2005 Ford Ka Sport SE 1.6 Duratec 8v from UK and Ireland
Fantastic fun to drive - try one
Nothing, although only had it 2 days and 100 miles!
I needed something relatively economical and fun to go to work and back in. I believe the Sport Ka is a bit of a bargain if this is what you are looking for.
Inside it's not a lot better than a normal Ka, but with leather seats and door trim. On the outside the car has a wider track, 16" alloys and a subtle body kit. It also has a slightly more agressive looking front.
Slotting the metal gearknob (borrowed from the Puma!) into first, the clutch is light and the change is crisp. Although the engine is not powerful by todays hot hatch standards, it develops most of its torque at around 1500RPM. The result is a very easy and responsive drive when a nice little surge after changing gear. Coming from Hondas, this is a bit foreign at first. Although not fully run in, the engine gets a bit breathless over 4000RPM - however it appears to be loosening up the more I drive it.
Handling is a revelation. Lovely pointy and adjustable steering with very little roll around corners.
Although it isn't a hot hatch, I'd say in sensible daily use around town it's as fast as my old 106 GTI which was more peaky. Give the 106 even a slight prod and you'd be long gone! If you expect this car to be anywhere near as quick as the 'classic' hot hatches (106 GTI, Clio 182) in a straight line you'll be disappointed.
Bad points? Nothing really yet. The 'performance' exhaust booms at around 70mph, making the 1.6 sound a lot more pushed at speed than the standard 1.3 Ka - although it isn't. More than keeps up on the motorway with four people inside.
I got mine (with metallic, aircon and leather) for £9K brand new. Glad I didn't pay £11K for the same car a year ago - ouch. Depreciation looks to be savage, but I plan to keep this for a long time that is irrelevant to me.
It won the EVO magazine > £10K group test. They rate it four and half stars, and if anyone's reviews/ratings are to respected, it's got to be those of EVO.
A great fun car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th May, 2005
Original poster here - it should be than it won the EVO < £10K group test!
Yep. It is handling extremely well.
It also got a 7th place in a Danish Car magazines "Handling Day" challenge among BMW's, Porches, Mercedes, Lotus and 30 other very expensive sport cars.
Original poster here. 6000 miles later, the car is still doing well. The engine has loosened up nicely and is starting to provide more useful power throughout the rev range. Previously it run out of puff at around 4000RPM, now it's revving happily to the red line.
Bad points? The interior hasn't worn terribly well and the clutch pedal mechanism has got slightly sticky, making driving in traffic a bit annoying. It's booked in.