Aren't dreams great? Just this week, I've scored a hat-trick for Manchester United on my debut, married Holly Willoughby and played guitar with Metallica to 100,000 people. I'd be willing to bet that something amazing has happened to you this week too, (obviously not Holly, you bigamist) - we all love dreaming. I must admit however that as I reach the peak of my REM each night, the last thing I dream of is a used Ford Ka. I've fallen off pavements lots and buildings for that matter, but I've never found myself with both hands behind the wheel of a blue ovalled used Ford Ka.
With Ford priding themselves on making affordable, yet well-built, reliable cars, our car-loving sub-consciousness heads to 0-60 in 0.000005 second land. You see, owning a Ford isn't dream material, you can actually have one yourself and it's precisely because of that, we all wish we had something different. To put it another way, your boyfriend or girlfriend may be decent looking and nice company, but Johnny Depp or Cameron Diaz and their like would lead you astray in two seconds. It's the attraction of wanting something you can't have that is so appealing. Tell you what though, after Cameron's been in bathroom for 3 hours putting on layer ten of her make-up, you'll wish you had your old partner back to cook your dinner. In short, don't desire what you can't have, make sure you choose wisely what you can. The end. . . except I should probably tell you why I think the Ford Ka is (arguably!) better than the Bugatti Veyron I left Holly washing at Old Trafford.
The Ka I drove was, in short fabulous. Despite the design being 12 years old, it still looks very funky, hence the large influx of young females that carry them around in their handbags. The model I drove was a 2004 registration ‘style’ - one up from the bottom of the range and with body-coloured bumpers to distinguish this hierarchal advantage. Inside, my six foot and a bit frame had no trouble fitting in and my legs remained comfortably below my waist, rather than around my ears as first feared.
The dashboard was well laid out and the driving position was versatile enough to cope with my lanky arms. The highlight though, was Ford's pandering to my neon light fetish, with beautiful green light bathing the white speedometer dials. I was also pleasantly surprised with the engine the car had tucked away in front of me. All Ka's come with a nippy 1.3 litre engine and when you combine this with the car's diminutive proportions, 0-60 is achieved in 0.000005 seconds.
On my travels, I encountered all the obstacles and pitfalls you'd expect to find when driving around town: roundabouts, road-works and Reliant Robins. The Ka swiftly dealt with these with well-weighted steering and decent grip from it's titchy 13 inch wheels. Considering the Ka is essentially a bubble on these little wheels, the lack of body roll was arguably the car's most impressive achievement as I slipped in and out of boy racer mode. Boot space is atrocious mind. A quick stop at the corner shop will have your passenger holding the milk and groceries, as there is no room in the boot for a flea. Also the gearbox is a tad clunky on occasion, but these are minor issues in what is a truly superb car, that is head and shoulders above the competition. Besides, if you wanted a car with boot space, you'd buy a Volvo estate - or a hearse - if they are mutually exclusive.
The reason I drove a used Ford Ka rather than a sparkly new one is simple. If Ford are selling their cars so cheaply, then the build quality must suffer as a result too. By driving a four year old version, I wanted to see if the joints were creaking and a hip operation was required. As the above road test clarifies, Ford seem to have cracked the impossible - the ability to cheaply build a reliable car, that is fun to drive. The Ka can comfortably compete against the other rivals in it's class and stacks up very favourably - that's why they are so popular with so many people - owning a good, reasonable car is not the stuff of dreams.
So next time you are lusting after what you can't have remember this: you can have 333 of these fun cars for the price of my Bugatti and for that you get a cool little car that is so light on your wallet, you needn't dream of owning one. The boot is larger than the Bugatti's too.
Kevin Creese is an experienced automotive journalist currently working to promote Sandicliffe Ford in Leicester