Ford Kuga SUV
Price £20,995 - £33,530
- Good value and well equipped
- Economical diesel engines
- Spacious interior
- Too many buttons inside
- Inferior automatic gearboxes
- Not as much fun as Mazda CX-5
At a glance
"Bigger, cleaner and better value than before, the Ford Kuga is a solid option for SUV buyers."
The first Ford Kuga became the model of choice for those looking for a sporty, stylish small SUV. This, the second generation Ford Kuga is much more conservative to look at, designed to appeal to a worldwide customer base.
What hasn’t changed is the Ford's leaning towards road handling rather than off-road ability, although top-of-the-range models come as standard with four-wheel drive. Ford's knack for building cars that are sweet to drive is evident in the Kuga and it feels more like a conventional car on the road than models such as the Hyundai Santa Fe.
Despite being more fun to drive than many of its rivals, the Ford Kuga is comfortable, and irons out bumps in the road very well. Two engines are available, but each is available as low- and high-power versions.
Those seeking a petrol engine are catered for with a 1.5-litre engine, which develops either 148 or 180bhp. Despite the engines small size, performance is good but both versions offer a 9.7 second 0-62mph time because the high-power model is only available with an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Both models will feel pricy to run if you’re used to the economy of a diesel. That's particularly true of the automatic, which will struggle to better 35mpg.
The more compelling engines are the diesels, which are all capable of more than 50mpg. The running cost champion is the 148bhp version of the 2.0-litre diesel which, with a manual gearbox and front wheel drive, can return 60mpg. And that makes it our top choice.
The Ford has plenty of room for five adults and (although there's no seven-seat option) the rear seats recline a few degrees to boost comfort.
The model range includes Zetec, Titanium, Titanium X and Titanium Sport trim levels. Even the Zetec comes with a healthy level of standard equipment for a car of this price including keyless start, alloy wheels, DAB radio, air conditioning, cruise control and Ford's quickclear heated windscreen. You’ll have to look further up the range for standard sat-nav, but it can be specified as one of the Kuga's many competitively priced options.
Our recommendation is the Titanium model though, because it represents the best balance of price and equipment. Here you’ll find part-leather trim, automatic lights and wipers and dual-zone climate control.
Not sure what you're looking for? Find out what we think is the best SUV by watching our video below.
The Ford Kuga’s petrol engine is even more efficient than the old one, but the diesels are still our pick
There is no longers so much clear air between the Ford Kuga and rivals when it comes to driver enjoyment
The Ford Kuga is stylish inside and comes with plenty of equipment
The Ford Kuga has been stretched to offer more passenger space and a bigger boot
The Ford Kuga turned in an good performance in our 2014 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey