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 second-generation Kuga is much more conservatively styled, as it's designed to appeal to a global customer base.
What hasn't changed is the car's emphasis on 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 good 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. There's a diesel and a petrol engine available - both with two different power outputs.
The petrol is a 1.5-litre engine that develops either 148 or 180bhp. Despite the engine's small size, performance is good. Both versions have a 9.7-second 0-62mph time, because the more powerful model is only available with an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Both models will seem pricey to run if you're used to the fuel economy of a diesel. That's particularly true of the automatic, which'll struggle to better 35mpg.
The 2.0-litre diesel is a more compelling engine, as it's capable of more than 50mpg. The running-costs champion is the 148bhp version with a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, which can return 60mpg.
The Ford has plenty of room inside for five adults and although there's no seven-seat option, the rear seats recline a few degrees to boost comfort.
Even the Zetec comes with a healthy amount of standard equipment for a car of this price, including keyless start, alloy wheels, DAB digital 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's available as one of the Kuga's many competitively priced options.
Our recommendation is the Titanium model, 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 a good performance in our Driver Power 2014 customer satisfaction survey