FORD KUGA FHEV: family favourite’s a willing workhorse

THERE’S not a lot better on a freezing cold morning than pressing a little button that warms up the steering wheel in your car.

A small, welcome touch found on Ford’s current Kuga, and one which makes those early morning runs a bit more bearable.Crossovers/SUVs are deemed the vehicle of choice for a wide variety of motorists and for a wide variety of reasons, be it useable space, economy, ease of access for those finding their joints aren’t quite as flexible as they used to be, or for the 21stfamily needing something with a greater degree of adaptability.

Pretty well all the choices from the many manufacturers in this sector tick all of those boxes, and in many aspects it’s down to brand loyalty which one you ultimately opt for. No point making a leap into the unknown when you’ve been quite happy with your lot up till now.
Ford know a bit about brand loyalty – their customer base has been built up over many years of offering good, workmanlike, user friendly vehicles that people come back to again and again.

With a name like Kuga you might expect Ford’s medium crossover to be a bit on the edgy side. A mean machine that proves a little difficult to tame, something with a mighty roar to the exhaust note.

But at the end of the day it’s more pussy cat than cougar.

Like a cat, it can be a trifle wilful, but for the greater part it’s just an easy machine to live with.

Power comes from Ford’s 2.5 Duratec engine and its acceptable 190ps and 200Nm of torque available for your personal use makes it a willing workhorse.

Kuga has now adopted hybrid power in varying guises, which improves fuel consumption and reduces CO2 emissions.

The full-hybrid here gathers power during braking, using it to maximise efficiency when on the move, and has a larger battery that can store more power to help improve fuel economy.

There’s a good amount of space for up to five adults, with the second row able to slide to make best use of the space. Maybe not the biggest in its class, but enough so you’re not squeezed in uncomfortably. And the 60/40 split seats fold flat to accommodate any big loads you might occasionally need to carry.

And there’s noticeable space atop the dash too. No need for a huge screen – the compact eight inch touch screen does the job and is a lesson in clarity, serving up all the necessary info quickly and efficiently.

The third-generation Kuga is based on Ford’s C2 platform, so it shares its underpinnings with the Focus hatchback. So handling is well up to the mark.

Equipment levels include, Duratec, SUV, crossover Titanium, ST-Line, ST-Line X and luxury Vignale. Entry-level kit includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rear privacy glass, a rear view camera, Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system and sat-nav.

Top-spec versions like the Black Package Edition sampled here add items such as bigger alloys, a power tailgate, heated seats and a panoramic roof.


Ford Kuga Black Package Edition

Price: £40,825 (£44,775 as tested)
Engine: 2.5 litre, four cylinder, petrol
Power: 187bhp
Torque: 148 lb/ft
Transmission: CVT
Top speed: 122mph
0-62mph: 9.1 seconds
Economy: 49.6mpg
CO2 emissions: 130 g/km

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