Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Ford Ka hatchback (2009-2016) - Engines, drive & performance

Ford Ka is fun on country roads and agile in town, but struggles on the motorway

Carbuyer Rating

2.7 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.6 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.2 out of 5

While the Ford Ka is still fun to drive, the Skoda Citigo is arguably even better. Its thrummy three-cylinder engine never feels as strained as the Ford’s, while its gearchange, steering and suspension are all a match for the Ford’s set-up. The Skoda is also slightly smaller than the Ford, making it even better suited to darting through heavy traffic.

Ford Ka petrol engine

As we mentioned already, there’s a 1.2-litre petrol with 68bhp, which accelerates the car from 0-62mph in 13.4 seconds and tops out 99mph. It’s well suited to town driving and most country roads, but it becomes noisy at speed and feels out of its depth on the motorway. You only need to look at the Fiat 500 to see what the Ford missed out on. Its hi-tech 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol engine is much smaller than the Ford’s, but produces 105bhp, which is enough to take the Fiat from 0-62mph in a nippy 10 seconds.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The original Ford Ka had a reputation as an agile hatchback that was lots of fun to drive, and some of that agility made it into the second-generation model. You sit much higher up, which doesn’t help with the sporty feel, but the Ka has plenty of grip and enough steering feel to keep keen drivers happy. Ford usually offers well judged suspension that makes its cars comfortable during day-to-day driving while also cutting out body lean, and the Ford Ka is a good example of this – although it can be a bit jiggly on bumpy roads at slower speeds.

To make good progress in the Ka you need to work the standard manual gearbox hard, but it has a positive shift action that makes it enjoyable to use. It’s great fun eking out every last ounce of the Ka’s performance without even breaking the speed limit. Ford doesn’t offer the Ka with an automatic gearbox.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

New MINI John Cooper Works first look! Petrol and electric hot hatch coming this year
MINI John Cooper Works camo front quarter
News
20 May 2024

New MINI John Cooper Works first look! Petrol and electric hot hatch coming this year

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
24 May 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Speed awareness course: what to expect and who’s eligible?
Police car - open boot
Tips and advice
17 May 2024

Speed awareness course: what to expect and who’s eligible?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

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
17 May 2022

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
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

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

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024