Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Ford Kuga - Engines, performance and drive

The Ford Kuga offers strong fuel economy from its full hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£32,055 to £42,325
Find your Ford Kuga
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

Ford has fitted the third-generation Kuga with a strong range of engines and made it a family SUV that’s also great to drive. There’s MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear set-up that help with both comfort on longer journeys and agility when pressing on through the corners. When you need to rein it in, the brakes are strong.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The suspension stays comfortable and composed in most situations, although we did find the ride slightly too firm and bouncy on the ST-Line X version with its sporty suspension and larger alloy wheels. Smaller wheels go towards making the Kuga more refined.

A significant move forward for the Kuga is the adoption of mild-, full- and plug-in hybrid power, which help improve fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. The mild-hybrid tech recoups power during braking and stores it in a small battery, where it’s then used to power an electric motor that assists when accelerating to reduce the demand on the engine and maximise efficiency when on the move. The full-hybrid operates in the same way, but includes a larger battery that can store more power, and a stronger electric motor that can move the Kuga under electric power alone for short distances at low-speeds, improving fuel economy further.

However, the Kuga plug-in hybrid model is where you’ll find major savings in fuel consumption and less CO2 emitted from the tailpipe. It’s most effective when engaged in pure-EV mode, because the 2.5-litre petrol engine can be a little loud when it chips in. This isn’t helped by the CVT gearbox, which is typically noisy when accelerating hard – in fact, we’d prefer a regular automatic transmission to smooth things along.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

The 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine provides entry into the Kuga range. Producing 148bhp and 240Nm of torque, it manages the 0-62mph sprint in 9.7s, while the 222bhp 2.5-litre PHEV is even quicker at 9.2s. The full-hybrid version is a tenth of a second faster with a time of 9.1s.

Ford has fitted selectable driving modes as standard, so you can cycle between settings biased for eco, sporty and off-road driving.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Mercedes says ‘no thank you’ to EQ: EV brand to be axed
Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 - EQS badge
News

Mercedes says ‘no thank you’ to EQ: EV brand to be axed

Mercedes will roll back EQ branding for its electric cars as the first generation of EV models reaches the end of its lifecycle.
15 May 2024
UK faces “epidemic” of young uninsured drivers
Car crash
News

UK faces “epidemic” of young uninsured drivers

The number of young people convicted of driving without insurance has tripled since 2021, due to sky-rocketing premiums
17 May 2024
Skoda Scala vs Citroen C4 2024 twin test: which is the best-value family hatchback?
Skoda Scala and Citroen C4 - front tracking
Car group tests

Skoda Scala vs Citroen C4 2024 twin test: which is the best-value family hatchback?

The revised Skoda Scala takes on Citroen’s C4 in the battle to be the best-value family hatchback
18 May 2024