Five-door, £9K Ford Ka+ full details

Low-cost and high practicality for this Fiesta-based Ka

In a major rethink of Ford’s small-car strategy, the new Ford Ka+ will not only kill off its smaller three-door namesake – the Ford Ka city car – but also push the next Ford Fiesta supermini (due in 2017) upmarket.

Unlike the current Ka, the forthcoming Ka+ will be based on the current Ford Fiesta, meaning a five-door body and a great deal more room inside, thanks to a longer wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels).

It’ll cost from just under £9,000 when it goes on sale in the UK later this month, having already gone on sale in other selected markets, including South America and India (where it’s built).

“The B-car value segment is exploding,” Ford of Europe boss Jim Farley told our sister site Auto Express, “Sales have doubled in the past few years. So we’re replacing Ka with Ka+ to compete in that segment.”

“Don’t just think of it as a cheap car,” he continued. “It’s very roomy, will have very low cost of ownership and it’ll have the driving dynamics of a Fiesta.”

Although the new Ka+ is a little shorter than the current Fiesta, it’s very slightly taller and the 270-litre boot (calculated with additional underfloor space) is just 10 litres smaller than the one in the standard Fiesta hatchback. Buyers will also get 60:40 split-folding rear seats as standard.

Farley went on to say about the upcoming Fiesta: “This new car enables us to explore a more emotional Fiesta. We want to give the mainstream customer the feeling of a speciality car, like the Ford Mustang or Ford Focus RS, because it’ll have a strong personality.”

Under the bonnet of the Ka+, there’s just the one engine, in two states of tune, spread over three different versions. Entry-level Studio models will get a 69bhp version of this 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol, while higher-spec Zetec models get an 84bhp version. There’ll also be an ECO version of this car, with low-resistance tyres and economy-biased gear ratios.

The basic 69bhp engine will be capable of doing 0-62mph in 15.3 seconds, dropping to 14.3 seconds in the more powerful Zetec. Both will emit 114g/km of CO2 for £30-a-year road tax, while the ECO version drops that figure to 110g/km, reducing your road-tax bill to £20 a year.

Inside, there are five seats, with room for four tall adults to travel in reasonable comfort. Meanwhile, the interior may not look very exciting (there are hard black plastics everywhere) but the switches and controls will all be lifted almost entirely from the current Fiesta.

The entry-level Studio model won’t come with air-conditioning as standard (it’ll be an optional extra) but will have remote central locking, electric front windows and power-adjustable door mirrors. All models will also come with the MyFord dock – a storage spot on the dashboard where you can mount your smartphone in order to use it as a sat nav.

Move up a grade to Zetec and you get air-conditioning and the first-generation Ford SYNC infotainment system, which is controlled by a small colour screen on the dash. You’ll also be able to specify more options with this trim, including 15-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a leather steering wheel, DAB radio, climate control and electric rear windows.

In terms of safety, Ford is expecting the Ka+ to perform just as well as the current Fiesta, which points to a four-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating. There’ll be six airbags as standard, as well as further mandatory items like electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, tyre-pressure monitoring and at least one ISOFIX child-seat mounting point.

In terms of value, price and space, the Ka+ will be up against the likes of the Kia Rio and Dacia Sandero, although Ford is saying that the new car was actually benchmarked against the current Fiesta. The higher-spec Zetec model will go on sale first, later this month, priced from £9,995, with deliveries starting in October. By then, the entry-level Studio model will have gone on sale, priced from £8,995.

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