Ford Kuga Review


The name Kuga just sounds like it would be some sort of high-powered sports car like the $500,000 Ford GT, but it isn’t. In fact, it couldn’t possibly be more different. It is actually a European Escape. That’s right; it’s a very sensible, family-oriented, mid-sized crossover SUV. The Kuga didn’t resemble the Escape in the beginning, though. It was a sportier CUV when it was introduced in 2008. Ford decided the Kuga should grow up and take its proper place in the Ford line-up back in 2012.

1

Does Ford make a car called the Kuga?

Yes. The Kuga is a five-passenger mid-size CUV. It was introduced in 2008 in Europe as a fun, sporty compact crossover SUV. The second generation began in 2012 when Ford basically turned the Kuga into the Escape as part of their global uniformity movement. Generation three began in 2016 with a major facelift, new tailgate, and new, more fuel-efficient engine options.

2

Does Ford sell the Kuga in America?

Well, yes and no. The Kuga is sold in North America as the Ford Escape.

3

Is the Ford Kuga a four-wheel drive vehicle?

The Kuga is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

4

Can the Kuga be taken off-road?

The Kuga will certainly hold its own on light off-road treks. Hardcore rock crawling is definitely not one of its intended purposes, though.

5

What are the Kuga trim levels?

The Kuga is available in six trims. They are the basic Zetec, the Titanium, the ST-Line, the Titanium X, the ST-Line X and the top-of-the-line Vignale.

6

What engines are available for the Ford Kuga?

There are three gas-powered EcoBoost engines and six diesel TDCi engines available for the Ford Kuga. The 182-hp 1.5-L EcoBoost 6AT AWD comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 120-hp 1.5-L EcoBoost 6MT FWD and 150-hp 1.5-L EcoBoost 6MT FWD both come with a 6-speed manual transmission. The 120-hp 1.5-L TDCi 6MT and 150-hp 2.0-L TDCi 6MT engines for FWD Kugas come with 6-speed manual transmissions. The 150-hp 2.0-L TDCi 6MT and 180-hp 2.0-L TDCi 6MT for AWD Kugas also come paired with 6-speed manual transmissions. The 150-hp and 180-hp 2.0-L TCDi 6AT’s for AWD’s come paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Steering-wheel-mounted paddles for shifting come standard on all Kugas equipped with an automatic transmission.

7

How fuel efficient is the Ford Kuga?

The Kuga is very fuel efficient, although the degree of efficiency varies depending on the engine choice. The 182-hp AWD 1.5-L EcoBoost gets 25 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. The other two 1.5-L EcoBoost engines get 30 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway. Just for comparison’s sake, the Honda CR-V gets 25 to 28 mpg in the city and 31 to 34 mpg on the highway. The diesel engines are, of course, even more fuel efficient. They get 39 to 49 mpg in the city and 48 to 56 mpg on the highway.

8

Is the Ford Kuga a roomy car?

The Kuga isn’t the roomiest CUV in its class. With the back seat in its upright position, there are just over 14 to 16 cubic feet of cargo space behind the seat. When the back seat is folded flat, there is 56.6 to 58.4 cubic feet of cargo room. The back seats have a 60/40 split, too, which makes it more convenient to haul longer items with a passenger in the back seat. The Honda CR-V boasts 39.2 cubic feet of space behind the back seat and 75.8 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. The Mazda CX-5 has 31 and 60 cubic feet of cargo room.

9

Does Ford make a hybrid Kuga?

No, there isn’t a Kuga hybrid.

10

How expensive is the Ford Kuga?

The Kuga Zetec is the least expensive with a starting price of £22,600 in the UK. That translates to $29,772. The very well-appointed top-of-the-line Vignale has a starting MSRP of £31,840 or $41,944.

11

What are the standard infotainment system features in the Kuga?

All but the highest and lowest trims come equipped with Ford’s SYNC3 system with Voice Control, an 8-inch LCD Touchscreen, AppLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. They also come with a media hub with two USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, and GPS. The stereo system is a six-speaker system with AM/FM dual tune radio and Radio/CD with DAB. The Kuga Zetec comes equipped with SYNC with Voice Control, Bluetooth connectivity, and AppLink. It also has the six-speaker stereo system with a 4.2-inch display, AM/FM dual tune radio and Radio/CD with DAB. The Vignale trim comes with the same features as the middle trims but with a nine-speaker Sony stereo system and a rearview camera.

12

Do any active-assist safety systems come standard in the Kuga?

All Kugas come with Ford’s Intelligent Protection System, Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control with Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist and Anti-lock Braking System. Active City Stop and a Lane-Keeping System that includes Driver Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, and Blind Spot Information System are available on all but the Zetec trim. The Quickclear window de-icer comes standard on all Kugas, too. This is a very handy feature to have on cold frosty days.

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