The Ford Kuga is one of Europe's best-selling medium SUVs, and not without good reason. It sits between the EcoSport and Edge in the company's SUV range and offers stylish good looks, keen driving dynamics and a range of trim levels to suit most tastes and budgets. Few cars in this segment are as good to drive as the Ford Kuga, thanks mainly to communicative steering, bags of grip and willing turn-in. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that the Kuga is as pleasant to drive as some family hatchbacks, making it the default choice if you're after keen dynamics.
Diesel 64.2 combined MPG
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Ford has a knack of building good looking mainstream cars, and the Kuga is no exception. The 2016 facelift ushered in a raft of changes to bring it into line with the rest of the Ford range
CO2: 115 g/km
Emissions and Fuel
* Price does not include road fund license
Power front and rear windows, Quickclear heated windscreen, Rain sensor windscreen wipers, Tailgate wash/wipe
ABS/EBD, EBA, Electric traction assist system, Electronic Stability Programme, Hill start assist
Front floor mats, Rear floor mats
Auto dimming rear view mirror, Electrically heated door mirrors, Power folding door mirrors with memory function
Auxiliary socket for external device, Remote audio controls on steering wheel, USB connection
Exterior Body Features
Body colour bumpers, Body colour rear spoiler, Front scuff plate, Twin exhausts and rear diffuser
Automatic halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights
Dual electronic automatic temperature control
Auxiliary power socket in luggage area, Centre console with stowage tray/bottle holder/CD stowage/front and rear 12V power point, Folding rear centre armrest, Leather steering wheel and gear knob, Part leather upholstery, Reach + rake adjustable steering column, Stowage unit in upper instrument panel, Tie down hooks, Tonneau cover
Footwell courtesy lights front and rear, Front overhead courtesy lights with theatre style dimming and delay, Front/rear reading lights, Multi-colour ambient interior lighting, Variable intensity instrument illumination
3 point seatbelts on all 3 rear seats, Airbags - front driver/passenger, front & rear curtain, front side, Intelligent Protection System (IPS), Tyre pressure monitoring system
6 way manually adjustable passenger seat with lumbar support, 60/40 split/folding rear back and cushion, Driver seat lumbar adjustment, Driver/passenger front seatback pockets, Front head restraints, Isofix system on outer rear seats, Rear head restraints, Sports style front seats
Immobiliser, Keyless entry, Keyless Start, Locking wheel nuts, Remote central locking, Thatcham Cat.1 alarm
Wheels - Spare
Mini steel spare wheel
|Badge Engine CC:||1.5|
|Based On ID:||N|
|Coin Description:||TDCi 2WD|
|Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07:||15E|
|NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Child Occupant Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09:||N|
|NCAP Pedestrian Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Safety Assist %:||N|
|Service Interval Frequency - Months:||12|
|Service Interval Mileage:||10000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage:||60000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Years:||3|
|Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months:||120|
|Timing Belt Interval Mileage:||120000|
|Vehicle Homologation Class:||M1|
|Standard Euro Emissions:||EURO 6|
|Engine Layout:||FRONT TRANSVERSE|
|Fuel Delivery:||COMMON RAIL|
|EC Combined (mpg):||54.3|
|EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies:||True|
|EC Extra Urban (mpg):||56.5|
|EC Urban (mpg):||50.4|
|0 to 62 mph (secs):||12.7|
|Engine Power - BHP:||120|
|Engine Power - KW:||88|
|Engine Power - PS:||True|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT:||199|
|Engine Torque - MKG:||27.5|
|Engine Torque - NM:||270|
|Emissions Test Cycle:||NEDC Correlated|
|Tyre Size Spare:||SPACE SAVER|
|Wheel Style:||5X2 SPOKE|
|Wheel Type:||17" ALLOY|
|Height (including roof rails):||1749|
|Width (including mirrors):||2086|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres):||60|
|No. of Seats:||5|
|Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb:||11.1|
Ford's Kuga has sharpened up its act in this improved second generation guise. Jonathan Crouch checks out what's on offer.
The Ford Kuga has evolved in this improved second generation form into a more desirable proposition that'll be equally attractive to Qashqai-like Crossover and RAV4-style soft roading SUV buyers. The single five-seat bodystyle is properly family-sized and gets some clever technology that segment buyers will like. In other words, if you're shopping in this sector, here's a car you have to consider.
By now, you ought to be pretty familiar with the second generation Ford Kuga. You are, right? It's like the first generation car but bigger, more efficient and smarter inside. There's still no seven seat option, but Ford reckoned that this was something only a small percentage of compact SUV buyers actually wanted. The latest model has come in for a bit of a wash and brush-up, with a restyled front end, extra safety tech and lots of fresh media connectivity inside. Otherwise, it's much as you were. The Kuga established its reputation as being one of the best compact SUVs to drive and this one should be no different. At first glance then, the news seems all good.
