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New KA+ hatchback joins Ford small car line-up

Ford has added an all-new KA+ five-door hatchback model to its range.

Joining the brand's small-car line-up alongside the Fiesta, the KA+ offers a new alternative for buyers who want a spacious, ‘well-equipped and high-quality’ small car at an 'an affordable price'.

“Ford has a long history of offering affordable small cars that are practical, economical and fun-to-drive,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company. “KA+ is true to that tradition, packing a huge amount into a compact car that delivers agile driving dynamics and a comfortable interior with class-leading front headroom and rear legroom.”

Based on Ford’s global small-car platform, the company says the KA+ offers generous space for five people at an overall length of less than four metres. Slightly shorter than the Fiesta, but 29 millimetres taller, the interior is optimised for front headroom of 1,002mm, rear legroom of 896mm and rear hip room of 1335mm. Ford says the interior has enough room for a two metre tall passenger to sit behind a two metre tall driver.

Featuring 270 litres of luggage space plus 60/40 split-folding rear seats, 21 stowage locations for small items are also dotted throughout the cabin including ‘MyFord Dock’ in the centre of the instrument panel that enables occupants to store, mount and charge mobile devices such as phones and navigation systems.

Front door bins can each hold a 1.0-litre bottle, a 0.6-litre bottle and a small umbrella, while a hidden stowage bin within the end of the instrument panel is only accessible when the driver’s door is open, allowing valuables to be stored out of sight.

The exterior design features Ford’s high-mounted trapezoidal grille with large, swept-back headlamps. All KA+ models offer an integrated finish with chrome detailing for the front grille, together with body-coloured bumpers, door handles and door mirrors. A two-piece rear fascia with black insert reduces future replacement costs in the event of low-speed accident damage.

The interior comes with a grained finish on the instrument panel and ‘hard-wearing, contemporary’ trim materials in a dark charcoal colour scheme. Chrome accents are applied to door release handles, centre console control knobs and air vents.

Power comes from a simplified engine line-up based on an efficient new 1.2-litre Duratec petrol engine. Available with a choice of 70PS and 85PS power outputs, the 1.2-litre engine is derived from the same family as the 1.25-litre engine in the Fiesta, and features twin-independent variable camshaft timing technology to ‘enhance performance, fuel efficiency and emissions’ says Ford.

Combined with a standard five-speed manual transmission, the 1.2-litre engine has been tuned to deliver smooth and responsive performance. Fuel efficiency has been enhanced using low-friction engine oil and regenerative charging, which saves fuel by maintaining efficient charge levels in the vehicle battery by capturing ‘free’ electrical energy when drivers coast or brake.

Low rolling resistance tyres and enhanced aerodynamic details, such as an optimised front lower spoiler lip and grille openings also contribute to improved efficiency, with both engine options achieving CO2 emissions of 114g/km and combined fuel consumption of 56.5mpg.

To enhance crash performance nearly 50 per cent of the KA+ body is constructed from high-strength steels, including the floor, front and rear chassis rails, window pillars, front bumper beam and passenger door beams. Standard safety equipment includes six airbags, Electronic Stability Control with Hill Start Assist, and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System that can advise drivers with a warning light when a tyre is significantly under-inflated.

Two trim options are available; the ‘Studio’ offered with the 70PS engine and the ‘Zetec’ model which will be offered with both 70PS and 85PS. All feature the chrome front grille, front fog lamps with day running lights, power front windows, electrically operated door mirrors with side indicators, perimeter alarm with remote central locking Speed Limiter and Ford Easy Fuel.

The higher spec Zetec adds 15-inch Alloy wheels, manual air-conditioning, Ford’s SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system, a leather wrapped steering wheel with remote audio controls and Cruise Control as standard.

The new Ford KA+ starts at £8,995 OTR, while ‘Black’ and ‘White’ Edition models with colour contrast styling will be available to order later this year.