Exhaust rusted out and split between the downpipe and the silencer. This was because the car went from barely being used (averaging perhaps 10 miles a week) to regularly doing a 25 mile trip everyday. This is because I live in the south of Manchester and went to a college in Cheshire.
Random, bizarre electrical fault that cured itself. The central locking (which you could lock yourself from within the car by pushing the handle inwards) acquired a mind of its own and would lock \ unlock itself at random. I couldn't leave the car by itself because of this.
Hydraulic tappets regularly went out of adjustment, despite supposedly being a self fulfilling prophesy. Was never a serious problem, it just created a dent in the (already marginal) performance. They were always noisy.
Lost performance once on a country road because I was trying to cook a sausage on the exhaust manifold. It had dislodged the lambda sensor. Once the sausage was chucked, power was restored.
Thermostat leaked coolant.
Air con intake frequently got blocked with leaves.
Handbrake always needed adjusting. I was doing plenty of handbrake turns though. What a car for that! The short wheelbase and ice made that a right laugh.
I was given this car by my mum. Lucky bugger me, no? A great first car it has to be said, especially when your transport at the time consisted of a ragged 1966 Renault 10 with a sporadic misfire, leaking door seals and an automatic gearbox that never wanted to work.
For a 1300 (OK, 1299cc) I thought it was somewhat underpowered. On gradients and on the motorway you normally had to drop down a gear to get the engine in its powerband. I suffered a bout of road rage because of that, because a bloke in a Rover 75 V6 reckoned I wasn't going fast enough up the hill. I had my foot to the floor and was redlining in 3rd. I gave the sign of displeasure at his actions, he proceeded to stop and throttle me (I had my window down as it was a hot day).
The handling was incredible for a car of that size. Impressive grip levels in the dry and wonderful feedback through the power steering. All this and it was still an easy car to park.
Brakes were pretty appalling. Wear rates were fine, but for a car weighing 980 kg dry a larger servo is needed.
Standard fit stereo (CD 6000) an absolute boon. Tight bass and a great stereo reception.
Air con powerful, but hit the performance and fuel economy hard. Air con, motorways and overtaking required a lot of planning.
Back seat was cramped, along with the boot. The back seats didn't even fold flat. Parcel shelf was cheaply constructed.
Seats gave you back ache during long drives.
I stayed out of the fast lane in my Ka. Beyond 80 mph it was not comfortable. Or quiet.
Very easy to drive. Easy to modulate clutch, nice throttle, progressive (if underservoed) brakes.
Exterior metal very thin and bent easily. Paint finish a bit dodgy in places and easy to scratch, although the large bumpers took scrapes with aplomb.
It was my first 'proper' car and based on the above evidence, I didn't give it the respect it deserved.