Cost & verdict

Ford Kuga review

Manufacturer price from:£22,910
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Ford Kuga
Review continues below...
14 Nov 2016 00:00 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 10:25

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Ford Kuga 4x4 running costs

At the lower end of the range, the Kuga seems reasonably priced; it isn't that much more expensive than smaller options such as the Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai. However, if you want a gutsy engine and a healthy amount of standard kit, all of a sudden you're looking at an asking price broadly in line with the excellent Mazda CX-5 and Peugeot 5008.

Admittedly, the Kuga is available with some pretty tasty discounts if you're prepared to haggle, but the flipside is that it won't hold onto its value as well as its aforementioned rivals. As a company car, however, the Kuga does make more sense – particularly the 1.5 diesel but also the 148bhp 2.0 diesel. The latter engine (with front-wheel drive) achieved a respectable 43.9mpg in our real-world True MPG test, although an equivalent CX-5 managed 47.4mpg.

Ford’s finance deals tend to be competitive, with low interest rates and dealer deposit contributions routinely available, along with fixed-price servicing that can be split into monthly payments. Vignale models are available with preferential finance deals, although they still don't make much sense.

Use our True MPG calculator and see what your car really does to the gallon

Ford Kuga 4x4 equipment

Entry-level Zetec trim offers the best value in the Kuga range because you get all of the essentials; air-con, electric windows and cruise control are all standard, although we would be tempted to pay extra for the optional 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system. Moving up to Titanium brings a few niceties, such as the upgraded infotainment system, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, part-leather seats and automatic lights and wipers.

ST-Line models are the sporty option so get a bodykit, sports suspension, 18in wheels, black detailing for the outside and floor mats with red piping. It also comes with a self-parking system, which not only brings front and rear parking sensors but also means the Kuga can steer itself into a parking spot.

The range-topping Vignale gets a powered tailgate and adaptive xenon headlights as standard, as well as a liberal upholstering of Windsor leather on the seats, interior doors and dashboard. But for the price of an ST-Line X or especially a Vignale, much classier, quicker and more refined cars, such as the Volkswagen Tiguan, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Volvo XC40, our 2018 Car of the Year, are available.

Ford Kuga

Ford Kuga 4x4 reliability

The good news is that the Kuga is one of the most reliable cars in the class, only getting beaten by the Mitsubishi Outlander in our most recent reliability survey. Ford as a brand did rather well, too: out of 32 manufacturers, it came ninth, ahead of Vauxhall, Skoda and even premium brands such as BMW and Audi.

The combination of a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty and a year’s roadside assistance in the UK and Europe is merely average for this class, when alternatives such as the Kia Sportage offer a seven-year warranty as standard. You can extend the Kuga’s warranty to four years and 80,000 miles, or five years and 100,000 miles, for a reasonable extra cost.

Buy a Vignale model and you’ll get a car that goes through a myriad of extra quality checks after assembly compared with other Kugas and which qualifies for better dealer aftercare. Ford will even collect and return your car before and after servicing it.

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Ford Kuga 4x4 safety and security

Some Kugas offer the reassurance of four-wheel drive, but all have seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, as standard. It is, however, very disappointing that you have to pay extra for automatic emergency braking on even the range-topping models and it's unforgivable that you can't add this crucial safety aid on entry-level Zetec trim.

The Kuga scored the maximum five stars when it was put through the Euro NCAP crash test in 2012, with particularly strong scores for adult protection (94%) and child protection (86%). However, Euro NCAP's test is considerably tougher nowadays, so it's hard to say how well the Kuga will protect you compared with newer rivas.

An alarm and immobiliser are standard, and security experts Thatcham Research awarded the Kuga five stars (out of five) for its resistance to being stolen and four out of five for guarding against being broken into.

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Verdict

The Ford Kuga is competitive in some areas, but there are a number of better options for the money, notably the excellent Mazda CX-5

  • Attractive entry prices
  • Sizeable discounts
  • Good reliability record
  • Cheap-feeling interior
  • Rivals are more spacious
  • Unsettled ride
There are 8 trims available for the Kuga 4x4. Click to see details.See all versions
Titanium X Edition
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Fuel Petrol, Diesel
ST-Line Edition
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
Titanium Edition
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OUR PICK
Zetec
The entry-level trim gets all the essentials, including 17in alloy wheels, air-con, hill-start assist, electric windows all round and cruise control. It’s our pick of the range, although we'd recom...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£19,942
Average Saving £2,968
View Trim
ST-Line
ST-Line models are the sporty option so get a bodykit, sports suspension, 18in wheels, black detailing for the outside and floor mats with red piping. It also has a self-parking system that not onl...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£25,219
Average Saving £2,841
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Titanium
Stepping up to Titanium brings you dual-zone climate control, an upgraded infotainment system, rear parking sensors, part-leather seats and automatic lights and wipers. However, Zetec trim keeps th...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£25,498
Average Saving £3,917
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Titanium X
The Kuga begins to feel posher when it gets to Titanium X, thanks to full leather trim and electrically adjustable, heated front seats. You also get a panoramic sunroof, a powered tailgate, powerfu...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£28,095
Average Saving £4,120
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ST-Line X
Like regular ST-Line trim, but with an added panoramic roof, electrically adjustable and heated seats, bigger alloys, a powered tailgate and keyless entry. Again, it's far too pricey to recommend...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
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£29,337
Average Saving £3,678
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