Ford Kuga long-term test: report 2

The latest Ford Kuga has impressed us with its competitive pricing and tidy handling, but how will it fare as a photographer's assistant? We're finding out...

Ford Kuga boot

The car Ford Kuga 2.0 Ecoblue mHEV Titanium | Run by Max Edleston, junior photographer

Why it’s here The plug-in hybrid version of the latest Kuga has impressed us already, but how will this mild hybrid diesel variant fare as transport for someone who frequently covers a lot of miles?

Needs to Function as a mobile office, be reliable and sure-footed across any terrain, be comfortable for long trips

Mileage 6506 List price £29,810 Target Price £27,963 Price as tested £30,545 Test economy 52mpg Official economy 56.5mpg

29 March 2021 – The workhorse

I need any vehicle I run to tick many boxes and perform many roles, but the most important is to be able to take all my camera equipment, car-cleaning gear and supporting photoshoot equipment to and from locations.

When I'm on a larger photoshoot, that can add up to a lot of kit, so I need to have plenty of space in whichever car I'm driving, both in the boot and on the rear seats. Having previously driven a pick-up truck – which had rear luggage space comparable with that of Doctor Who’s Tardis – I did find myself rather worried about how my smaller Ford Kuga would perform.

However, I’m pleased to say that, with some careful packing, all the equipment I would use for a large photoshoot does neatly fit in the rear of the Kuga. However, to perform that space test I did remove the parcel shelf. I always attach the parcel shelf for security reasons, and if I wanted to keep all the gear in the boot covered up I would have to remove some items and place them in the rear seat.

Ford Kuga boot

On the subject of the parcel shelf, it's the part of the Kuga I’m struggling to get along with the most. You see, it’s connected to the car via the usual string hoops at one end but some flimsy plastic clips at the other.

As such, nearly every time I open the boot, the parcel shelf has either fallen off straightaway, or fallen on to my head while I’m reaching in to get something. On the odd occasion when it has stayed connected, it only takes a light gust of wind to catch it for it to come off the clips again. Why would you not use something more substantial to hold it in place?

On a more positive note, I did also test fitting a 6ft ladder into the Ford Kuga (I sometimes need to get up high to take one of the glamorous group test lead images you see in What Car? magazine and on this website).

To fit it in I folded down one side of the rear passenger seats, which was a very easy process, and pulled the front passenger seat forwards. The ladder slid in with absolutely no problems and I was incredibly impressed with just how easy it was to do.

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