Bud­get hatch­back gets SUV looks

Cheap­est Ford gets re­vised looks, new en­gines and more kit, plus an Suv-in­spired Ac­tive vari­ant On sale Septem­ber Price from £10,795

What Car? - - Contents - Steve Hunt­ing­ford Steve.hunt­ing­ford@hay­mar­ket.com

THE ORIG­I­NAL FORD Ka was a stylish city car, whereas today’s Ka+ is a small hatch­back that pri­ori­tises prac­ti­cal­ity over fash­ion­able looks. How­ever, Ford is hop­ing to once again ap­peal to the heart with a new Ac­tive vari­ant of the model, in­spired by that most vogue of car types: the SUV.

The Ka+ Ac­tive fea­tures a ride height raised by 23mm, roof rails, tougher-look­ing bumpers, a black front grille and black wheel arch mould­ings. In­side, there are scuff plates em­bossed with ‘Ac­tive’, be­spoke seat fabric and steer­ing wheel de­signs and all-weather oor mats to pro­tect against muddy shoes.

The reg­u­lar Ka+ is also be­ing up­dated, al­beit more sub­tly, with mesh in place of the cur­rent hor­i­zon­tal grille slats, stan­dard front fog­lights and day­light run­ning lights high­lighted by C-shaped chrome de­tails.

There’s no word yet on what equip­ment will be tted as stan­dard, but rain-sens­ing wipers, au­to­matic head­lights, cruise con­trol and Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto smart­phone mir­ror­ing will all be of­fered, as will the 6.5in touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem from the lat­est Fi­esta.

Per­haps the biggest weak­ness of the cur­rent Ka+ is its un­der­pow­ered 1.2-litre petrol en­gine, so it’s good news that this is be­ing re­placed by a new 1.2 that’s claimed to have up to 10% more torque at low revs. Out­puts of 69bhp and 84bhp will be avail­able, with the lat­ter the one to go for.a 1.5-litre diesel en­gine that emits just 99g/km of CO2 has also joined the range.

Prices for the new Ka+ start at £10,795 – a £1000 in­crease on today’s model. Ford hasn’t yet con rmed how much the Ac­tive model will cost, but we’d ex­pect it to at­tract a fur­ther premium of around £1000.

The Ka+ Ac­tive joins the Fi­esta Ac­tive, which was re­vealed last year, while an Ac­tive ver­sion of the next Fo­cus fam­ily car, which is due later this year, is also planned.

New Ka+ Ac­tive has 4x4-es­que styling ele­ments

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