Find a car review


Ford Kuga 2.5

Ford Kuga now with five-cylinder powerplant from Focus ST. Worth a look?

Evo rating
  • The most entertaining small SUV
  • Which isn’t saying much

The Ford Kuga. Not very evo, is it? But what if we told you that it now featured the 2.5-litre five cylinder from the Focus ST? And that we weren’t pulling you leg, either. Keener to find out more? I hope so, because I’m going to keep writing for a little while yet.

Up until now the Kuga has been an entirely unobjectionable SUV: not as spacious and versatile as a Nissan X-Trail, nor as desirable and capable off-road as a Freelander, but dynamically talented and reasonably handsome as far as these things go. Got a perky 140bhp diesel, too – just as well given that’s what the vast majority of buyers want.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

Only the completely shameless buy petrol SUVs these days and they tend to be Turbo Cayennes and supercharged Range Rover’s, so a 200bhp Ford Kuga isn’t likely to sell in great numbers – but if you’re sure you want a petrol Kuga, this is your only option. And it’s a good one.

OK, so the five pot has been detuned from 222bhp to 200bhp, but we’ve been informed that the two engines are mechanically identical, so if a 0-60mph time of 8.2 seconds isn’t quite brisk enough for you, the Mountune kit as fitted to our long term Focus ST may well be a retro-fit option.

Advertisement - Article continues below

To be honest, 200bhp is testing enough in a lofty, softly-sprung, long-travel SUV. The Kuga drives with a decent amount of panache: it rides smoothly, handles with reasonable verve and doesn’t get unduly led astray by random mid-corner bumps. There is a nibble if understeer if you go in a bit hot (and lots of flashing lights on the dash if you go in a lot hot – the stability system can’t be switched off), but the Kuga is capable and for an SUV, pretty informative.

It’s a shame the engine isn’t as entertainingly warbly here as in the hot hatch, but it piles on pace willingly enough once above 2,000rpm and is both smooth and well mannered, while you can choose either a slick six-speed manual or a five speed auto. In short it’s another polished Ford product – not desperately exciting but moderately satisfying.


Enginein-line 5cyl, 2522cc, turbo
Max Power197bhp @ 6000rpm
Max Torque236lb ft @ 1600-4000rpm
Top speed129mph
On saleNow

Have You Considered

Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019

Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

10 Sep 2019

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 revealed - VW’s electric revolution is here

9 May 2019

Most Popular


New McLaren GT review – Woking muscles-in on Aston Martin’s home ground

Is McLaren’s first grand tourer just a toned-down supercar, or something more nuanced and special?
17 Sep 2019

Miltek Volkswagen Up GTI review

VW’s Up GTI is already a favourite of ours. Can Milltek’s upgrades improve it further?
16 Sep 2019
Best cars

Best family cars that are still fun to drive

Saloon, hatchback or SUV, family cars come in all shapes and sizes, and needn’t be a snore to drive. These are some of the team’s favourites.
13 Sep 2019

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - picked by Porsche

Goodyear has many close associations with premium global car brands, but being asked to develop a trackday tyre for Porsche's extreme 911 GT3 RS was a…
14 Aug 2019