When the Ford Kuga first appeared in 2008, it piqued the interest of those who were waiting for an SUV with sporty manners. The brand with the blue-oval badge had long been famed for turning out keen-handling family cars, and the Kuga promised the same in a fashionably tall SUV-shaped package.
Unfortunately, the original Kuga didn't quite live up to the fun-to-drive reputation Ford had forged with the Fiesta and Focus family hatchbacks. It appealed in other ways, though, with striking looks and a higher-set driving position for a great view of the road ahead. Both of which virtues are present and correct in this, the second-generation Kuga – but can it out-drive the competition? That might be a tall order, when rivals include the Mazda CX-5, Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq.
The latter two both trump the Kuga's seat count, too, as do the Nissan X-Trail and Honda C-RV, with the option of seven passenger perches versus the Ford's five. The Kuga fights back with attractive entry-level prices, though, and standard equipment is generous. The range-topping Vignale, meanwhile, has a truly extravagant specification, but is priced to contend with the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Volvo XC60.
Power comes from a range of petrol and diesel engines, with four-wheel drive available on the more powerful models, so there ought to be a Ford Kuga to suit most tastes and budgets, but does it deserve a space on your driveway?
Read on to find out how it drives, how family-friendly it is and whether it'll cost you a fortune to run. And then, whether a Kuga or one of its large SUV rivals takes your fancy, take a look at our New Car Buying pages to see how much you could save without the bother of haggling.