Ford Kuga review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Good passenger space, but boot space, while improved, is bettered by some rivals

The Kuga's driving position is pretty good, the steering wheel moving for height and reach, while the pedals are well positioned, as is the gearstick for the standard manual transmission. Stowage is good, if not class leading, you need to go for Titanium trim and above to gain a useful centre console cubby with a 12-volt plug socket.

One thing to note is that the seats fold flat, but not on the more luxuriously-upholstered Vignale version where there's a bigger step that will make it tougher to load in longer items easily.

Size

The Kuga doesn’t feel too big compared to its rivals, its height giving you a useful view over traffic ahead. It feels longer than most, looking a bit like a tall estate car rather than a chunky SUV or crossover. That’s to its benefit in traffic, where you feel more confident threading it through gaps.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

Passenger space in the Kuga is good for four adults but the fifth middle seat is a bit of a squeeze unless you’re all very friendly. Headroom and legroom are good too but the panoramic roof - standard on some models – could be a problem for taller passengers. Visibility is generally decent all round.

Comfort is good, the seats supportive with lots of adjustability, and the rear seats can be reclined for greater comfort in the rear. Isofix child seat mounts feature on the outer two seats if you’ve little ones to fit in.

Boot

The Kuga still has a reasonable 456-litre boot, while the rear seats fold down easily to reveal a 1,603-litre load area that’s nice and flat.

The Ford Kuga has a smaller boot than a Volkswagen Tiguan and Honda CR-V, while even the smaller SEAT Ateca and Peugeot 3008 beat it for space. Furthermore, the spare wheel option decreases boot space to 406 litres, giving it 97 litres less than a Mazda CX-5.

There’s a compartment under the floor in the boot for secreting away items out of sight. If that floor panel is in its high position and the seatbacks down the load space is flat, the seats themselves folding in a simple one-hand operation across the entire range. There's a low loading lip as well, so getting items in and out is easy. An automatic tailgate can also be added. This can be opened by waving your foot under the rear bumper (as long as you have the key in your pocket - if you don’t you’ll just look ridiculous).

Towing

The towing capacity of the Ford Kuga naturally changes depending on the engine, with the maximum braked trailer towing capacity ranging from 1,200kg to 2,100kg. Drivers wanting a Kuga with the most towing power will need to opt for AWD 2.0-litre TDCi diesel. However, if you do not wish to own a 4x4 diesel, the FWD 148bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine can still pull 2,000kg.

Those drivers only looking to tow small trailers can probably get away with the 118bhp 1.5 TDCi unit. Your selection of gearbox and number of driven wheels will also affect the towing capacity, so make sure you check the particulars of any vehicle you are interested in.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 EcoBoost 120 Zetec 5dr 2WD
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,765

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 EcoBoost 120 Zetec 5dr 2WD
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,765

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 EcoBlue 190 Zetec 5dr Auto AWD
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £31,205

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