Under the bonnet, things are much as before, which means that the petrol range is based around a 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine, though this unit is now available in three guises. The 120 and 150PS versions of this unit are familiar, allied exclusively to front wheel drive. If you want more, there's a top 176PS variant of this unit, which can only be ordered with a 6-speed automatic gearbox and AWD. Many Kuga buyers though, are going to want a diesel. Possibly the 120PS 1.5-litre TDCi unit that only comes with front wheel drive. But more probably the 2.0 TDCi engine that kicks off with a 120PS front-driven auto-only variant. Most Kuga customers though, opt for the 2.0 TDCi diesel in 150PS form, because in this guise, they're offered the choice of either front or four wheel drive, manual or Powershift automatic transmission. If you want more power, there's a 2.0 TDCi 180PS variant at the top of the range that only comes with AWD. This has always been one of the very best family-sized SUVs to choose if you like your driving. There's a torque vectoring control system to reduce the sort of understeer you'd expect in a car of this type and the Kuga has always performed well in terms of ride quality and refinement.
This improved Kuga features Ford's latest design language for a bolder, sportier look that's shared with the company's EcoSport compact SUV and Edge large SUV models. A large upper trapezoidal grille and a smaller lower grille are flanked by sleeker headlamps incorporating LED daytime running lights. Restyled taillights complete the changes, along with revised alloy wheels, available in 17, 18 or 19-inch rims. Inside, the updates are subtle, but quite effective. So the steering wheel and air-conditioning controls are more intuitive and feature fewer and more easily distinguishable buttons and switches, making the controls easier to recognise and navigate. The steering wheel is offered with optional heating to improve comfort in cold weather, while all automatic Kuga models now feature paddle-shift controls that enable drivers to manually select gears while keeping their hands on the wheel. Extra convenience features include an electronic parking brake that frees up room for improved storage in a centre console that now also features a storage area capable of accommodating a variety of bottles and cups. There's also a new USB connection point for integrating and charging mobile devices. Otherwise, things are much as before. Which means that inside, there's decent headroom all round and reasonable rear legroom too. Out back, there's a 438-litre boot.
Prices see a starting point of just over £23,000, rising up to around £37,000. You get a lot of technology for that though, in this current model. Take the 'SYNC 3' connectivity system. It delivers fast performance and supports the 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' smartphone connectivity systems, so you can use your favourite apps on the dashboard's 8-inch colour touchcreen. This Kuga also features Ford's Perpendicular Parking technology that helps drivers park handsfree in spaces alongside other cars. Plus there's the 'Active City Stop' collision avoidance system. And Ford's 'Adaptive Front Lighting System' for optimised visibility in low light. Further advanced technologies include a 'Hands-Free Liftgate' powered rear hatch that you can activate by waving your foot beneath the bumper. The latest generation 'Ford MyKey' technology allows Kuga owners to programme a key for younger drivers that can inhibit incoming phone calls, restrict top speed, prevent deactivation of driver assistance and safety features, reduce audio system maximum volume and disable the audio system altogether if occupants are not using safety belts. The MyKey system also offers a great number of choices in both the speed limiter and speed minder settings. It's all very reassuring.
Ford has pulled out all the stops to try and make this Kuga competitively efficient. For example, an Active Grille Shutter is fitted to all versions. This closes the front grille, reducing aerodynamic drag when the radiator isn't in need of additional cooling and then reopens it upon demand. Auto-Start-Stop is also standard across the range. Features like an Eco Mode and a Gear Shift Indicator help keep your right boot out of the carpet. The figures generated though, are a little way behind the best that comparable mid-sized competitors can manage. The 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol variant manages 35.3mpg on the combined cycle in both 120 and 150PS guises. And 160g/km of CO2 (120PS) and 164g/km (150PS). Go for the 1.5 EcoBoost 182PS variant and those figures fall to 29.1mpg and 209g/km. As for the diesels, well the 1.5 TDCi powerplant manages 46.3mpg and 137g/km. And the front-driven 2.0 TDCi 150PS model manages 39.2mpg and 151g/km - or 39.2mpg and 164g/km if you order it with AWD. With the top 2.0 TDCi 180PS AWD derivative, it's 37.7mpg and 181g/km.
Ford has finally got serious about the SUV market and its three offerings now effectively cover this growing market. This Kuga certainly needs to appeal to a lot of different countries if it's to earn its corn and while some have grumbled that it doesn't feel particularly tailored to UK buyers, that's something we're going to have to get used to. Sales haven't been bad, so Ford's clearly doing something right. The latest model becomes more sophisticated and gets a bit more kit but otherwise, the script doesn't change radically. If you want to make a style statement, you'll still keep saving for a Discovery Sport. Otherwise, the Kuga is still one of the very best compact SUVs for those who love to drive.
