2015 Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 180 Titanium X Sport
Range-topping Titanium X Sport trim brings a lot of luxuries to the Kuga, but is it worth the money?...
The Ford Kuga’s 2015 facelift has brought a drop in emissions across the range, and we recently drove the fastest diesel available in the SUV.
We’ve now had a chance to try the same 2.0-litre 178bhp diesel, but this time in range-topping Titanium X Sport trim. For £32,045, you get all the trimmings that Ford offers, including a sporty body kit, an upgraded Sony stereo, a sunroof and 19in alloy wheels.
Going north of £30,000 exposes the Ford to lower-spec but more premium SUV cars like the BMW X3, though, so even though this Kuga has lower emissions than its predecessor, and comes with an array of luxuries, is it worth your money?
What is the 2015 Ford Kuga like inside?
The cabin is comfortable and spacious, as it is on all trim levels, but the noticeable inclusion on Titanium X Sport is the plush Torino full leather interior and heated front seats, along with an electrically adjustable driver’s seat that’s in a nice, high position. The interior might not match its premium rivals', but there is a general feeling of good quality in the cabin.
Visibility out of the SUV is good and, despite the Kuga's large size, parking isn’t too arduous a chore thanks to the big door mirrors, parking sensors and reversing camera that come with the range-topper.
The sunroof soaks the cabin in light and is easily and quickly operated on the move. True, it reduces head room, but that’s barely noticeable in the spacious front seats, although it does cut into the limited rear head room available. As some compensation, there is still a lot of leg and knee room for passengers in the back, but the middle seat is slightly squashed and doesn’t offer much shoulder room.
The 406-litre boot space trails those of rivals by some margin - the BMW X3 and Mazda CX-5 offer 550 and 503 litres respectively - but there's still more than enough space for a buggy or a large weekly shop. Titanium X Sport does bring some handy practical extras, such as a button-operated powered rear hatch. Our test car also allowed you to open the tailgate by waving your foot under the rear bumper - but this costs an additional £350.
Ford’s infotainment system remains as fiddly as before, with a mass of buttons and a small screen preventing the system from being intuitive, but once you get your head round it you'll be grateful for the sat-nav that comes with this trim, as well as the upgraded Sony audio system.
What is the 2015 Ford Kuga like to drive?
The high-powered 178bhp diesel engine is strong and rarely feels underpowered, but it’s not very refined, and you won’t want to push it past 3000rpm too often because of the racket it kicks up. Its low-end pull is a bit disappointing, so you’ll find yourself shifting through the gears a lot at low speeds, but take it up to motorway speeds and it'll happily cruise along in sixth.
Our True MPG tests revealed that the Kuga’s real world fuel economy is 42.6mpg, and while this is marginally behind the Mazda CX-5’s True MPG result of 46.3mpg, it’s a decent improvement on the previous Kuga engine that had less power and only managed 35.7mpg in the real world.
The head-turning 19in alloys might look the part, especially paired with the sporty body kit, but they do harm the low-speed ride comfort. Around town they don’t soak up road imperfections particularly well, but once the roads flatten out and you get out onto the motorway you’ll cruise in comfort and forget about the alloys’ formidable size.
The well-weighted steering inspires confidence through the corners – where the all-wheel-drive system effectively keeps the wheels in check – and it's composed at both low speeds and on motorways.
Should I buy one?
The luxuries are nice to have, but they don’t make much sense splashing your cash on. At just over £32,000, Titanium X Sport trim is just too expensive to recommend.
We’d stick to Zetec trim with two-wheel drive because it still comes with air-con, cruise control, digital radio and a heated windscreen. Add rear parking sensors for £275 and a navigation system for £750 and you'll still have a Kuga that's more than £7000 cheaper than the Titanium X Sport.
If you want a flashy SUV for £30,000, then, you’re better off with an X3.
What Car? says...
Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 180 Titanium X Sport
Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
Torque 295lb ft
0-62mph 9.2 seconds
Top speed 126mph
Fuel economy 54.3mpg