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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

    £18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

    Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

    £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

    Day In a Page

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory