 seconds to reach a cruising speed of 100km/h, and this seemed like an age when the terrain put the car under pressure. It also makes safe overtaking difficult and not worth the effort at times.

Fuel consumption suffered as a result with a return of 7.5L/100km and, while that seems high for a small car, it had to be refuelled regularly because of a small tank and over 1,500 kilometres during the week. CO2 emissions of 110g/km put it into Tax Band A3 with an annual charge of €190.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.