Ford Kuga 2.5 AWD Trend review

Ford Kuga 2.5 AWD Trend review

The Ford Kuga is the perfect wheels for the urban warrior and the mom on her taxi runs. It works well in so many ways and on so many levels. There are two models, Trend and Titanium.

I really enjoyed the Kuga for the week that I drove her. Reminded me of  my wife’s Freelander 1, just a much updated feel.

It’s a smooth SUV which does everything effortlessly. It also feels just a bit more spacious than its direct competition. A premium car.

Bad points

The Kuga is not very light on fuel, but having said that I thought consumption was acceptable especially considering the power and performance available. Pity there is no Diesel available yet.

Opening the bonnet is quite a little operation. First you have to disassemble your key. Then you have to try opening the bonnet lock with the tiny metal key that you removed in step 1. After a few fiddles, some choice language, perhaps a few laughs you do eventually get the bonnet open. Do not try this at night, in the rain or wind.

This Ford is a little pricey.

Good points

I discovered the seat warmers on a cold damp Cape winters evening. Lovely stuff. The rest of the interior is just as good. Switches are in the right places, work the right way and look and feel good.

The seats are very comfortable and highly adjustable as is the steering.

A good point of the Kuga is the handling and its road manners. This vehicle is a real pleasure to drive.

The Kuga has a feeling of space augmented by a number of cup holders and storage spaces.

Driving impressions

Volvo’s T5 2.5 5-cylinder turbo petrol engine is a classic bit of engineering. It is called the 5-cylinder 20V Duratec Turbo in Fordspeak. It fits very well into the Kuga scheme of things. It sounds suitably growly, almost like a V6. It pulls amazingly when on full song but is docile when pottering around the parking lot. Produces 147kW @ 6000 and torque of 320Nm @ from 1600 to 4000 rpm. You can feel it.

The power on tap translates into a 0 to 100km/h time of 8.8seconds and a top speed of 205km/h. Ford claims an average fuel consumption of 10.3 litre per 100km. I got around 10.

I loved driving this car. In slightly dodgy conditions it comes into its own with amazing grip, excellent acceleration and stunning handling even though its a tall SUV style car.

Steering is well weighted and accurate. The brakes feel as if they mean business.

It is very difficult to find fault with the on road performance of the Kuga.


Cost R385 580 as tested. The Titanium model costs R406 850. Special deals are available at many dealers.

Competition includes VW Tiguan R340 000 , Land Rover Freelander 2 R458 995, Kia Sportage R307 995 , Toyota Rav4 R370 000, Audi Q3 R500 000

The Kuga is very competent and a pleasure to drive. An excellent iteration of the SUV niche.

It comes with a 4 yr/120 000km warranty, 3 yr/unlimited km roadside assistance and 4yr/80 000km service plan.

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