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News & Reviews
Last 7 Days
By James Ward
Quick Specs
2.0L Turbo Diesel
$38,490 (plus on roads)
3 year / 100,000km
See the full specs Read the full review

So, where did you go on your date?

Dating a Kuga. Yep — they even have ads for that on TV now, apparently.

Sadly though, this isn't a switch from my standard eHarmony type adventures with cars to a more extreme late-night Snapchat exploit — Kuga and I just kicked about over the weekend, although we did meet some other animals in our travels.

Ideal first date?

The Kuga needs to be its own party — as no matter where you go, no one will notice you.

This isn't a bad thing, you avoid all the pre-judgemental behaviour that affects other drivers and can just kick back and enjoy your time. It's comfy and capable — so hit the road to your favourite 'weekend' spot and worry about nothing but having a good time.

Hot or not?

I'm going to call it out now — the Ford Kuga is underrated as a medium sized SUV.

It's handsome and modern in a 'big Ford Focus' kind of a way. The flares, use of black cladding, sharp-angled glasshouse and even the lamp treatments are subtle but stylish. I haven't yet seen one in a colour that didn't suit it — and that is rare!

It's what's inside that counts, what do you think of the interior?

The 2015 Ford Kuga gets a slightly revised centre console, which still looks like it was taken from a 1990's Sony boom-box — but the twin status screens work well and the ergonomics are good.

Strangely the back seat doesn't fold for a flat-load floor, but there is plenty of room and flexibility to make the Kuga an appealing option for both active couples and small families alike.

Standout features?

In a strange way, the best bit about the Kuga is its completeness.

It just didn't skip a beat over the weekend and did nothing wrong. I had to deal with a friend's Mustang for a photo shoot (there's the other animal link) and even met a fellow Kuga on the street, all the while not worrying about the car at all. It was present all weekend, but I didn't notice it — and this is good.

I do like the little graphic of the car on the instrument display that shows when your lights are on - it's a nice touch. Plus the best status message ever — Driver alert: Speed too low. Yes!

Annoying habits?

Some of the Ford parts-bin switchgear and tactile elements are a bit of a letdown to the overall package. It's always going to happen in a world-car like this — one headlight turny switch for all! But it would be nicer if the Kuga was a bit more special.

And it isn't.

Ready for a family?

Absolutely - this is a great family SUV and is a great cross-shop with CarAdvice favourite Mazda CX-5 or, well, pretty much everything else in the segment.

Lots of room, ISOFIX anchor points and a decent boot — it's a great base to work from.

High maintenance?

Not really. Ford offer capped-price service packages across their range — currently for up to seven years, but potentially even longer in the future.

The diesel engine is nice and economical too, returning 8.4L/100km on our urban test.

Any deal-breakers?

I've said it before, I like a bit of flair and character with my cars — and the Kuga doesn't really have either.

It is as anonymous as any car can be, and is often forgotten when discussing the set of medium SUV's available at the moment. It's by no means a bad car, and for some that 'blend in everywhere' style is a good thing.

So, is it serious or just a one night stand?

I really did like the Kuga, and would certainly recommend it to buyers needing a no-nonsense car, but it's just not special enough for me.

Keeping your options open?

This category has choice as wide as the country — Jeep Cherokee, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Kia Sportage, Volkswagen Tiguan, etc. Like all things, your car purchase needs to fit with your needs and wants, and I would suggest you consider rather than forget the Kuga. It deserves that chance.

If it's not for you, who would you recommend it to?

I see the Kuga as a young couple's cars — for people who need a good, solid day-to-day vehicle but also something that can handle a bit of adventure.

Plus, getting a chuckle when talking about 'taking the Kuga out' is a prerequisite.