Ford Kuga Review

ford kuga reviewThe Ford Kuga, also called a Ford Escape in North American markets, is a compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) that has been manufactured by Ford since 2008. However, this vehicle was not introduced into the Australian market until 2012.

It comes in a standard 5-door wagon with a variety of models and a number of transmission and engine types to choose from. There are plans to create a hybrid option, although this is not yet available in Australia.

This SUV is beginning to gain traction in the competitive SUV market and with a 5 star ANCAP safety rating it is getting a lot of attention from families looking for a new car. Let’s take a closer look at this vehicle and put it through its paces.

Interior and Comfort
I have to say that the interior of the Kuga is starting to show its age. The dated design just doesn’t hold up anymore in the current market. The material quality is great and the interior is quite suitable, but it just doesn’t have any wow factor. I’ll be expecting the new model to really make some improvements in this area.

The seating is comfy, but most people will find the seat positions to be a little high and this causes you to be sitting very upright. This gives great visibility of course, but will be very uncomfortable on long trips. Rear legroom is less impressive than I would have thought. Cargo space is good and is suitable for a medium family.

Ride and Handling
The ride comfort is excellent in this vehicle and it is something that has to be experienced. It also corners beautifully and you can tell that this car has been very well tuned. It handles really well and it is really responsive and a pleasure to drive. There is no doubt that Ford has put a lot of effort into this part of the vehicle. Off road performance is average, but this is to be expected from a compact SUV.

Performance
Performance is delivered by a turbocharged in-line five petrol engine. This delivers very impressive performance and acceleration, but there is a small amount of turbo lag until 3,000 rpm. The acceleration is something that most people will enjoy and overtaking is a real pleasure in this car.

The gearbox is very conventional and not overly impressive. It is slow to change during kickdown and drags on the engine. Unfortunately, this isn’t a sporty transmission. Fuel economy is average at best and most reports suggest that it will use more than 11.5 L per hundred kilometres.

Pros

  • Powerful turbo engine that has acceleration to thrill.
  • Great ride and handling.

Cons

  • Poor fuel economy.
  • Average gearbox.
  • Interior needs an update.

The Ford Kuga is a solid SUV, but this is a very competitive market. Ford will no doubt be hoping to make a bigger dent in the market in the future, but they will need to continue to add features to this vehicle to provide the wow factor.

There has also been some suggestion that the name Kuga is too close to the Toyota Kluger (released in 2003), which may be confusing some consumers. There was also the perception that Australia had been dumped with the inferior model, which put some buyers off.

However, with a bit of a face-lift and the right pricing the Ford Kuga could make a real impact on the Aussie SUV market.