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 have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

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/lamborghini/202829/tecnomar-launches-4000hp-v12-lamborghini-yacht
Lamborghini

Tecnomar launches 4000hp V12 Lamborghini yacht

The V12-powered yacht is Tecnomar’s most capable offering yet, and takes inspiration from Lamborghini’s most recent models
30 Jun 2020
Visit/news/21596/ares-panther-progettouno-reborn-de-tomaso-pantera-hits-the-road
News

Ares Panther ProgettoUno – reborn De Tomaso Pantera hits the road

5.2-litre V10 and pop-up headlights for Dany Bahar’s reimagined supercar
9 Jul 2020
Visit/lamborghini/202866/lamborghini-sian-roadster-revealed-with-808bhp-electrified-v12
Lamborghini

Lamborghini Sián Roadster revealed with 808bhp electrified V12

The supercapacitor-equipped Lamborghini Sián has ditched its roof with a new roadster variant
8 Jul 2020
Visit/mercedes/s-class/22543/new-2020-mercedes-s-class-interior-tech-detailed
Mercedes S-Class

New ​2020 Mercedes S-class interior tech detailed 

Mercedes-Benz reveals tech offerings of the next S-class, ahead of its launch later this year
9 Jul 2020