2002 Ford Ka Luxury 1.3 from UK and Ireland
When it's good it's really good, when it's bad it's awful
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.
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