Rightly or wrongly, safety has always been part of the appeal of owning a 4x4. Commanding driving positions ensure brilliant visibility and their sheer size makes them feel safer – regardless of the actual reality. The new Ford Kuga lives up to expectations, though, and was the safest Small Off-road 4x4 put through the wringer by Euro NCAP’s experts last year.
The Ford scored strongly across the board and it has also been a hit with the Auto Express team. It’s bigger than before and while it doesn’t look as sharp or handle as well as its predecessor, its larger interior is more practical and cabin quality has improved significantly. The large 481-litre boot should also be big enough for most family duties.
Manual versions feature stop-start to help reduce emissions and while diesel models make the most sense in the compact SUV class, the 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol is smooth and willing. Euro NCAP was also impressed by the Ford Emergency Assistance system which comes as part of the optional SYNC set-up. It automatically notifies the emergency services in the event of an accident using mobile phones paired with the car’s Bluetooth connection.