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Ford Ka (1996 - 2008)

4
reviewed by Andy 94 on 14 August 2013
3
reviewed by kargo on 9 April 2013
4

1.3 Litre

reviewed by Leif on 26 April 2012
4
Overall rating
5
How it drives
4
Fuel economy
5
Running costs
4
Cost of maintenance and repairs
4
Experience at the garage or specialist
5
How practical it is
5
How you rate the manufacturer
5
Overall reliability

Cheap to buy, cheap to run, reliable, basic town car

This is a basic town car. Cheap to buy and run and, thus far, reliable. There is plenty of space in the front, and space for two or three in the back although I would not want to travel a long way in the back. The worst thing about the back seats is getting in and out which is not easy, and probably not practical for the elderly and/or infirm. The car drives well, and is very stable. I've had mine up to 110 mph on the clock, which probably means about 100 mph, and it feels quite safe. Performance is nothing special, although dropping a gear or two gets a bit of grunt from the engine. It is more than enough for about town, and leisurely long distance driving. Road noise can be excessive at speed, so this is not the car for long journeys, although I've done Luton to West Wales, and Slough to south Devon many many times. Mine does not have air con, which is a pain, as opening the air vents funnels fumes from the cars in front into the cabin. There is no recirculate feature. Fuel consumption is good. In summer I easily get 45 mph, and more like 48 mpg at the moment. This drops to about 40 mpg if I drive in town a lot, with traffic lights and so on. The car is now almost 9 years old, rust is appearing, and I'm told it will need work at the next service. Ford servicing is cheap, and insurance is cheap too. I had a few issues, but these were fixed under the 3 year warranty. The cabin is okay, nothing to shout about, it is after all a basic car. Overall I am pleased with the car. I would prefer 5 doors, and less road noise. Really the only 'fault' is the road noise. I'm sure there are better cars available now, but this was at the top of the list when I bought it. I'll certainly give Ford a look when I buy my next car, although I hope to run this one into the ground.

Added 26 April 2012: The car was scrapped a few weeks ago, 10 years old, and uneconomic to repair. Now that I have a longer commute, it is more economical to buy a new car with better mpg, lower road tax, and cheaper servicing (as new). The Ka required lots of work on the suspension, and welding due to rust. Yes this car is basic, and has an old engine, but it is fun to drive, perhaps because you feel so close to the road without all the usual plastic interior padding. Most Ford garages seem good, with the exception of the local one which well and truly fleeced me for the last but one MOT (they tried to prevent me seeing the original MOT certificate and hence finding out that most work done was for advisories, not fails). At the end of 10 years my Ka had done 150,000 miles with one clutch, and no serious faults, but lots of work on the suspension in the last few years, probably due to a lot of driving on rough country roads. And of course it was starting to rust quite badly, due to salt on the roads I was told.

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