The first Ford Kuga was unleashed in Europe in 2008 and this SUV offering proved popular for the manufacturer. Recently they upgraded everything and offered the second generation Kuga to the world. Many complained that the drive wasn’t as comfortable but many more said that the machine was much more comfortable and versatile.
Ford Ireland has kept things very simple for the Irish market. This may annoy some people because there are only diesel engines available here. On offer is the 2.0 litre TDCI. There are three power outputs to choose from, 115 PS, 150 PS & 163 PS. Most of the range comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but top of the Zetec and Titanium range offers the automatic PowerShift transmission. Both trims are available with 4WD technology – this is best mated with the 163 PS model. The PowerShift six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is clever in the way that it sets up the next gear for you at the right time and it ensures that you don’t lose power on gear changes.
The Kuga is a big and tall car, so the bad news is that it suffer from a bit of body roll. The suspension deals very well with inconsistent road terrains though. The steering is light and could do with being more responsive.
The all-wheel drive option is great in adding grip when it comes to rougher terrain. The system automatically changes the movement and control of the wheels when the car sense that the terrain is becoming rougher. It sends extra power to each individual wheel when it’s needed – how this works can be viewed from a display within the vehicle – which will keep the geeks of us happy.
Putting the foot down in any diesel powered car can be a noisy affair and the Kuga line-up is no different. However, if you drive in a more relaxed fashion you will notice that the engine is surprisingly refined. The wing mirrors are big enough and on account of this a bit of wind noise slips into the cabin. Road noise from the wheels is noticeable, but not unbearable
If you’re after luxury in your Kuga we would recommend that you have a look at the Titanium+ model. At the time of writing this article we’ve been informed that this is the highest specced Kuga available in Ireland and at present it comes in at €28,595. This model uses the completely updated SYNC system, which is easier to use and better presented than ever before. This model also offers quality materials like, 8 inch touchscreen, handsfree tailgate, partial leather trim and more.
The Kuga now comes with emergency assistance technology which contacts the emergency services automatically if your airbags inflate. Other available equipment includes a blind spot information system that alerts the driver as to approaching traffic. A nice touch is the driver alert system that monitors driving behaviour. The idea behind this is that if it senses that the driver is fatigued, it warns him or her to take a break.
The Kuga in its current form is much more practical than before. It will fit five adults, but for maximum comfort four would be best. Leg and head room is perfect and the boot space should be enough for most families. The height on offer in the boot is especially good for more awkward, bulky items.