The original Ford Kuga was Fords answer to the Volkswagen Tiguan. It's stylish, comfortable and drives well. Downsides are above-average road and wind noise compared with rivals'.
There are only two engines available: a 2.0-litre diesel or a 2.5 turbocharged petrol unit. The diesel engine has more than enough performance, and offers good economy with 44.1mpg and 169 g/km CO2 for the 4WD version (47.1mpg and 159g/km after mid-2010). The front-drive only version is slightly better, managing 46.3mpg and 159g/km CO2 (47.9mpg and 156g/km CO2 after mid-2010).
The 2.5 engine is a detuned version of the engine that was in the previous-generation Ford Focus ST, giving the Kuga almost hot hatch performance. Beware though, because it's thirsty (you'll struggle to get near the official average of 28.5mpg) and puts out a lot of CO2 (234 g/km), so will cost a lot in road tax.
Rear headroom is a bit tight and the boot capacity isnt great either, at 360 litres.
The level of standard equipment is generous, and the cabin feels well put together, even if some of the materials look a little cheap next to those in rivals such as the Tiguan. Nevertheless, the interior has proved it can endure the abuse family life brings.
Our favourite entry-level Zetec models comes with alloys, air-con, keyless start and MP3 connectivity as standard with Titanium trim adding automatic lights and wipers, cruise and climate controls and part-leather upholstery.
Top-of-the-line Titanium X trim adds a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats and an electrically adjustable drivers seat.
In terms of the Kugas reliability, the most common problem is that the diesel particulate filter quickly becomes clogged. This could lead to an expensive replacement bill if done outside of warranty.
One recall was issued during Kugas life, and concerned the 2.0 diesel models built until March 2009. The brake pedal could stiffen due to a faulty valve within the brake system and could lead to longer stopping distances. Check that the work has been carried out.
We found these on the forecourt
Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi Zetec 4WD
08/58, 54,000 miles, 9950
JB Specialist Cars
Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi Zetec 2WD
09/59, 35,100 miles, 11,495
By Michail Karkafiris