Seemingly every major manufacturer has a family Crossover product nowadays. June Neary tries Ford's. It's called the Kuga and in improved second generation form, it's good to drive as well as family-friendly
The Qashqai-class family Crossover is a type of car that you either like or loath. With this sort of model, either the aggressive grilles, flared wheelarches and questionable ability to tame mother nature's harshest terrain speak to you on a primeval level - or you'll think it's all a bit silly and over the top. Of course, there are different degrees of 'Crossovery-ness' and these days, the boundary between this kind of car and a proper 4x4 SUV has never been blurrier. Perhaps the non-believers should take another look at this controversial class of vehicle? If there's any model with the qualities to persuade them, then I think Ford's Kuga must have a chance. The Kuga puts up very little pretence of off-road ability. Instead, Ford has taken the refreshing approach of creating a car of his kind that's designed to reward at the wheel - a rare attribute in this class. Despite that, buyers still get the usual Crossover class virtues, namely a high driving position and the easy access of a 4x4 SUV thanks to a tall shape and raised ride height. There's also the option of 4x4 transmission that will allow the car to tackle the gravel driveways and grassy banks owners might occasionally encounter while also providing enhanced grip on the tarmac. Importantly, however, by doing without the heavy-duty suspension needed for serious off-road driving and borrowing its underpinnings from the Ford Focus hatchback, the Kuga has the pedigree for a car-like driving experience. All that remains to be seen is how it stacks up in the real world.
The Kuga's looks are certainly appealing. Ford has managed to strike a neat balance between the cute and the sporty with the aggressive angles of its bold front end and the compact, stocky proportions of the vehicle as a whole. The interior is similarly easy to like with lots of classy chrome and aluminium finishes, particularly on the up-spec models, and controls that are straightforward to master. Space in the front is fine and rear legroom is much better than the previous generation version of this car could offer. In the cargo area, you'll find 406-litres of space if the seatbacks are in a fully reclined position. Plus of course you can fold the seatbacks flat, a neat operation that needs just a pull on the seat-mounted lever that sees the rear backrests flip and fold forward. The result isn't a totally flat load area but it is quite a large one with at least 1,603-litres of space, much more than you'd get in a comparable Nissan Qashqai.
Most of the versions that people actually buy are powered by a Ford 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine. This unit has either 150PS or a rounder-looking 180PS. The difference between the performance of the two versions of this engine isn't great, with even the lower-powered option managing sixty from rest in around 10.1s on the way to 121mph flat out in 2WD form. There's also a lower-powered 1.5-litre TDCi 120PS diesel option, if funds are tighter. The green pump alternative is Ford's 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol unit with 120 or 150PS as a 2WD manual or 182PS as an AWD automatic. The lower-powered option might even make more sense than the diesel for lower mileage owners. Fuel economy shouldn't keep prospective owners awake at night. In AWD guise, the 150PS 2.0 TDCi engine returns a healthy 54.3mpg and carbon dioxide emissions are a similarly benign 135g/km. Go for the lighter 2WD model and these figures are improved to 60.1mpg and 122g/km. The front-driven 150PS 1.5-litre petrol version manages 45.6mpg and 143g/km.
If, having considered all of this, you conclude that it is indeed a Kuga that you really want, then you'll expect it to be well equipped. And by and large, whichever five-door five-seat, two or four-wheel drive, manual or automatic variant you decide upon - 1.5T petrol EcoBoost or 2.0 TDCi diesel - you shouldn't be disappointed. Alloy wheels, daytime running lights, front foglights, a Quickclear heated windscreen, powered heated mirrors, a Thatcham Category 1 alarm, decent quality 6-speaker CD stereo system, air conditioning, cruise control and a hill start assist system to stop you from drifting backwards on uphill junctions are all standard.
Crossover models of this kind have developed into a bit of a touchy subject over the last few years. Are they really all style over substance? This Kuga offers a credible answer to that query. It's efficient, practical and surprisingly good to drive. If you're shopping in this segment, it needs to be on your list.
Mr Geoff Nicholls - 13/06/2019, owner of a Ford Kuga Titanium 4X2 Tdci
User rating: 5/5
Mr Ignazio Mancuso - 21/06/2019, owner of a Ford Kuga Titanium Tdci
User rating: 4.5/5
Mr Stephen Harrop - 16/06/2019, owner of a Ford Kuga ST Line Edition 2.0 TDCI 150PS 6SP
User rating: 4.5/5