The Ford Kuga is a serious contender in the growing small SUV market. Its rivals, particularly the Seat Ateca, Nissan Qashqai and Mazda CX-5 are better in some areas, but the Ford remains a good all-rounder, especially if you're seeking a versatile family car.
Opt for our favoured diesel engine and you'll get a powerful but economical SUV that's also pleasant to drive.
Here are just five reasons why the Ford Kuga should be your next family SUV.
5 reasons to buy a Ford Kuga
5. Space up front
Few small SUVs can match the Kuga for the amount of space it gives the front passenger and driver. There's plenty of head room and leg room, and the interior is littered with clever storage solutions.
4. Zetec trim
There's no need to look further up the Kuga range than entry-level Zetec models. These cars have everything you're likely to need, including 17in alloy wheels, cruise control, air con and all-round electric windows.
3. Sharp steering
Progressive weighting makes the Kuga's steering very nice, and also means this big car is easy to manoeuvre around tight city streets. There's plenty of grip through corners, too.
2. Good safety tech
All Kugas get seven airbags, a stability control system and tyre pressure monitor. The Kuga also scored a maximum five stars for safety when tested by Euro NCAP, and you get an alarm and immobiliser as standard.
1. Finance deals
The vast majority of new cars are bought on finance, so you'll be glad to hear that Ford regularly offers competitive deals on Kuga models, including low-interest contracts and dealer deposit contributions.
What about buying used?
Ford launched the first-generation Kuga back in 2008 as a direct rival to Nissan's Qashqai. Based on the Focus hatchback, the Kuga became relatively popular thanks to its stylish looks and strong diesel engine range.
It's best to go for a two-wheel-drive Kuga if you can, because these hold on to their value better than the four-wheel-drive models. We recommend going for the 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, which has punchy performance and remains reasonably economical by today's standards.
One word of warning: like most crossovers and small SUVs from this era, the Kuga was never really meant to go off-road, despite its styling. Its low ground clearance is likely to hinder any progress you try to make off the Tarmac.
The one consistent problem with the Kuga is with its diesel particulate filter, or DPF. Make sure any car you see has covered plenty of motorway miles, giving the filter pleny of opportunity to get rid itself of any clogged soot particles. Replacing the filter, especially out of warranty, can be expensive.
As little as £4700 will get you on the Kuga ownership ladder, but it's worth spending a little more - around £8500 - for a high-end model with medium mileage.
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