Ford Kuga long-term test: report 4
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...
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 8927 List price £29,045 Target Price £27,963 Price as tested £30,545 Test economy 55.4mpg Official economy 56.5mpg
5 May 2021 – Techno-traveller
As someone who takes photos for a living, it will come as no surprise to you that at heart I’m a rather large geek, which means I’m always interested in the technology that my car has to offer. Whether it’s a feature designed to make driving more comfortable, to be more connected or safer, I want to know about it.
My Ford Kuga has really impressed me in this respect. Having not chosen the top trim level, it has some things I didn't expect, such as heated seats and a heated steering wheel, but as well as satisfying my longing to be slow-cooked while driving, this Titanium trim level comes packed with tech that I certainly would not have expected from a mid-level spec. Keyless entry, smartphone mirroring and cruise control all come as standard, for example.
Apple Carplay is a must-have for me these days, my photoshoot destinations frequently being sent to my phone via a Google Maps dropped pin. With most built-in sat-navs, I find it almost impossible to find said exact location, but being able to just plug my phone in and use Google Maps for navigation speeds everything up and, crucially, means I don’t get lost.
It isn’t all roses, though, because I have discovered a flaw. The Kuga comes with a wireless charging pad, and that's great; however, to use the Apple Carplay system I have to plug my phone in via a USB cable, which also serves to charge the phone anyway. It would have been far more elegant, and made more of a feature of wireless charging, had Ford offered wireless smartphone mirroring system as well.
I’ve also been using the Active Park Assist system, which comes as part of the optional Driver Assistance pack on my car. I have seen these systems working, or rather not working, before, and as such was rather hesitant to try it. When I engaged the system in my local supermarket car park, I was a little nervous, but I needn’t have worried. Like the cruise control system, it’s easy to activate, understand and use. It is a rather surreal experience having your car park itself for you, and I think I could have completed the manoeuvre in less time myself, but if you struggle to park larger cars, it’s a feature that's well worth considering.
I’ve also been really impressed by the Bang & Olufsen stereo system, which comes as standard on Titanium trim. I couldn't believe the difference in sound quality in comparison with my previous cars. Whether singing along to my favourite songs, listening to a relaxing podcast whilst parked up editing in a motorway services car park or taking important work calls when on the move, having a top quality surround sound in all of those moments just makes my working and travelling experience that much more enjoyable.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
Read more from our Ford Kuga long-termer >>
Read about more long-term test cars >>
Best large SUVs 2023
The best large SUVs are practical, luxurious and good to drive, with sensible running costs. Here we count down the top 10 – and reveal the ones that we'd avoid
Ford Kuga long-term test
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