Ford Kuga

Ford Kuga front
SUV practicality, Focus underpinnings, plug-in hybrid tech: is this another Ford hit?

It has been several years since the third-generation Ford Kuga arrived, and it’s fair to say it has been a big success for the brand’s European exploits. Back in 2019, it arrived as part of the brand’s belated multi-pronged attack on the ever-growing SUV sector. With there having been a Kuga on the Blue Oval’s books since 2008, it was effectively the brand’s only credible crossover offering if you exclude the rather undercooked Ford Ecosport.The second-generation car arrived in 2013 and was a product of the global One Ford policy that meant it had to work as well in New York as it did Neasden.It has since grown in size yet retained its predecessor’s ability to entertain its driver. After a slow start, sales finally took off, and in its past couple of years on sale, it finally hit its stride, becoming Ford’s biggest-selling SUV.The new Kuga still wins people over from the Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan and Peugeot 3008, all of which have outsold it in the past, and Ford has since softened the car’s exterior design, made the interior more spacious and added economical mild- and plug-in hybrid powertrains to the range. But is it enough for it to fire it up the rankings? We’ve put it through its paces in our in-depth road test to find out. Ford Kuga range at a glance The Kuga has a versatile powertrain line-up, including conventional combustion engines and hybrid systems.The range opens with a 1.5-litre Ecoboost turbo petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.This version produces 147bhp and 177lb ft, with a 0-62mph sprint of 9.7sec. Drivers who want a bit of electrification can choose the 2.5-litre Duratec full hybrid, which sends 187bhp and 147lb ft through a CVT. It’s a touch faster than the Ecoboost, hitting 0-62mph in 9.1sec. At the top of the range is a 2.5-litre Duratec plug-in hybrid, with 221bhp, 147lb ft and up to 40 miles of range on electric-only power.The PHEV version is the most popular, accounting for a third of all sales, which is likely down to its favourable benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rating and perceived savings on the road.  There was also a diesel available at launch, but Ford axed it by the end of 2021, due to slow sales. Versionpower1.5L ECOBOOST147BHP2.0L ECOBLUE †187bhp2.0L ECOBLUE MHEV †148bhp2.5L DURATECH FHEV187bhp2.5L DURATECH PHEV *221bhp†Discontinued *Version tested
Source: Autocar

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