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Ford Ka (1996-2006) Buying Guide

Ford Ka (1996-2006)
Ford Ka (1996-2006)Ford Ka (1996-2006)Ford Ka (1996-2006)Ford Ka (1996-2006)Ford Ka (1996-2006)Ford Ka (1996-2006)Ford Ka (1996-2006)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

It may have looked radical when launched, but with so many Kas on our roads Ford's baby is no longer the eye-catcher it once was. However, it's still a great buy, offering masses for the money. While early examples can be low-rent with spartan equipment levels, find a newer, well-equipped example and the Ka could offer you everything you need - as long as you don't do lots of long motorway trips.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Plenty of choice
Low prices
Great handling
Low running costs
Only available as three-door
Getting long in the tooth
Rear seat leg room tight
Key Dates 
9/96Ka on sale with immobiliser, driver's airbag and radio cassette. All models have 59bhp 1299cc engine
2/97ABS now available as an option
6/97Ka 2 arrives with metallic paint, PAS, central locking. Ka 3 also appears with alloys and air-con.
2/00Ka 2 becomes Ka Collection
10/00Ka 3 rebadged as Luxury, with leather seats and CD/tuner.
2/03SportKa and StreetKa appear, with 1.6-litre engine. Ka now fitted with 69bhp 1297cc Duratec powerplant
Checklist 
  • Corrosion of door wiring loom connectors leads to electric window and central locking failures.
  • Replace front pads at 18,000-20,000 miles or expect to replace discs every 25,000 miles.
  • Structural corrosion of early Ka driver's door sills.
  • Steering racks are prone to failure, whether power-assisted or not.
  • On pre-February 2003 cars, if the engine is tappety it probably needs a new set of cam followers; a costly fix.
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