Ford Kuga 2.0 Titanium

Ford’s urban warrior, the Kuga is one of the most stylish crossovers but with rivals emerging from every direction can it still cut it with the best

Most car makers at this stage have made inroads to the lucrative crossover segment. These vehicles have proved popular, combining the 4×4 look without any of the guilt normally associated with gas-guzzling  offroaders. Their compact size makes them easy to park, manoeuvre and they are cheaper to run thanks to the option of two wheel drive version and fuel efficient engines

 Five years ago Ford introduced the Kuga and with a choice of diesel engines, and two- and all- wheel-drive versions, the Kuga has sold exceptionally well across Europe. With aggressive and sporty looks the Kuga’s lines are consistent with Ford’s so-called kinetic design philosophy and the result is a good looking SUV. During those five years a host of new rivals have entered the market including the Subaru XV, Kia Sportage, Hyundai ix35, Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan, Toyota Rav4, BMW X1 and Audi Q3.

Test Car

Our test car was powered by a 2.0-litre, 103 kW (140bhp) diesel engine.  There is also the option of the same engine with the higher output of 120kW(163bhp). Both options are available with two and four wheel drive options and an automatic gearbox is available on both.

On the Road

Based on the Ford Focus platform the Kuga is 80mm higher from the ground. Behind the wheel there is a good commanding driving position thanks to the high seating position. Despite the high driving position the Kuga is great to drive. The steering is well weighted and direct  while the roadholding and grip is reassuringly good. The six speed manual gearbox is slick and responsive. Road or wind noise is barely audible and no amount of bumps or potholes will unsettle it. The Kuga is comfortable and composed whatever the surface.

Economy

The 2.0 diesel engine offers good fuel economy. The Kuga returns 5.9  litres per 100 km on a combined cycle  and CO2 levels of 154g/km means it qualifies for Band C for motor tax so it comes with an annual bill of €330. Standard equipment levels are good and include Sports style front seats, front fog lights, power heated door mirrors, power starter button, air con and mp3 connection.  The Titanium adds 17” alloy wheels, cruise control, partial leather trim, leather gear knob, automatic rain sensing wipers, automatic headlight control, auto dimming rear-view mirror, footwell lights and passenger seat lumber & manual height adjust. The Ford Kuga comes with a five-star NCAP safety rating and has six airbags.  In addition Ford’s intelligent protection system uses a host of sophisticated technology designed to help prevent accidents but in the case of one to minimize injury. That’s more than enough to keep you safe on your way.

Interior

Inside the interior is equally as stylish as the exterior. While not the most opulent or luxurious interior we have encountered it is comfortable, easy to use and everything is within easy reach. There is plenty of room throughout for five people but passengers in the back don’t fare quite as well for head and legroom as provided by some of the Kuga’s rivals. Boot space is not large at 330 litres, but it has a convenient 60/40 partitioned rear seat and with seats folded forward, space increases to a generous 1355 litres. Particularly useful is the twin opening of the tailgate, the window can be opened making it ideal for small loads or the whole door can be raised for storing larger items.

Verdict

There is a lot to like about the Kuga, it is stylish, smartly sized, spacious, drives really well and doesn’t cost the earth to run. The only real downside is that there is an all new Kuga arriving on our shores in the first half of next year which promises to be even better.

 

Competitors: 

Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0TDI 110BHP  2WD                               €30,730

Toyota Rav4 (4×2) 2.2. D-4D Sol                  €34,180

BMW X1 sDrive20d SE                                    €37,260

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