Ford Kuga

Focus-based SUV not at all bad

Evo rating
Price
from £20,500
  • Surprisingly enjoyable compact SUV
  • But do you need it?

Are you a lover of SUVs or a hater? The big, thirsty, bling-laden variety is ever harder to justify, but just as we admire cars that are light, nimble, fast and a riot to drive, so there might be a place for an SUV similarly blessed. Relatively speaking, anyway.

The best-driving workaday hatch you can buy is a Ford Focus. Fact. So what happens if you take a Focus platform, enlarge it in track, wheelbase and the height of the body it carries, and insert an extra, Haldex clutch-controlled drive to the rear wheels? You get a Ford Kuga.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Smaller than a Freelander, it doesn’t promise unstoppable off-road ability but it’s competent. It has the usual 2-litre turbodiesel (the 2.5-litre turbo five-pot petrol arrives later) and comes in top Titanium or well-gizmoed Zetec trim, the latter optionally with satin-finish blue or orange accents inside.

And it steers and handles like no other compact SUV I can recall. The steering is crisp, consistent and natural (providing you don’t switch it to heavy, stodgy ‘Sport’ or anaesthetic ‘Comfort’), there’s little roll and yet the ride is smooth, calm and composed. It’s a bit of a miracle, frankly. And the engine pulls with the zing typical of a good modern TD, with a CO2 rating of just 169g/km. Take that, SUV-haters.

Specifications

Engine4-cyl, 1997cc, turbodiesel
Max power136bhp @ 4000rpm
Max torque236lb ft @2000rpm
0-6010.7sec (claimed)
Top speed112mph (claimed)
On saleJune
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bentley/202227/ps15m-bentley-bacalar-revealed-in-six-new-designs
Bentley

£1.5m Bentley Bacalar revealed in six new designs

Bentley’s exclusive Mulliner brand is returning to low-volume manufacturing with the striking Bacalar convertible
3 Apr 2020
Visit/porsche/718-boxster/202408/new-porsche-boxster-t-2020-review
Porsche 718 Boxster

New Porsche Boxster T 2020 review

In many ways the best 718 Boxster to drive, but that sadly doesn’t paper over the inadequacies of the flat-four engine
2 Apr 2020
Visit/used-cars/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
1 Apr 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019