FORD launched the new generationKuga towards the end of 2020 with a huge selection of powertrains on offer.
For the first time the Kuga was available with plug-in-hybrid, mild hybrid and full hybrid technology as well as with improved petrol and diesel units designed to increase efficiency and improve fuel consumption.
In addition the Kuga increased in size to make it more spacious and provide extra comfort for passengers.
I have been sampling the stylish Kuga with diesel power and AWD combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The car was the ST-Line X Edition which means that it had a full body styling kit and large rear spoiler as well as19-inch machined finish alloys, black roof rails, privacy glass, sports suspension and red brake calipers.
Alloy pedals, a power opening panorama roof, LED lights front and rear and heated front seats added to the sporting feel as well as the flat bottom steering wheel with red stitching.
The traditional 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel unit packs plenty of punch and takes the Kuga to 62 mph in just 8.7 seconds and is capable of going on to 129 mph if you can find anywhere legal to do it.
It works nicely with the automatic box and can deliver up to a claimed 56.5 mpg. Even with the all-wheel-drive I averaged over 51 mpg during a week of mixed urban, rural and motorway miles.
The Kuga offers an excellent driving position with good visibility and room for five to travel in comfort thanks to plenty of head and legroom.
You also get five drive modes allowing drivers to adjust throttle response, steering weight and traction control as well as gearshift timing in automatic models.
Alongside Normal, Sport and Eco modes, the Slippery setting gives better grip on ice or snow and there's a Deep Snow/Sand mode for extra soft surfaces.
This version is packed with equipment and the tech includes a wireless charging pad and Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system along with new electrified vehicle features via the FordPass app and FordPass Connect modem.
There's also a smart 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster, Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane Centring technologies plus a head-up display and Active Park Assist 2 for automated parking at the push of a button.
Other useful features include a premium B&O sound system, puddle lights, a hands-free powered tailgate, Quickclear heated windscreen and a mobile phone wireless charging pad as well as navigation and a rear view camera.