Popular mid-sized SUV for family friendly motoring
- Great to drive
- Relatively cheap to run
- 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
The Ford Kuga is consistently one of the Blue Oval’s most popular models in the range, and it’s a safe and solid option for family buyers looking for an SUV that’s good to drive. It sits between the EcoSport and Edge in the company’s SUV range.
There’s a huge amount of competition, though, with rivals left, right and centre in the form of the Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda Karoq and SEAT Ateca from the VW Group, as well the likes of the Peugeot 3008, Vauxhall Grandland X, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V.
The Kuga was treated to an update in 2016, bringing in styling changes to make it consistent with the rest of the Ford line-up, as well as much-needed alterations to the interior to reduce the amount of buttons and make room for the latest Sync3 infotainment system.
There’s a comprehensive engine range with petrol and diesel choices, manual and Powershift automatic transmissions and the choice of all-wheel drive on particular models.
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 TDCi 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.
The Parkers Verdict
The Ford Kuga sells in big numbers for Ford, and with good reason. It's large inside, good to drive, and well equipped. It's also available with some tempting deals if you are prepared to shop around.
Is it a class-leading product? No. The SEAT Ateca or Nissan Qashqai are better all-rounders. But that said, the Ford is still a very useful family car, and one that comes with a good reliability record and a reputation for ease of servicing. Buy with confidence – as long as you secure the best deal.