What's the used Ford Kuga 4x4 like?
The first-generation Ford Kuga was a stylish car that was generally well-received but some thought, in a hotly contested class that included the likes of the iconic Nissan Qashqai, ranked design a little too highly above function. This second-generation car has been designed to be sold in North America too, and is therefore bigger, more upmarket and competes against a whole new class of larger SUVs and 4x4s than the old model.
Its more conventional shape incorporates, in the facelifted post-2016 cars, Ford’s large SUV corporate grille, and underneath the body is a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines with the option of manual or dual-clutch automatic gearboxes and front- or four-wheel drive. All are solid, eager performers, and combine that with reasonable economy and efficiency.
Where the Kuga really surprises is in its ride and handling, both of which are accomplished to the level where it feels more like a hatchback than an SUV of old, with good body control and agility and neat absorption of bigger bumps and road irregularities. Patched up town roads can cause it to shimmer slightly, but on the whole occupants will be comfortable, a feeling enhanced by the spacious interior, although the use of some scratchy mixed plastics lets the feeling of quality down a little. The boot is of a good size, but one or two in this class have a larger capacity.
A mid-life facelift in 2016 upped the Kuga’s equipment levels. Now, a Kuga with some years behind it and the initial sting of depreciation taken away from it makes a tempting used proposition. It might not be the best all-rounder in its class, but it is both likeable and competitive, and it would certainly suit buyers seeking a large SUV with decent handling and reasonable refinement.