Ford Ka hatchback

£8,945 - £11,445

The Ford Ka is the product of a joint project with Fiat; a non-retro version of the Fiat 500 with a Ford badge on the bonnet. Because it's a bit less upmarket than the Italian car, it's also cheaper to buy, but unfortunately its rather dated engine also makes it costlier to run.

Unlike the Fiat, which has seen engines updated and changed throughout its life, the Ford is offered with just a 1.2-litre petrol engine. During that time, it has been left behind by its rivals which in many cases are free to tax. The 68bhp engine offers decent performance in town, but struggles with motorway driving, where it lacks power and becomes rather noisy. But the Ford Ka's suspension goes some way to making up for it, being more comfortable than the Fiat 500.

Overall, the Ka needs a makeover to be competitive in such a hotly contested sector. Our car of the year, the Hyundai i10 and the Skoda Citigo are more refined and practical, while the Fiat 500 has far more character and wider choice of engines with lower running costs.