Ford Kuga SUV - Practicality & boot space
The Ford Kuga offers average practicality for the class, although the sliding rear bench is a nifty feature
People are now choosing family SUVs over hatchbacks more than ever thanks to the increased level of practicality they offer. The latest Ford Kuga is bigger in most respects than its predecessor, with a little more space freed up inside. It’s still strictly a five-seater, like many of its rivals, but Ford doesn’t offer a seven-seat SUV in the UK – just the S-MAX, Galaxy and Grand Tourneo Connect MPVs. This seems like a missed opportunity, as the seven-seat Skoda Kodiaq, Peugeot 5008 and Kia Sorento SUVs have all proven popular.
Thanks to its relatively boxy shape, adults should easily be able to get comfortable in the rear seats; opting for the panoramic sunroof does impede headroom a little though, plus there’s a rather big hump in the floor meaning carrying three people abreast can be tight.
The glovebox and door pockets are a good size, and there are a couple of other little cubbies and storage areas on the centre console. All cars get an electrical charging point in the back of the front armrest, which will keep your passengers’ phones or tablets powered.
The Kuga has handy sliding rear seats, so you can position them to prioritise legroom or boot space. Even when slid all the way back, most Kuga models offer more space than the Focus – and this increases to 526 litres with the seats pulled forward (measured to the parcel shelf). With the rear seats flipped down and out of the way, you’ve got up to 1,534 litres to fill. A Skoda Karoq is slightly more practical, though, offering 479-588 litres with the seats up and 1,605 litres with them down. The Hyundai Tucson has even more space, with up to 610 litres on offer in petrol models, making it a top choice for load-lugging.
Because of where the battery pack’s placed, plug-in hybrid Kuga models get a slightly smaller boot. Wherever the seats are, the boot is about 50-60 litres smaller than petrol and diesel variants. Yet, compared to some other PHEVs, that’s not a huge drop in luggage capacity.
If you plan on towing regularly, make sure you pick the right engine, as all have different maximum towing capacities. When it was available, the 118bhp diesel was able to tow a braked trailer weighing up to 1,500kg, increasing to 1,600kg (118bhp petrol), 1,800kg (148bhp petrol), 1,900kg (148bhp diesel) and 2,100kg (187bhp diesel). Not all PHEVs can tow, but the Kuga plug-in can manage up to 1,200kg. Specifying a tow bar costs around £600.