Ford has lifted the wraps off a new mini SUV to join the small crossover crowd.
The Ka+ has been upgraded with a new Active range that gets the raised ride height and chunky 4×4 looks that appeal to car buyers these days.
The Ka+ Active sits on a platform that’s been jacked up by 23mm over the standard model.
Roof rails, more rugged bumpers, a black front grille and black wheel arch mouldings all differentiate it from its city car sibling.
Inside you get scuff plates embossed with the word ‘Active’, bespoke seat fabric and steering wheel designs, and all-weather mats to protect against muddy shoes and boots.
The chassis has been tuned up as well, in case of the unlikely event Active owners wish to take their car off road.
There’s a wider track, stronger front anti-roll bars, retuned electric steering, and reworked springs and dampers that Ford says afford a smoother ride over harsh surfaces.
Other features unique to the Active model are new 15in alloy wheels and a new colour, a bronze metallic with the appropriately outdoorsy title Canyon Ridge.
Other versions of the Ka+ are also being updated – albeit more subtly – with mesh in place of the current horizontal grille slats, and standard front foglights and daylight running lights highlighted by C-shaped chrome details.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring systems are offered, as is the excellent touchscreen infotainment system featured in the latest Fiesta.
All models will get power front windows and door mirrors, remote central locking, hill start assist, and Ford’s Easy Fuel system, which makes it impossible to put the wrong fuel in.
The engine now starts with the push of a button and the boot is easier to access with a tailgate-mounted switch for easy opening, in addition to the interior release accessible from the driver’s seat.
The Ka+ will also have Ford’s MyKey system that lets parents choose settings for young, inexperienced drivers, including a maximum top speed.
A common complaint about the current Ka is the 1.2 litre engine’s lack of puff. It’s good news, then, that the updated car gets a new 1.2 litre unit that has 10% more torque than the outgoing engine.
Outputs of 69bhp and 84bhp will be available, with the latter likely to be the one to go for, although a 1.5-litre diesel engine that emits just 99g/km of CO2 is also joining the range.
The updated Ka+ will start from £10,795. That’s around £1,000 more than the outgoing model but to be fair to Ford, a lot more kit has been added.
There’s no word yet on how much the Active version will cost but a premium of around £1,000 sounds about right and would still make it competitive with other small crossovers.