What is it?
THE Ford KA+ is Ford’s new Indian-built city car that replaces the outgoing rebodied Fiat 500-based KA car.
Designed to slot in below the established Fiesta supermini, the KA+ is more practical and spacious, but has it got the measure of city car rivals such as Vauxhall’s Viva? We took on UK roads in the range-topping Zetec version to find out!
- On the road is where this £10,295 KA+ impresses – although sadly not in the performance department! Euro spec KA+ models benefit from a stiffer front anti-roll bar, plus new springs and damper and hydraulic engine mounts similar to the current Fiesta – the result is an impressively compliant, refined ride on the Zetec’s 15-inch alloys. There’s more body roll in corners than a Fiesta, but it’s still a tidy handler and more fun than the opposition, with sharp, responsive steering. So the KA+ offers the same keen driving experience as the rest of the range. The 114g/km CO2 figure and 56.6mpg fuel figure equal a 19% charge.
- The KA+ might be 40mm shorter than the current Fiesta, but that doesn’t stop it being impressively roomy inside. The KA+’s tall shape equals plenty of head and legroom for four to get comfortable inside – even five at a push on shorter journeys. The driving position is comfortable too and despite all that interior space, the KA+ continues to impress with its practically-shaped 270-litre boot.
- Zetec is top of the KA+ range and boasts decent standard equipment including manual air-conditioning, a DAB radio, cruise control, electric front windows and 15-inch alloy wheels.
- There’s no clever downsized Ecoboost petrol engine under the bonnet of the KA+, which is a shame. Instead, in this Zetec’s case you get a refined 84bhp 1.2-litre petrol mated to a five-speed manual. We’ve got no complaints about the 56.5mpg fuel economy, or the 114g/km emissions and the five-speed manual. It’s a good thing it has such a sweet change, as this engine’s lack of torque means that you’ll be using it a lot!
- Originally the South African Ford Figo, the KA+’s five-door styling is tidy enough, but it’s not as distinctive and is actually fairly anonymous compared to the two previous generations of KA.
- The Indian build quality is much improved over the flaky Ecosport SUV, but the KA+ still feels distinctively cheaper and less robust than a Fiesta.
Verdict on the Ford KA+ 1.2 Ti-VCT Zetec
Ford may have traded style for driving competency with the KA+, but the fact is, that compared to rivals, the baby Ford has more interior space, equipment and is better to drive.
So how does it compare to its key rival – the Vauxhall Viva? Closest model to the 1.2-litre Ti-VCT Zetec is the 1.0-litre in SL trim. The Vauxhall gets off to a good start as it’s cheaper, by £430.
Yet, although the Ford is faster and better to drive, for an SME the emissions and tax band are going to be key and this is where the Vauxhall takes the lead, with 104g/km and a 17% charge versus this Ford’s higher 19% charge with 114g/km emissions.
The lowdown on: Ford KA+ 1.2 Ti-VCT Zetec
|Doors and body style||five-door hatch|
|Engine/gearbox:||1.2-litre 4cyl petrol/5-speed manual transmission|
…..and what it costs
|Monthly business rental (ex VAT)||£n/a|
|Road tax (VED)||£160 first year|
|Company Car Tax Bands 2016/17 to 2018/19||19%, 21%, 23%|
|Benefit in kind 2016/17 to 2018/19||£1,946, £2,150, £2,355|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)||£844/£70|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)||£1,687/£141|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)||£389/£32|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)||£778/£65|
|Figures correct at time of posting||November 2016|
|For latest figures||Use our company car tax calculator|