In-depth Reviews

Ford Ka+ hatchback (2016-2020) - Engines, drive & performance

An engaging driver experience highlights the shortcomings of the engine fitted to the Ford Ka+

Carbuyer Rating

2.7 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.6 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.5 out of 5

Because the two cars share mechanical underpinnings, if you buy a Ford Ka+ you’re arguably getting a reskinned Fiesta Mk7. That’s great news when it comes to the driving experience, as the Ka+ is just as involving to drive as its larger brother. Accurate steering makes it easy to place on the road, while the slick five-speed manual gearbox keeps things pleasant and the suspension resists body lean well, while doing a decent job of ironing out potholes and pitted tarmac.

Ford Ka+ petrol engines

Things are a little less rosy under the bonnet, though. While the Ka+ sits on the same platform as the old Fiesta, it doesn’t get that car’s more appealing engines. Instead, Ford has decided to offer the Ka+ with a slightly old-fashioned 1.2-litre petrol engine in two power outputs.

The 69bhp version takes 16 seconds to go from 0-62mph and that, with the best will in the world, is slow. Upgrading to 84bhp means you’re forced to choose the more expensive Zetec model (itself a £1,000 option), but once you’ve done that, getting the extra 15bhp is only £300. We advise you do this, as the extra power means the Ka+ takes 13.6 seconds to go from 0-62mph; by no means an impressive time, but significantly swifter than the basic model.

Whichever version you choose, though, the engine fails to impress. The limited power and performance on offer means you need to work the engine quite hard and it’s not that eager to rev or enjoyable to push.

That’s a shame, as if you can get past these limitations, the Ka+ is genuinely enjoyable to drive. Even when faced with bad tarmac, there are few underlying flaws with the Ka+’s suspension, it remained smooth and comfortable at all times.

Recommended

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest
Jeep Cherokee SUV
15 Dec 2020

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest

Most Popular

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks