2002 Ford Ka 1.3 from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

It's more like a toy than a Ka!

Faults:

What an idiot I was. I fell in love with the exterior body design, such that I did not do a thorough inspection. I would normally not write a review so early on a car, since I have just bought it, but this car is my exception. To be fair, I will update this thread as the KMs go by to give a better balanced review.

My main gripe is its interior design. Number one is the distance separating the accelerator and brake pedals. When I test drove the vehicle, I was wearing running shoes, but after taking it home and putting on my work boots - the pedals are too close! My boot hits both pedals at the same time. This is a design fault - no doubt in my mind. Or it's not designed for Aussie size 12 work boots.

Maybe I am too rough, but within 1 week, I have pushed the radio button into the dash, broke off the seat back release lever, and within 200km burned out the clutch.

The clutch repair will cost me $300 for parts and $600 for labour (a tight job apparently).

That said - I still like the aggressive stance this little Ford portrays!

General Comments:

Only available in Manual in Australia, which would explain why it was not a great replacement for the Ford Festiva. Essentially a European Ford with some weird design features. For example, the bonnet release lever is located under the steering column exactly where you would expect the tilt steering adjuster to be. The indicator stalk is on the left side, and the spare wheel is stored under the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd August, 2014

2002 Ford Ka Standard 1.3 from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Avoid unless you're a mechanic or have money to spare

Faults:

Bushes needed replacing at about 80,000 kms.

Clutch needed replacing at about 83,000 kms.

Steering rack needed replacing at about 87,000 kms.

Suspension repaired + 2 new tyres at about 90,000 kms.

Stereo needs replacing at about 90,000 kms.

General Comments:

This is a comfortable car to drive, and economical petrol wise, BUT repairs are very expensive.

I've had this car for around 5 years and it was fine for the first 3 years, but in the last 2 years, in addition to the 6 monthly service and WOF, I've had to have the bushes ($NZ400), clutch ($NZ1,000) and steering rack ($NZ1,000) replaced.

Just had the suspension repaired + 2 new tyres ($NZ700), and now, 2 weeks after that, the stereo needs to be replaced (estimated $NZ400) and the car is only 7 years old.

I've never had this happen in any other car I've owned (and this is the latest year manufactured I've owned). Other than tyres, brakes pads and normal service, my 1984 Honda City needed few repairs until it failed a WOF because of rust and would have been too expensive to fix (I had it for 8 years or so), and it was the same for my last car, a 1989 Mazda Familia (aka as Mazda 323) until the automatic transmission went and again would have been too expensive to fix (I had that car for about 6 years or so).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st September, 2009

2002 Ford Ka Luxury 1.3 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

When it's good it's really good, when it's bad it's awful

Faults:

The car developed a steering problem where it would veer violently while braking/accelerating/changing gear - turned out to be a fault with the differential, which cost over £600 to fix. This problem had also caused the left tyre to wear excessively around the outside edge, which meant I had to replace the tyre twice within 6 months.

Suspension bushes need replacing around every 10,000 miles or less - which is apparently standard with after-market bushes on a KA.

Bodywork is very prone to rust in certain areas (around petrol cap, around back wiper mount, around door sills where protective covers are not applied). Older models often require welding to the sills.

Back wiper tends to work intermittently, although fiddling with the connection usually fixes it.

General Comments:

I have owned two KAs - one was a basic 1999 model, now I have a 2002 Luxury. I think the experience of owning a KA is down to pot luck - some never encounter any major problems, while others tend to fall apart around you.

My first KA never had anything majorly wrong with it except rust both on the upper bodywork and the structure underneath. Obviously visually that wasn't too good, and it always needed some welding to pass the MOT at around £100 a time. I owned it from 54,000 miles to 80,000.

I bought my current KA a year ago, and since then I have had to pay around £800 fixing various things. Altogether I am quite disappointed with this second KA compared to the first.

However, for what I initially paid for the car, it's not too bad. KAs are cheap to buy because they are cheaply made - which is something you have to accept. When you see forums full of the disadvantages of owning a KA, it can easily put you off - but the amount of KAs you see driving around every day must count for something. They're a popular car because they are cheap and have a reliable engine - you just need to be as savvy as possible when buying one and keep an eye out for the common problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd September, 2009