How to buy a classic motorcycle in SA?

'There are a few things you need to consider,’ writes bike guru Dries Van der Walt.

Top family cars in SA

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post has gone from a 'SpeedQueen' to a supermom. Check out her list of top family cars.

Reader test: Ford Ka

2010-08-05 07:30

Derrick Cramer, Randburg

We've all heard time and again about how for something to be classified as art, it must be visually appealing and serve no purpose. Well, what happens when that something is anything but pretty and totally useful, what would we call it? I don't know about you, but I'd call it a 2007 model Ford Ka.

Not very pretty, but gets the job done

With a ballooned head, pointy front end and large round bottom, the designer of the Ka didn't plan on winning any art awards, but finds high praise when it comes to accessibility, and surprisingly enough comfort too.
As a man of 6ft, you would expect me to encounter one or two difficulties when entering and operating a hatchback of this size, but the honest answer is I have none, not by a long shot.

The balloon-like roof of the car ensures I have plenty of headroom in the front and rear, and as for front leg room? With the Ka's engine taking up slightly less space than your average cat, front legroom is in abundance.

Still not impressed? Well good, because there's more. With the rear seats folded down, you have a "boot" space that will dwarf all but the largest saloon cars, and thanks to the awful looking round boot lid lifting up to reveal a rather large "rear entry point", you can get items far larger than you'd expect into the back of this little car. Can you fit a washing machine in the boot of your family sedan? No? Well you can in a Ka.

Nippy for its size, and a frugal drinker too

A 1.3 litre engine producing 51kW and 106Nm of torque isn't what one would really call nippy, it's not even close to being sprightly, but is enough for a car weighing in at only 887kgs, whose main focus is town driving.

What's more, if you need to pop round to the local building supplies shop to pick up a couple of pockets of cement, you can. Got 4 friends who need a lift? It may be a squeeze but the engine just keeps on giving and giving without breaking a sweat.

And the trade off for lack of absolute power on tap? 19km/l if you're travelling on the highway, 14km/l if you find yourself in town more often than not. For a student paying for petrol, or a rep doing a million miles a month, those figures don't get much sweeter.

A small car that's big on usefulness

What we have here is a small car whose aim is to punch above its weight. Providing ample space for a range of applications along with an impressive fuel economy, the Ford Ka won't win artistic awards or break speed records, but it does exactly what it aims too, and more.

Inside Wheels24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.