Kuga 2.0 TDCi Titanium AWD
The top-of-the-line Ford Kuga is quite a beastie. Nimble. User friendly. Nice bite from the oil burner. Claws retracted most of the time.
To drive this smaller SUV is to be astounded just how much automotive technology has progressed in recent years. It mollycoddles you from the getgo. But gives you your head as well.
Ford have produced a gem in the Mk 2 Kuga. If it seems like I was impressed with her, you will be right.
The Kuga looks good. The lines flow and create a harmonious balance. The look grows on you. The dimensions seem optimal for a compact but roomy SUV.
From the silver roof rails to the dual stainless steel exhaust pipes the parts add to the whole.
From a safety point of view the Kuga has it all. Seven airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD, brilliant lights.
The hands free tailgate is a useful feature. You can open the tailgate by waving your foot under the car at the back. The system is a little difficult to get the hang of though.
Ford are up there with the best when it comes to the cabin. Fit and finish is top drawer. Premium. The cabin has a pleasant mix of soft and hard, shiny and matt. It is a soothing place.
The car is well equipped and depending on trim level the list of goodies gets longer.
For example, heated sporty 10 way power adjustable leather front seats grace the Trend models. Rear eats have decent leg room and are also comfortable. Needless to say there are a host of storage bins and cup holders. Also storage under the seats.
In car entertainment includes a Sony audio system with 9 speakers and a 4.2″ TFT colour screen together with the Ford SYNC system with Bluetooth and Voice Control.
The Kuga grips the road with as Ford says all wheel drive ‘Intelligent AWD-System’ with variable torque distribution, electronically controlled.
It rides a healthy 192cm off the floor unladen giving good ground clearance.
Useful touches include hill launch assist, electronic stability programme (ESP) with traction control, cruise control and park assist.
The Duratec diesel is excellent. Power is a generous 120 kW @ 3750 and a very useful torque of 340Nm @ 2000 – 3250.
The Kuga is superb both on- and off-road. Off-road in the context of gravel and jeep tracks. Cornering for a SUV is stunning. Handling and road holding is typically modern Ford, and that’s good.
The top models with the driver package installed can even park themselves. More useful are the lane control, blind spot control, collision warning and cruise control.
The new Kuga is very good. It is also very good value. We recommend it.
R418 900 as tested. We got to drive the AWD, 2.0 automatic diesel. The range starts with the manual FWD 1.6 Ecoboost Ambiente at R298 900. Its a great little high riding station wagon.
Warranty is 4 years or 120 000km and corrosion warranty of 5 years unlimited. Service plan 5 years or 90 000km. Service intervals are 15 000km.