I’m sure many of you have observed how the SUV market has grown dramatically over the past 10+ years. In an increasing number of cases, no longer is an ordinary hatch back or (if you need more space) an estate car satisfying our demanding requirements.

The SUV was founded on the premise of providing a more spacious and practical offering over a ‘normal’ car.

Though over the years this has evolved and the SUV now has a far broader list of requirements, few more important than its image, and giving families the feeling of being adventurers.

In fact one of Ford’s strap lines for the Kuga is ‘the world is yours’.Looks-wise, the Kuga is one of the most easily distinguished in this segment, a segment where models typically look quite samey – the new model has an imposing and aggressive looking front grille and a sharply sculpted rear tailgate and light set-up. The model I tested was the ST-line which included partly smoked lights and 19inch wheels which made it look particularly standout and personally, I think it’s the most attractive in the class.

The interior is consistent with other Ford models and is what you’d expect from a manufacturer producing some of the UK’s best selling cars – it’s good quality, well-equipped and nicely laid out. I particularly liked the half leather and suede seats and hands-free tailgate.

Going back to the original ethos of the SUV, the Kuga is spacious and multi-functional. The 2l Duratorq (185ps model tested) offers good performance and returns a claimed combined mpg of 54.2, whilst the option of intelligent all-wheel drive and decent ground-clearance means it’s perfectly capable of going off-piste.

There’s also small things that can be overlooked, like for example the fact that it sits much higher than a ‘normal’ car which improves visibility, feels more substantial and passengers can enjoy admiring the views more clearly over the top of Cornish hedges.

So suddenly the appeal becomes clearer and in line with ‘the world is yours’. The Kuga feels spirited and tough, although it does come with some small sacrifices, for example the Kuga doesn’t offer quite the same ride and handling as the Mondeo and Focus and neither is it as efficient to run: Ford’s original core offering, including, Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo are genuinely at the top of their class, and offer virtually no compromises in what they do best. The ambidextrous Kuga offers more versatility with only a small number of compromises.

So really think about what it is you want, and if it is versatility in a car that is fun with a rugged image that will bring out the adventurer in you, then the Kuga is a good choice

Prices start from £20,845.


This article was first published in the March 2017 issue of Business Cornwall magazine. To subscribe, click here.