Size can be a car’s worst enemy in urban situations. Sure, you’ll be able to fit everything and everyone inside a big car but then getting it to where you need to be can produce all manner of headaches.
When the streets are crowded, the lights are red and parking spaces are full or too tight, the small car comes into its own. Ford’s small Ka is a prime example of a modern vehicle designed for the urban setting, so how has it coped with built-up areas on our long term test?
We’re not just talking about the chaos of major city centres here. These days, every moderately sized town has congestion problems of one sort or another and if you do most of your driving in or around one, a city car like the Ford Ka is purpose-built for the role. If you have three kids, play the Double Bass or are a degenerate shopaholic, the space inside a vehicle like the Ka might be a problem. It isn’t particularly roomy but get over that and real advantages start to present themselves.
Like any good city car, the Ka pushes its wheels out to the four corners of its body shell. This maximises the interior space and also enhances handling and manoeuvrability. If not quite a sixpence, the Ka can turn on a manhole cover, opening up endless possibilities for cheeky U-turns and wriggles into parking bays that it would be inadvisable to attempt in a larger vehicle.
It’s a similar story when nipping into gaps in the traffic. It’s easy to judge the Ka’s extremities and Ford has built in decent visibility to help the driver further.
The Ka sits you in quite an upright position behind the wheel, which is great for getting in and out as well as for seeing where you’re going but keen drivers may want a lower, sportier set-up. The same goes for the suspension which feels softer than we’ve come to expect from modern Fords.
Ride quality is very impressive for a small car and speed humps are taken in the Ka’s stride but this model doesn’t quite match the fun factor of the iconic original Ka.
Its compact dimensions and nimble handling make it a breeze to pilot through the urban jungle.
Motorists covering higher mileages or with larger families may want something larger. In town, however, size is very much on the Ka’s side.