What Car? says...
When the Ford Kuga first appeared in 2008, it piqued the interest of those who were waiting for an SUV with sporty manners. The brand with the blue-oval badge had long been famed for turning out keen-handling family cars, and the Kuga promised the same in a fashionably tall SUV-shaped package.
Unfortunately, the original Kuga didn't quite live up to the fun-to-drive reputation Ford had forged with the Fiesta and Focus family hatchbacks. It appealed in other ways, though, with striking looks and a higher-set driving position for a great view of the road ahead. Both of which virtues are present and correct in this, the second-generation Kuga – but can it out-drive the competition? That might be a tall order, when rivals include the Mazda CX-5, Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq.
The latter two both trump the Kuga's seat count, too, as do the Nissan X-Trail and Honda C-RV, with the option of seven passenger perches versus the Ford's five. The Kuga fights back with attractive entry-level prices, though, and standard equipment is generous. The range-topping Vignale, meanwhile, has a truly extravagant specification, but is priced to contend with the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Volvo XC60.
Power comes from a range of petrol and diesel engines, with four-wheel drive available on the more powerful models, so there ought to be a Ford Kuga to suit most tastes and budgets, but does it deserve a space on your driveway?
Read on to find out how it drives, how family-friendly it is and whether it'll cost you a fortune to run. And then, whether a Kuga or one of its large SUV rivals takes your fancy, take a look at our New Car Buying pages to see how much you could save without the bother of haggling.