Motoring review: Ford Kuga Titanium AWD

America got the best city car ever. We got this truck

Price: £25,800

Engine capacity: 2.0-litre 4 cylinder turbo diesel

Power Output (bhp @ rpm): 161 @ 3,750

Top Speed (mph): 123

0-60 mph (seconds): 9.9

Fuel economy (mpg): 47.9

CO2 emissions (g/km): 154

This is the all-new Ford Kuga and, unlike most cars which manufacturers claim to be “all-new”, this one really is. Aside from its ridiculous name (it’s either a misspelling of a predatory animal or a predatory older woman) the Kuga is actually rather different from the model it replaces, which is odd, because the old Kuga only launched in 2008.

Part of the reason for this is that, unlike the previous model, the new Kuga has been designed under the Orwellian-sounding One Ford global  car policy and will be sold throughout the world  in the same form.

Dig deeper and you’ll see that it’s American Soccer Moms who are wagging the dog – the  Kuga will be sold as the Escape in America, replacing the ponderous but popular old Escape. Hence the need for more space – the European model was  just too small for American tastes – so it’s now 81mm longer and has plenty of room in the back  for a set of tall adults to enjoy their Wendy’s burgers from the drive-thru. The boot has grown by 97 litres to a massive 456 litres, too – that’s a lot of room for Soccer Moms to pack away their shopping on the way back from practise.

The car is more subtly styled than the old Kuga, too, with a less distinctive nose and a less pert rear end. If you were being cruel, you could say it’s rather identikit and has been styled by the numbers.

Thanks to the extra size, the ride is supple, there’s little body roll and the diesel unit I tested – there’s also a 148bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine available – gives plenty of pull to push into and out of corners. It’s quiet, too, aside from a rather gruff rumble on start-up. It has lost some of the driving fun of older Fords, though.

So the Yanks have come along and messed up one of our cars, then? Not quite. It sits pretty favourably alongside many sub-£30k small SUVs on the market like the Nissan Qashqai and VW Tiguan, but probably isn’t as fun or rapid to drive as the newer Mazda CX-5.

And thanks to its dose of American steroids, it even compares well to larger SUVs like the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe. The real bonus is that it is spec-for-spec £1,000 cheaper than the old model. So what did the Americans get in exchange? The Ford Fiesta – which now sells there – is probably the best small car in the world right now and is Britain’s best-selling car month-in, month-out. I can’t help but thinking they got the better deal.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Life and Style
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Java Developer - web services, XML and API

    £330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...

    Trainee Helpdesk Analyst / 1st Line Application Support Analyst

    £18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

    £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    IT Systems Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    Day In a Page

    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
    Witches: A history of misogyny

    Witches: A history of misogyny

    The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
    Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
    'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style