The majority of buyers opt for the 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine, which is available with either 148bhp or 178bhp. Both engines are a little flat at low revs but build speed fairly swiftly when the turbocharger kicks in at around 1800rpm. The higher-powered version, unsurprisingly, delivers a bit more of a kick when you put your foot down hard, but it isn't worth the premium.
If you’re after maximum miles to the gallon, consider the entry-level 1.5-litre diesel. With only 118bhp, it struggles a bit when fully laden with people and bags, but is adequate most of the time and keeps the Kuga's price way south of better rivals such as the Mazda CX-5 and Peugeot 5008. In fact, if you're a company car driver, it's the engine we'd recommend. Just bear in mind that you can only have the 1.5 diesel engine with front-wheel drive.
A 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine is also available, with either 118bhp, 148bhp or 180bhp. The more modestly powered versions are available only with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox, with the most potent unit coming with four-wheel drive and an automatic 'box as standard. The 118bhp version is your best bet if you're buying privately – particularly if you don't do many miles.
If you need to tow, four-wheel-drive diesel versions of the Kuga can pull a braked trailer weighing up to 2.1 tonnes. By contrast, the 1.5-litre diesel with front-wheel drive can only pull a measly 1.2 tonnes.