Ford Kuga Review

Gumtree Rating

4.5 rating

First launched back in 2008, the Kuga (also known as the Escape in North America) is one of Ford’s sportier compact crossovers. It’s a spacious, family-friendly SUV with ample legroom and cargo space for bigger group adventures. The driving experience is pleasant too, with smooth handling that tames its powerful engine. It has five seats and comes in a number of variations including petrol, diesel, and full-hybrid engine models. Why choose between practicality and fun, when the Kuga can give you both?

Visit the Ford Kuga model page to explore available cars and learn more about the model.

What we think about the Ford Kuga

The Ford Kuga’s understated style is paired with comfort and solid performance. Impressive engine trims, smooth handling and generous amounts of interior space make the Kuga ideal for family adventures.

Pros

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Spacious interior with generous cargo space

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Powerful and reliable engine

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Advanced technical equipment included

Cons

Firm suspension on different trims

Not the most comfortable seats

The 2015 Ford Kuga has a number of different trims. The entry-level Ambiente version comes with 17-inch alloy wheels and a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. Other trims include the popular Titanium, the sportier ST-Line and ST-Line X, and the luxury Vignale variant. The Kuga has five seats and an excellent safety rating. Its fuel efficiency is solid, particularly on the hybrid.

Driving performance of the Ford Kuga

Our Driving Rating8 / 10

The dynamic engine of the Ford Kuga makes it one of the most enjoyable family SUVs to drive, with excellent torque and power output. This is particularly noticeable on the diesel version. The suspension is adjustable for a generally comfortable ride that’s agile when cornering around city streets, and smooth over long journeys – although its low base may bottom out on very bumpy roads. The Ford Kuga’s steering is strong and highly responsive, and the grip on offer is excellent.

Safety and reliability of the Ford Kuga

Our Safety Rating7 / 10

The Kuga received the maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP after being crash tested in 2019**. Adult protection scored 92%, while child protection was rated at 86%. The car’s safety technology received a respectable score of 73%. The features that come as standard on all models include a pre-collision assist system with autonomous emergency braking, as well as post-collision braking. Available as an optional extra, a special Driver’s Assistance Pack adds adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.

Under the bonnet of the Ford Kuga

Our Engine Rating9 / 10

The entry-level Ford Kuga runs on a 1.5-litre petrol engine, producing an impressive 148 bhp and reaching 0-62 mph in 9.7 seconds – not a sluggish SUV by any means. A 2.5-litre full-hybrid variant of the petrol engine will give you 225 bhp and is even quicker off the mark, capable of hitting 62 mph in just 9.2 seconds. Diesel and turbocharged engines are also available in some of the premium versions of the Kuga, offering even more power and torque.

What you'll find in the Ford Kuga

Our Design Rating7 / 10

The Ford Kuga is sportier than the average compact SUV and has a cosier, friendlier style than similar sports vehicles. The Kuga chooses to keep its off-roading abilities beneath an understated and sophisticated exterior – ready for you to explore. It’s fairly spacious for its class, and the looks are finished off well with a distinctively large grille on the front. LED headlights and alloy wheels as standard also lend some sophistication to its entry-level models, complementing the sleek curves of the design. It might not turn heads, but it’s a good looking machine.

Comfort and interiors in the Ford Kuga

Our Comfort Rating9 / 10

The Ford Kuga’s interior is as sleekly designed and assembled as its exterior, although some of the materials can feel a little inexpensive compared to similar SUVs. There’s plenty of legroom in the front and back, and the rear cabin space is excellent. Blue mood lighting and leather seats add to the overall feeling of casual comfort that the Kuga exudes. There are also two rear tray tables, well-placed air conditioning vents, and an always handy 12-volt outlet to charge phones and other devices.

Ford Kuga interior dashboard

What features you'll find in the Ford Kuga

Our Features Rating8 / 10

Inside the cabin is an eight-inch central touchscreen, which features Ford’s excellent SYNC 3 infotainment system. This includes sat-nav as standard, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, for easy interfacing with your phone’s operating system. The basic dashboard is spacious and clear, and an upgrade to a more expensive trim gives you a digital dashboard with advanced instrument displays. Upgraded models in the latest run also offer heated seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as full leather upholstery and a dynamic sunroof.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Ford Kuga

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

The Ford Kuga’s fuel efficiency is impressive across its range of engine variants. The basic 1.5-litre petrol model averages around 42.8 mpg, which is very good for its class. The latest diesel engines of a similar size can manage up to 49.6 mpg, and larger petrol engines can provide as much as 57.6 mpg. For the best possible fuel efficiency – not to mention green credentials – the 2.5-litre petrol plug-in hybrid is the option to go for. If your regular commutes are short enough for the 35-mile range of electric driving, you’ll be able to achieve fuel efficiency as high as 201 mpg with this advanced hybrid.

Running costs of the Ford Kuga

Our Cost Rating7 / 10

The enviable fuel efficiency should make the Ford Kuga a relatively cheap car to run, even compared to other value-oriented compact SUVs. Ford offers a three-year warranty as standard with the vehicle,*** and most of the petrol-based variants fall under less expensive insurance bands. Diesel engine models will cost slightly more to insure, but the car’s excellent safety rating still prevents it from getting too costly. The Kuga should hold on to around 46% of its value over the duration of its warranty, which is a pretty respectable result all things considered. ***

Our verdict of the Ford Kuga

4.5 rating

4.5 / 5 Gumtree rating

The Kuga is an understated family-friendly SUV that blends practicality with a smooth drive, balancing urban agility with comfort for longer journeys.