By John Knox
This is a smart car that will help look after you! That is something different to have to write about an inanimate object, but in the case of the new, feature heavy Ford Kuga it is a simple fact.
In recent years Ford have been pursuing a quiet revolution, if you like, packing more and more goodies into their mainstream cars. These goodies, or features, vary from safety, to convenience, to comfort to driving aids, and largely when we see them the causal reaction is ‘grand, something new’.
One was really taken by the new Ford way at the launch of the Focus a couple of years ago. Rather than the driving dynamics or anything else about the car, the top end technology package was the story for me.
Off beat driving aids like road sign recognition and a lane driving system that alerted you if you strayed out of lane were suddenly in the mix.
Many of the features can be a huge help. They all but sparkle and enhance the overall experience when driving the handsome new Kuga, a mid-range, relatively affordable crossover SUV. Here is a car with luxury end features from prices that begin at 33,450 euro.
The new Kuga is a big improvement on what has gone before, most especially in terms of space (1,653 maximum boot space) and dynamics. It is a space provider, for passengers and luggage.
Generally these vehicles either live up to the promise of fetching, tough car looks which are fun to drive or they don’t. The Kuga delivers!
One was impressed by the refinement, ability and suppression of noise levels in the latest version.
The 2-litre (140ps) diesel engine simply breezed through any and every demand put to it, with barely a murmur heard in the bright and cheerful and spacious cabin. Take that aspect of things as a given, please.
It was the add ons that fingered exactly where Ford are right now, which is at the top of their game in terms of the overall offering with their vehicles.
The Kuga offers an Intelligent All Wheel Drive system, for instance, that adapts to terrain and conditions in an instant; it has Active City Stop, a system which automatically applies the brakes at low speeds to prevent an accident and Ford SYNC which canread out text messages.
The Kuga is the first SUV with a hands free feature for the opening of the tailgate. All you do is wave you foot under the bumper and the tailgate pops open.
These are not fancy trinkets. They are positive developments in the overall experience. The Kuga looks a real winner!
Standard features – cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, Ford Power start button, central double locking, 17” wheels, daytime running lights, electric heated door mirrors, twin exhaust pipes, mini spare wheel, trip computer, hill start assist, leather steering wheel, adjustable flat load floor, driver knee airbag.
Ford Kuga Titanium 2.0litre TDCi diesel Duratorq 37,700 euro, 1,992cc, four cylinder turbo, 6-speed manual, 140ps, 320 Nm at 2,00rpm, 390 euro annual road tax.