What's the used Ford Kuga 4x4 like?
Previous generations of the Ford Kuga have been good-looking and quite popular cars but not models that particularly set the market on fire or moved the game on in any great way. Ford hopes to change that with this third-generation car, which has grown in size and gained a new look and adopted some more modern technology including mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.
Two regular petrol engines are available – the 118bhp 1.5 Ecoboost 120 and 148bhp 1.5 Ecoboost 150. The 1.5 Ecoblue 120 and 2.0 Ecoblue 150 diesels mirror the power outputs of the two petrols, plus there’s a 187bhp Ecoblue 190 diesel. Then there's the plug-in hybrid version, the 2.5 Duratec 225 PHEV. It pairs a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined power output of 222bhp.
On the road, the plug-in hybrid version feels very brisk, with a respectable 0 to 62mph time of just 8.6sec. The best ride comes with the softer suspension setup that's fitted to Zetec, Titanium and Vignale trim (ST-Line is a little firm). It can be a little bouncy over the kind of big dips and crests you encounter along some country roads, but otherwise, it's pretty comfortable. The steering is very quick, which makes the Kuga feel eager to turn in to corners, although there is a bit of body lean. There are certainly nimbler large SUVs out there, but, as far as plug-in hybrid SUVs go, the Kuga PHEV is certainly one of the best to drive.
Inside, the seat is supportive and there’s plenty of adjustment, including for lumbar support on all trims, as well as generous levels of steering wheel rake and reach movement. You get an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system on all models. It’s reasonably responsive to prods, but its graphics are quite basic and some processes, such as choosing your favourite DAB radio station, are unnecessarily convoluted. You'll find more hard, shiny and unappealing plastic inside the Kuga than you will most of its rivals, although there are some soft-touch plastics, such as on the top of the dashboard and above the door armrests.
There's plenty of space up front, and it's generous in the rear, too. As such, a pair of tall adults will have no problem getting comfortable, and even a third, middle-seat occupant will find enough head and leg room, despite the fact that the middle seat is slightly raised.