FORD.S Kuga has now most definitely matured into the vehicle it should have been in the first place.
The original was not quite the raceaway success that was expected, but now, in its revitalised form, the Kuga struts its stuff on the SUV catwalk with much more pride.
One of the most popular choices is the ST-Line six-speed Powershift All-Wheel-Drive, powered by a 2.0-litre TDCi engine.
It aims at high efficiency with 134g/km of CO2 emissions and a claimed fuel economy of 54.3mpg are just some of its stats.
With a maximum speed of 124mph and a 0-62mph sprint of 10 seconds, performance is up to the mark, which is as it should be for a vehicle like this costing £34,2945.
The sporty ST-Line features lowered sports suspension, lots of black trim and 18in dark alloys. Also there is definitely a performance feel to the interior with sports seats, steering wheel and aluminium pedals.
Looks are enhanced by a trapezoidal grille, new head and tail lights and infotainment menu includes Fords's SYNC3 eight-inch colour touchscreen with Bluetooth providing advanced voice control of audio, climate control and navigation.
Convenience features include an electronic parking brake and enhanced active park assist.
Like all modern Fords the Kuga is a major force in the handling department.
The 2.0-litre TDCI engine and gearbox unite to produce a smooth and unhurried flow of power.
Faced by some very tough competition the Kuga is now larger and designed to be a global car.
It cruises comfortably at motorway speeds and also handles bends well and the four-wheel-drive system means it always has loads of grip.
If you need to tow, four-wheel-drive 2.0-litre diesel versions of the Kuga can pull a braked trailer weighing up to 2.1 tonnes.
Speed bumps and smooth-edged undulations are no problem at all for the Kuga, which deals easily with bigger humps without too much pitching and wallowing.
The 2.0 diesel is relatively hushed at low revs but noise does increase under acceleration.
The Ford Kuga sells in big numbers for Ford. It is a class act a being a good all rounder. It is large inside, good to drive, and well equipped.