Harking back to an earlier time when cars had character, the Ford KA marked not only a new stance in design for Ford being one of the first models to show off Fords ‘New Edge’ concept. It was a new market stand point altogether as this would be Fords first ‘City’ car.
The mk I released in 1996 looked outrageous in comparison to the jelly mould Sierras and Escort before it. It did however bring with it a sense of fun.
The range was simple; one engine size (1.3) across the range. The Kent way back from mk I Fiesta and later the Duratec 1.3i (2002 Facelift) model producing better economy and performance the Kent engine being noticeably rougher to drive.
Early base models had non colour coded bumpers to be easy to buff out any parking dings and scrapes in city conditions. Whilst revisions and refinement were made in the Ka+ and ka2 models to include luxurious items such as leather seats and air conditioning and CD changers.
Budget motoring was where this car excelled however and with this no frills philosophy. Affordable motoring could be had in relative comfort.
Just be sure to gloss over the NCAP crash test ratings for the MK I, where your knees acted as crumple zones and take regular motorway driving breaks to deal with the road noise resonating through your temples
My Ford Ka Studio
Even by 2003 ford was still churning out the same Ford Ka model branded by now as the Ka studio in brochures (although I’ve never seen any prominent badges displayed on the car itself)
It came with keep fit manual crank windows. Steel wheel and hub cap combination and for one final flourish AM/FM radio with tape deck.
The interior was a grey-scale cloth and seats built up of your finest foam. Injection moulds aplenty within this chocolate box dash, to add a sense of fun a child’s analogue clock proudly sat as a centre piece to the 3 button radio tape deck Fischer Price would have been proud of.
No passenger airbag here – too costly. Instead, a ‘glove box’ that lived up to its name, room for a single glove.
To ensure costs could be saved by every means possible even the parcel shelf was limited to a single string to hold it in.
For all of it’s built for budget features the Ford Ka was a tough old tool. My Ka having been procured after it went toe to toe with a lorry and only suffered a superficial scar on the passenger door.
Bought as a car to help my then girlfriend learn to drive. I used it as workhorse to lug many a load and trips to the tip.
Darren and I gave this car a makeover in 2015 so it could act as a more regal wagon in its twilight years. it was eventually victim to the government scrappage scheme in 2017 having been one of the most endearing cars I’ve owned to date. Having won me over with its terrier-like prowess, scampering happily from one road trip to another.