Chunky new Ford Ka+ Active takes takes on Geneva 2018

Published: 07 March 2018

► New Ford Ka+ Active model
► Soft-roader look for Ford's baby
► Part of 2018 model year refresh 

After Ford annouced the Ka+ would be refreshed earlier in 2018, the whole model range has made its official debut at the year's Geneva motor show, including the new, chunkier Ford Ka+ Active.

It's the same thinking as applied to the new Fiesta family; this is no crossover or SUV, more a bodykit wrapped around the Ka+ range to give a flavour of go-anywhere derring-do.

Full preview of what else will be at the 2018 Geneva motor show

What is the new Ford Ka+ Active trim level?

Ford calls it a 'crossover version', but essentially it's a regular Ka+ hatchback lifted with a +23mm increased ride height and rugged exterior styling including a unique grille design, roof rails and the now-customary black plastic cladding for that wellies-n-waders look. The interior is lifted by Active kick plates on the sills and contrast stitching on the upholstery and steering wheel.

Ford Ka+ Active: new for 2018

The chassis tuning is different, too, with a wider track, unique front anti-roll bars and different tuning for the electric power steering and dampers 'for a smoother ride over harsh surfaces,' according to Ford. Wheels are 15-inch alloys.

'Last year Ford sold more than 200,000 SUVs in Europe for the first time, and demand for SUV and crossover models has never been higher,' said Roelant de Waard, vice president of sales and marketing for Ford of Europe. 'Our new Ford Ka+ Active model will this year make the crossover affordable to even greater numbers of customers, with aspirational styling, sophisticated technologies customers would expect to see in much more expensive cars.'

What's new on the 2018 Ford Ka+ hatchback range?

New engines filter across from the Fiesta range. Highlights include the latest 1.2-litre Ti-VCT petrol in 69bhp or 84bhp states of tune, and the first diesel offered in the Ka+, the 1.5 TDCi mustering 94bhp.

Ford Ka+ hatchback: prices, specs and photos

There's also a modestly refreshed wardrobe, with a new mesh grille, day-running lights and restyled bumpers front and rear. It's not a very big change, if we're being honest. Of more interest is the arrival of Ford's latest Sync3 infotainment system, which is good news for smartphone fans. It comes with a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen and syncs with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The 2018 model year Ford Ka+ range: prices and on-sale dates

The lightly facelifted Ka+ range goes on sale later in 2018 and Ford UK has confirmed prices will start at £10,795. Ford has sold more than 61,000 versions of the Ka+ across Europe since it was launched in autumn 2016.

Interior of new 2018 Ford Ka+ range

In essence, the Ka+ range takes over where entry-level Fiestas left off: it's not designed to be a cheap 'n' cheerful entry-level car, more a basic but roomy small car.

Read all our Ford car reviews here

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet