2005 Ford Ka 1 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Cheap, but you're aware it's cheap

Faults:

23k - Heater would only push out hot air (part replaced).

23k - Driver side wiper blade came loose, colliding with the passenger side one on the motorway (Bolt tightened - still needs done every month or so).

24k - Rear passenger side spring snapped (part replaced).

26k - Heater would only push out hot air again (part replaced - again).

37k - Gearbox making rattling noises and crunching slightly changing gears. Local garage recommends running it until it dies.

In addition, there is some rust around the base of the rear wiper and the top of the petrol filler neck.

General Comments:

The good points :-

Cheap. We paid 3k from an independent garage for this 23,000 example when it was 4 years old (with a full service history). Couldn't find anything nearly as new for the price.

Economy. We usually keep tabs on the MPG from tank to tank, and it's never dipped below 40mpg. Usually hovers around the 46/47 mark.

Easy to drive. Bought for my wife, she finds it nice and easy to drive with good visibility, a light clutch, and decent enough brakes.

Seat comfort. Perhaps subjective, but we drove to London and back in it (500ish miles each way - we're in Scotland) and didn't experience any seat discomfort.

The bad points :-

Reliability. Although the majority of issues we've had have been niggly or common, we are disappointed with what looks like some sort of gearbox failure. Especially considering the car is only used for a 30 mile commute to work along a dual carriageway, and barely sees any town driving. My 21 year old MX-5 hasn't broken in any way in the 3 years I've owned it; I wouldn't have expected so many problems with a car just under 5 years old.

Rust. I wouldn't expect any rust on a 5 year old car. Probably should have done my homework before hand though, looks like a common problem.

Road noise. At 60mph+ road noise does become fairly apparent. Not so bad in the front seats, but not really possible to hold a conversation with people in the back. I am however, aware this is intended as a town car, so might not be an issue for some people.

Summary :-

Probably alright for low mileage, around town work, but I wouldn't subject it to anything more than that. Feels like with age, it will become a real problem. We're already tempted to sell on and go for something a little older, but with a better reputation.

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

Review Date: 21st January, 2011

2005 Ford Ka Base 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Much more than simply a cheap car - great fun too!!!

Faults:

Nothing actually failed, but...

The coolant level needed to be regularly topped up from new and this was never resolved, despite a couple of attempts to fix it.

Needed new discs and pads at 25,000 miles - discs corroded.

Surface rust started to appear quicker than I would have liked.

General Comments:

I really enjoyed driving and owning my Ka. I bought it pre-registered with 2 miles on the clock for £4795. It was a fantastic bargain. I sold it 2 years later for just over £3300 - £750/year depreciation is outstanding!

The 1.3 litre engine was smooth, nippy and economical, regularly returning 40mpg even when driven hard. Easily capable of long journeys and would cruise at motorway speeds quietly and comfortably.

Handling was fantastic. The Ka really is like a grown-up go kart! The power steering was well weighted, very direct and body roll was minimal. Great fun to throw about on country roads!

Servicing costs were reasonable (for a main dealer) and I found a dealer that did the first two scheduled services for £103. OK, pretty much just an oil and filter change each time, but that's all you get from most dealers and they'd charge a lot more.

I bought it with the intention of keeping it for a year, but kept it for two years because I enjoyed driving it. You can't say that about many so-called budget cars.

The only slight niggles were the things listed above - persistent coolant 'leak', brake discs at 25,000 miles (which I thought was a bit too early) and most worryingly, surface rust starting to appear in several places. If a stone chip was left for even a short time during winter (salty roads), it would start to rust. Also, the lip under the sill and the painted metal areas in the engine bay and boot were starting to rust. Also, the curved area just behind the bottom of the doors is a magnet for stones thrown from the front wheels. Get stone chip protectors for this area or it WILL rust.

All in all, one of the best cars I've owned. Cheap, reliable motoring. If the dealer had fixed the coolant leak, Ford had galvanised the bodywork and the brake discs had lasted a bit longer, it would have been close to perfection! (:o)

If you're looking for a cheap car that doesn't feel or drive like a cheap car, look no further - buy a Ka!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th May, 2008