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Ford updates the Ka+

Ford has updated its Ka+ hatchback and, in the process, introduced a crossover version called the Active, becoming the second car in Ford's Active range after the still-yet-to-be-launched Fiesta Active, the Ka+ Active sits 23mm higher than the standard hatchback. It features black plastic wheelarch mouldings, a black finish for the upper and lower front grilles, roof rails, a set of unique-design 15-inch alloy wheels and an exclusive bronze exterior colour, called Canyon Ridge metallic.

The same two Studio and Zetec specifications continue for the regular Ka+ line-up, with the changes here amounting to a new mesh grille with a chrome surround, standard fog lamps and daytime running lamps highlighted by a C-shaped chrome detail, C-shaped mouldings at the corner of the rear bumper echoing these new light designs and subtly re-styled bumpers fore and aft.

While all cars in the range feature a grained finish on the instrument panel, durable trim materials in a dark charcoal shade and a number of chrome accents around major switches, handles and knobs, the Ka+ Active also features 'Active'-embossed scuff plates in the sills and a unique-to-the-variant leather steering wheel with cruise control functions and Sienna Hazel stitching. That colour is repeated on the seat upholstery and the stitching found on the chairs, while all-weather mats for the cabin and boot are provided.

Across the 2018MY Ford Ka+ line-up, there are some new technologies thrown into the mix. SYNC 3 on a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen is added, bringing with it Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, while there are also additions of rain-sensing wipers, automatic lights and Ford's Quickclear heated windscreen. All the standard and optional equipment that was available on the pre-facelift Ka+ remains in place here, while there's now a push-button start mechanism and a tailgate-mounted switch to open the boot.

The Ka+, prior to this facelift, had a 1.2-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine available with either 70- or 85hp. The new Ka+ (and the Active) has a 1.2-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine available with either 70- or 85hp. What's changed, though, is that the all-new engine in the 2018MY Ka+ is now a three-cylinder unit, whereas the old motor was a four-cylinder (and Ford refers to it as a Duratec now, even though it called it a Ti-VCT at launch). Anyway, no matter; these three-cylinder petrol engines meet Euro 6 emissions standards, thanks in part to the stop-start system, while - with a core architecture shared by that of the Fiesta ST's forthcoming 1.5-litre, 200hp turbocharged triple - the new Ti-VCT makes up to 10 per cent more torque between 1,000- and 3,000rpm. Fuel economy is said to be improved by four per cent as a result.

However, if it's fuel economy you want, then rejoice in the fact that Ford has now added a diesel option to the Ka+ line-up. It's actually the most powerful motor you can get in the budget hatchback, the 1.5-litre TDCi delivering 95hp, 215Nm from 1,750- to 2,500rpm and CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km. All models employ a five-speed manual transmission as standard.

Ford still says the Ka+ has been tuned for European driving tastes, but the Active goes even further, featuring a wider track, larger front anti-roll bar and bespoke-tuned electronic power assisted steering (EPAS) for 'optimised crossover handling.' The dampers have also been recalibrated and fitted with a hydraulic rebound stopper to improve the ride on harsh surfaces, while Active Rollover Protection works with the car's ESC to offer additional security when carrying roof loads.

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Author: Carzone

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