Ford Kuga Review
The Ford Kuga is a trendy SUV with a hint of sportiness. Its handling is fun, and its practicality holds it above most rivals. Looking very much like the father of the Ford Focus, with a puffed face and bulged body. In fact, its drive is almost as sharp as the Focus. Offering several trim levels including hybrid options to keep your costs low and green credentials high, you can balance value for money, sportiness, and luxury equipment, too.
The Ford Kuga is a nippy stylish looking car especially the beautifully designed new Vignale version. You can choose from either a standard simple but elegant Zetec trim, the luxurious and sophisticated Titanium trim, the sporty St-Line or ST-line X, and the uniquely designed and exclusive Vignale.
Being a large SUV Ford has ensured that the driver is safe in terms of visibility for instance, while parking forward or reverse. Every version of the Kuga is installed with front and rear parking sensors as standard. Front and rear video cameras however are available as part of the pricier Driver’s Assistance Pack.
The Zetec has standard features including LED day time running lights and rear spoiler, 8-inch touchscreen, navigation embedded modern and wireless mobile phone charging pad, lane-keeping system, pre-collision assist with autonomous emergency braking and cruise control, and 17-inch shadow silver alloy wheels. The other 4 trim levels are built from this model.
A level up from the Zetec model is the Titanium which has, additional to Zetec’s features, LED automatic headlamps and front LED fog lamps with high/low beams, Sporty seats with a partial leather trim, dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control (DEATC), premium audio system with 10 speakers and sub-woofers, 4.2 inch coloured instrument cluster and 18-inch magnetic machined allow wheels. An Instrument cluster gives the driver current information about their drive such as speed, distance driven, heat levels and fuel levels.
The ST-Line comes in two versions the standard ST-Line and the ST-Line X. Additional to the Titanium, ST-Line version has 18-inch rock metallic alloy wheels, sports seats with red stitching, fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and an upgraded ST-line body kit. The body kit includes a large rear spoiler, red brake calipers, black roof rails, flat bottom steering wheel and alloy pedals. The ST-Line X version however has 19-inch machined alloy wheels, a power operating panorama roof, hands free tailgate and heated front seats with additional seat adjustments.
Finally the Vignale model, additional to the Titanium’s features, has full LED quad projector headlamps with automatic glare free, full premium unique to this model leather seat trim with heated front seats, 10 way powered driver’s seat, memory and heated steering wheel, Vignale body kit and metallic paint, full digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster, automatic parking assist, heads up display, hands free power tailgate and 19-inch luster nickel alloy wheels.
Drive & Comfort
The Kuga is a comfy drive. As an SUV the driving position is lofty, if you are a particularly tall individual you may feel that the driving seat is too high up in relation to the dashboard. There is plenty of support and adjustments on the driver’s seat, including lumbar support on all the trim levels, for a comfortable back position while driving. There are several adjustment possibilities to choose a comfortable steering wheel position too.
To eliminate possible issues of visibility when driving this bulky SUV, Ford has installed front and rear parking sensors in every model as standard. But the front and rear camera option is only available with the more costly Driver’s Assistance Pack. Apart from in the Vignale models that come with an impressive noise cancellation system, you can hear the tyres rumbling away when driving over rough surfaces. But there is very limited wind noise on motorways. On the pure electric mode, the car is stealth, until the petrol engine fires up.
Soft suspension throughout, but it is a little bouncier when driving through uneven roads compared to some rivals such as the Peugeot 5008 and Honda CV-R. However, if you are to go for the Kuga ST-Line spec, as a sporty drive you will receive firmer suspensions. The steering overall is pleasant with quick and precise movement, and the drive feels in control. If you choose the Plug-in Hybrid version bear in mind that it is carrying the battery in the back, which is heavy and has noticeable effects on the amount of lean when driving round corners.?
The new Kuga is bigger and wider than the previous models. There is decent amount of headroom for the driver and passenger, without elbow bumping. The legroom is good, with a large cubby space at the bottom of the centre console big enough to store your mobile phone and wallet. There are narrow front door pockets and two large cupholders between the seats with a soft dish to store items such as your keys.
The Kuga is class leading for its spacious back seats and legroom, providing generous amount of space for 3 adults - even if you are stuck in the middle seat. The back seats can be moved forward and backwards, this is especially good when you need extra boot space or for passenger leg room. They can also be folded 60/40 for more space for luggage.
The strategically generous boot space design with no lip at the entrance to cause a nuisance when lifting items in and out, and a square shape boot floor to avoid the intrusion of the wheel arch. The space under the boot floor is useful for storing the charging cables of the Plug-in Hybrids, or for the spare wheel – you cant fit both though. If you choose the Vignale or ST-Line X trims you will have a hands-free electric tailgate as standard adding a hint of convenience.
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