Ok, it’s not spelt like the real thing but Kuga sounds every bit as wild as the name suggests. Ford has ensured that the new Ford Kuga has exciting overtones, and with design cues coming from the new Ford Focus, the Kuga is going to snarl its way right through to much success.
A Ford Focus on steroids, the grown up Ford Kuga develops 147 kW at 6000 rpm and boasts a nice flat torque curve that maxes out at 320 Nm from a low 1600 rpm all-the-way-to 4000 rpm. The end result is a drive that inspires; a drive that is fun and a drive that can pounce like a Cougar at the prod of the right foot. Ford has given the Kuga the sequential electronic fuel injection system that operates across the 20-valve, 2.5-litre, five-cylinder, turbo Duratec petrol engine. Power is efficiently put to the driving wheels (AWD) via what is a smooth five-speed automatic. The Durashift 5-tronic automatic gearbox has both sport and manual modes, and with the sport mode turned on, the Ford Kuga accelerates quickly to speeds well in excess of the local speed limits.
While at highway speed, the Ford Kuga is settled and feels well in control. The overall height is, obviously, higher than in a Focus or Falcon, and a hint of body roll is detected through high speed cornering. However, the grip is superb and the handling very composed. At the front, the suspension holds a tight line via an independent Macpherson strut layout. Trailing at the rear is a composed Control Blade Independent multi-link rear suspension. You’ll find that with a fully occupied five seats and the boot laden with luggage, the Ford Kuga copes manfully and safely across all road surfaces. Head out to where the bitumen turns to gravel, and the ride is well muted and compliant.
Two levels of specification are found for the two models, currently, on offer. The Ford Kuga Titanium boasts the nice looking 18-inch alloy wheels with a five-spoke design. The Ford Kuga Trend settles for a clean set of 17-inch wheels with a 5×2 spoke design. Both Kuga versions come with Ford’s proven Intelligent AWD System. Love skiing? Then this is the small SUV for you! Slippery surfaces are well managed, as the AWD intelligence spies out the terrain’s surface and adjusts the brake force to individual wheels so that maximum traction is obtained. It’s all very clever and rather sneaky, really!
If you’ve had the joy of travelling inside a new Ford interior, then you will already appreciate the well laid out dash and switchgear. Simplicity hides the high level of sophisticated features like audio control, voice control and Bluetooth communications. Keyless entry and engine start, a heated rear window, a four-spoke leather wrapped multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, leather seats (that are electronically adjustable and heated in the front for Titanium models) and auxiliary audio input via an excellent Sony single CD audio system (MP3 compatible). Eight-speaker sound is sure to please the music buffs amongst us. iPod and USB integration keeps you well up with the modern trends, and three 12-volt power outlets means that you can add extra play items for the kids in the back or the big ones at the front.
Whether it’s the Ford Kuga Trend or the Ford Kuga Titanium that takes your fancy, both models provide excellent five-seat capacity. A modern fabric is displayed over the Trend’s seats, while leather covers the Titanium’s seats. Air-conditioning is standard in the Trend, however dual-zone automatic climate control is found inside the Ford Kuga Titanium models.
For a small, but roomy, SUV package that offers brilliant on road dynamics, an 8.8 second run from 0-100 km/h and a safe body shell with heaps of passive and active safety features, you can’t look past the Ford Kuga – at lest without a screwed up face that says I know I like it!
The current Ford Kuga models include the:
For any more information on the Ford Kuga or, for that matter, any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Ford dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
Back to Ford Reviews