Popular mid-sized SUV for family friendly motoring
- Great to drive
- Relatively cheap to run
- Practical design
- Lots of safety systems
- Looks more interesting after 2016
- Ride is on the firm side
- Media system lags behind rivals
- Not as capable off-road as looks suggest
- Resale values not as strong as rivals
This is the second generation of the Ford Kuga – an SUV that has become increasingly popular with those looking for safe family motoring and a commanding driving position with more practicality than your average hatchback.
It’s 8mm lower, 4mm narrower and 81mm longer than the first generation, but when launched it suffered criticism for its looks, which were a little derivative, prompting comments that it looked more like a jacked-up Focus than the car it replaced.
That’s great news because this sector of the car industry is still expanding, and rivals are many and varied. Competing cars include: the VW Tiguan, Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 along with the SEAT Ateca, Skoda Kodiaq, Audi Q3, BMW X3, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Lexus NX and even the Range Rover Evoque.
Low-tax engines for new Ford Kuga
There have been numerous engine and gearbox options on sale over the Kuga’s lifecycle so far. Some of the standout powertrains include a low-tax, high-fuel economy 1.5-litre diesel along with a 2.0-litre, all-wheel drive automatic version offering a 2.1-tonne braked towing weight.
It’s fair to say that the Kuga isn’t the last word in off-roading capability, but when fitted with the all-wheel drive system it is capable of heading onto fields or muddy tracks.
The focus is very much more steered towards delivering a proficient road drive instead, and we can report Ford has done a good job here. The ride and handling are very impressive, and you can now spec features such as automatic parking, a powered bootlid and an electrically retractable towbar to make life easier still.
Smart, well-appointed and safe
Inside, the Kuga is really well put together. Its cabin isn’t as smart as VW’s Tiguan, for example, but manages a practical blend of style and suitability for family car buyers.