THE Ford Kuga ST-line X offers Titanium levels of equipment with some additional kit and extra styling to give it a more sporting image.
This is now the third generation Kuga and it arrived at the start of last year with many changes to keep it in contention with the ever-growing SUV/crossover pack.
The refresh made it look more like its larger Edge sibling and it is now more spacious and comfortable than the first model which arrived more than a decade ago.
It is also one of Ford's global products and is made and sold in many markets.
In addition to the sports suspension the ST-line boasts a full body kit to enhance its looks, with roof rails, 19-inch dark machined alloys, unique headlight and fog light bezels as well as front parking sensors and a power opening panorama roof.
Inside you get some extra sporting trim including aluminium pedals, contrasting stitching, and improved active park assist. You also get a host of other features including Ford Sync 3 which has an eight-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, advanced voice control, navigation and emergency assist. It also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The ST-Line also comes with climate control, heated driver and front passenger seats, cruise control, power tailgate, a Quickclear heated windscreen, hill start assist, keyless entry, parking sensors and a raft of all the latest safety equipment.
The cabin has plenty room for five adults to travel in comfort and the driver has good all-round visibility. The instruments and controls are easy to read and use but some scratchy plastics still let things down a little.
Boot space stands at 456 litres and this is increased dramatically when the rear seats are folded making the Kuga a very practical family car.
I recently sampled thefamiliar 2.0-litre diesel version which is capable of 124mph and reaches 62mph in 10 seconds flat. It was a smooth performer when combined with the PowerShift automatic gearbox and even with all-wheel-drive the claimed combined figure is 54.3mpg.
This time I was behind the wheel of of the 1.5T Ecoboost version again with an automatic box and all-wheel-drive (AWD) but it did not impress nearly as much.
The combination did not work as well for me and it felt a little sluggish. It offers the same 124mph top speed and takes 10.1 seconds to do the sprint to 62mph but it never really felt as comfortable doing it.
Economy was not nearly as good either with the claimed combined figure being 37.7 mpg and I got much less than that.
New torque vectoring has been introduced to improve traction and stability and the Kuga always felt well planted with the AWD system providing bags of grip.
If you wish you can add a retractable tow bar with electrics for £625. Options fitted to the car I sampled included a large rear spoiler at £200, rear privacy glass costing £225 and Deep Impact Blue paint at £570 taking its total to a hefty £35,440.