Ford Kuga - Used Car

Review

Ford Kuga, front action 2
Ford Kuga, front action
Ford Kuga, front action 3
Ford Kuga, front static
Ford Kuga, side action
Ford Kuga, rear
Ford Kuga, rear
Ford Kuga, dashboard
Ford Kuga, boot

FORD'S Kuga, which is one of its most popular models, has the same name as the original British word for a kazoo.

For those of you who in this electronic age have never come across a kazoo, it's a simple musical instrument beloved of children and folkies, which you hum through to play.

You really needed to know that.

The present Kuga SUV has been around since 2012 and is really good to drive and well as being eminently family friendly and practical.

Most models are not four wheel drive even though they look the part, so if that's an important thing for you, make sure the model you're looking to buy has it.

Safety is very good with a number of different systems as standard, including lane-keeping assistance, and it has a five-star Euro crash-test rating.

It is reasonable to run, but the ride is on the firm side, so take it for a decent test drive before you buy.

As always, if any seller won't let you drive a car - for whatever reason - walk away. You need to know how it feels and you don't get that from the passenger seat.

Following an update in 2016, there were style changes to bring it into line with the rest of the range and improvements to the interior to allow for the latest infotainment system.

There have been numerous engine and gearbox options available but I'll concentrate on the main ones.

On the petrol side the Kuga has been available with 1.6 and later 1.5 turbos. The 1.5 used in many other Ford models could be had in 120, 150 and 180bhp guises, with acceleration to 60 miles an hour ranging from 12.4 to 10.7seconds.

Economy under the latest calculation system ranges from 35 down to 30mpg.

The diesels make up the majority on the road and they start with a 1.5 which has 120bhp.

It can better 45mpg and covers the 60 sprint in 12.4 seconds.

Above that is a 2.0-litre TDCI with either 150 or 180bhp. The 150 reaches 60mph in 10 seconds and is capable of 43mpg, while the 180 is the quickest model in the range, covering the sprint in 9.3 seconds and yet still capable of 38mpg.

The set up is engineered for the best road manners rather than off-road work, but those with four-wheel--drive (4WD) are still more than capable on muddy tracks and wet fields.

Road holding is very good even when pressed, with well controlled body movement and not much roll. Grip is very good and the steering informative and direct.

I like the cabin very much. It's well built and stylish and better looking than that in many competitors.

The seats are well shaped and supportive and there's room for five over even quite long journeys, but the boot is on the small size for an SUV.

Equipment is good in most models, but the majority do not have sat nav as standard and that's niggardly on Ford's part as far as I'm concerned.

Many second-hand examples will have it of course, because it was ordered as an extra by the first owner or driver.

There is a wide range of models, so make sure you get all the kit you want.Mid-range ST-Line comes with alloys and parking sensors, an alarm, cruise, part-leather sports seats, roof rails, steering wheel audio controls and traction control.

Where fitted, the 4WD is an intelligent system that drives the front wheels normally, but adds power to the rear when slippery conditions are detected.

Pay about £8,200 at a dealer for a '15 15-reg 1.5 petrol Zetec 2WD, or £16,900 for a '17 17-reg 2.0 TDCi 180bhp ST-Line 4WD.

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