The Ford Ka+ supermini has been updated in Europe for the first time since its late-2016 launch, picking up a crossover-inspired “Active” model like the one added to the seventh-generation Fiesta lineup, and offering an optional diesel powerplant to compliment the available three-cylinder petrol engine.
The Ka+ is Ford’s most affordable automobile in the European market, and while its diminutive size and modest power would make it a poor match for America’s roads and sensibilities, the small car is quite at home across the pond; Ford has sold more than 61,000 examples of the supermini since late-2016.
The Ford Ka+‘s diesel mill of choice is a 1.5-liter TDCi (Turbo Diesel Commonrail injection), capable of up to 95 horsepower, and around 160 lb-ft of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. The engine boasts “optimized combustion chamber design, turbocharging and sophisticated fuel injection” to deliver supreme refinement, according to Ford. Smart Regenerative Charging, which boosts fuel efficiency by engaging the alternator primarily under coasting and braking, has been deployed.
The other available engine is an all-new, 1.2-liter I3 Ti-VCT petrol-burning unit that borrows its architecture from the 2018 Fiesta ST‘s new turbocharged, 197-horsepower I3. It delivers up to 10 percent more torque from 1,000 to 3,000 rpm compared to the outgoing 1.2-liter Duratec, and is expected to deliver around 4 percent better fuel efficiency. Like the engine it replaces, it will come in both a 70- and an 85-horsepower version.
Both powerplants mate to a new, low-friction five-speed manual transmission with Teflon-coated internals, low-friction bearings, and a synchronized reverse gear.
Ford Ka+ Active
The crossover-inspired Ford Ka+ Active sits 23 mm higher than the standard Ka+, and features enhanced exterior styling, complete with unique rocker and wheel arch cladding, a unique black finish for the front upper and lower grilles, unique 15-inch wheels, and roof racks. Inside, scuff plates embossed with the “Active” name and a unique leather steering wheel design further set the new model apart.
The Ford Ka+ Active features a few subtle differences beneath the skin, as well. These include a wider track, a stiffer front anti-roll bar, retuned dampers with hydraulic rebound stoppers, and a unique Electronic Power Assisted Steering tune, all of which help provide “optimized crossover handling,” says Ford.
Belying the Ford Ka+’s low sticker price, Ford’s latest SYNC 3 infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is now available, as is a full suite of additional creature comforts. These include rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, a “Quickclear” heated windshield, and heated seats.
With the refresh, Ford has also added push-button start and a tailgate-mounted switch for convenient access to the trunk.
The refreshed Ford Ka+ and Ka+ Active will go on sale in Europe later this year, costing €9,990 and up in Germany, and £10,550 in the UK.