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Ford Ka (2009-2016) Buying Guide

Ford Ka (2009-2016)
Ford Ka (2009-2016)Ford Ka (2009-2016)Ford Ka (2009-2016)Ford Ka (2009-2016)Ford Ka (2009-2016)Ford Ka (2009-2016)Ford Ka (2009-2016)Ford Ka (2009-2016)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

If there's one thing that's key to making a small car succeed it's keen pricing - something that Ford has always excelled at. But buyers don't buy Fords just because they're cheap to buy; they're also practical, cheap to run and usually fairly reliable. While the second take on the Ka formula didn't have the cheekiness of the original, when it was launched in 2008 it was good enough to attract plenty of plaudits. Unfortunately, because some of the biggest strides in car design and technology have been in the smallest cars, a lack of development on Ford's part means the Ka now feels dated. But at this end of the market most buyers tend to want good value above all else, and that's something the Ka offers in spades.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Cheap to buy
Cheap to run
Lots about
Looks smart
Good to drive
Limited model range
Lacks safety kit
Some models are spartan
Cheaply made
Key Dates 
1/09The Ka Mk2 is launched with 68bhp 1.2 petrol or 74bhp 1.3 diesel engines, each with a five-speed manual gearbox. The diesel engine would prove unpopular so it was killed off in 2013. The trim level hierarchy is Studio, Style, Style+, Edge, Zetec then Titanium, while Grand Prix, Digital and Tattoo trim packs allow buyers to personalise their cars with distinctive colours and graphics.
3/11The Tattoo is superseded by a Metal option, based on the range-topping Titanium edition and featuring extra black and chrome trim.
  • Many owners have had problems with the windows misting up in heavy rain, even with the air-con in use.
  • Failure of the electric power steering isn't unusual so check for any heaviness, vibrations or pulling to one side.
  • Flooded footwells can result from the pollen filter being incorrectly fitted, or leaves filling the drain holes at the base of the windscreen.
  • Some early Kas suffered from the wiper blades tangling with each other; most have had modified linkages and blades fitted by now.
  • The top mounts for the front suspension can fill with water, leading to rusty securing nuts and creaking when the wheels are turned.
  • The standard headlights are poor; it's worth fitting higher-output bulbs for better illumination.

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