Ford Kuga SUV (2012-2020) - Interior & comfort
The Ford Kuga is stylish inside and comes with plenty of equipment
The Ford Kuga provides plenty of comfort on the move, with a quiet interior that does an excellent job of isolating occupants from engine and road noise – but there's still quite a lot of wind noise when driving on the motorway.
While the ride is generally smooth, even when the biggest wheels are fitted, the styling and design of the interior is now feeling its age against newer rivals.
Ford Kuga dashboard
The quality and design of the Ford Kuga's interior looks fine in isolation, but suffers in comparison to its latest rivals, particularly the SEAT Ateca and Peugeot 3008. The dashboard layout can look a little intimidating to start with, but the controls are well placed and intuitive to use. The switchgear itself is looking a little old-fashioned now, though.
You also get Ford's new SYNC3 infotainment system as standard on Titanium models and above. It incorporates a voice-activation system, which can be used to operate many of the car's systems, as well offering a range of clear and easy-to-read display screens. It's still a little off the pace compared to the systems found in rival cars though. SYNC3 AppLink allows forApple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity and other apps from your smartphone to be displayed on the infotainment screen.
Although many of the material choices, particularly in Titanium models, are tactile and pleasant to look at, some scratchy, lightweight plastics can be found by explorative fingertips, rather cheapening the overall feel of the interior. The seats are supportive and comfortable, though, and it’s easy to find a good driving position – especially if they’re fitted with the optional electrical adjustment that our test car enjoyed.
All Kugas come with a healthy amount of standard equipment: even the basic Zetec model has keyless start, 17-inch alloy wheels, DAB digital radio, air-conditioning, cruise control and Ford’s Quickclear heated windscreen.
The Titanium Edition model, which is our favourite Kuga, adds half-leather trim, automatic lights and wipers, sat nav, an eight-inch touchscreen and Ford's latest SYNC3 voice-activation system. Titanium X Edition adds 19-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, heated leather seats with electric adjustment, bi-xenon headlights and LED rear lights, but this trim is almost £3,000 more expensive than Titanium.
Top-of-the-line Vignale models come with features like a foot-operated boot release and are distinguished by their own special exterior body styling and 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, they have a ‘tuxedo-stitched’ leather, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, ambient lighting and Sony speakers, plus many other luxury touches besides.
The sporty-looking ST-Line version of the Kuga matches similarly-named models elsewhere in the Ford range. Inspired by the high-performance ST versions of the Fiesta and Focus, the ST-Line Kuga adds unique 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels and an array of special trim finishes both outside and in. Keen drivers will also appreciate the more responsive steering and better body control that the ST-Line’s chassis improvements offer. ST-Line Edition adds a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, red brake calipers and a large rear spoiler for around £2,000 more than standard ST-Line.
Rear parking sensors (which really should be standard on a car as big as this) are a £275 option on Zetec cars. The £150 Family Pack adds a handy 230v power socket and powered childlocks on the rear doors.