The Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi Titanium was delivered in what you and I would call black but some clever marketing person calles “Magnetic” and it glistened and promised good times with it’s panoramic roof, 19″ wheels and blacked-out privacy glass.
The 2.0 turbo diesel delivered on the promise too, if you slipped the auto box into sports mode, while normal was more than adequate for your everyday town driving and eco-mode only really made sense, to me at least, when cruising the highways where sudden acceleration and pull off power were not an issue. For those of a technical nature, the engine delivers 132kW and 400Nm of torque (quite substantial)!
Of course performance and costs are intertwined and there’s always a compromise to save fuel, money or both and the new Ford Kuga is no different. In our opinion, Ford should save costs somewhere else besides the dashboard. If you’ve driven a new Ford and woke up in a Kuga you wouldn’t know if it was in fact a Kuga or a Fusion or a Focus etc. The layout and the dash with the Sync 3 system is generic across the brand and in our opinion the reliance on shiny hard plastics cheapens the Kuga, even in range topping Titanium guise. Which is quite a shame for an otherwise very good vehicle.
While I’m having a gripe about the interior I want to add that I don’t get the new vents. I couldn’t get them to blow anywhere near where I wanted. They just seem odd and awkward, the navigation system worked like a dream though. Overall the features on the Kuga are very good.
We like the new face of the Kuga, the new grille and lights give the Kuga a bigger presence on the road and combined with the 19″ wheels offer a more attractive package than the previous model. Differences at the rear are less obvious but more angular styling is also an improvement on the rump.
The design, though not radically different from it’s predecessor, is attractive and in “Magnetic” draws a lot of admiring glances. The Kuga is very comfortable to drive, even on the 19″ alloys fitted with ‘more show than go’ low profile tyres. The styling pack costs R 19 550 (the panoramic roof, the 19″ wheels and mud flaps).
The Sync 3 infotainment system is offered via an 8″ touchscreen and connected mobile devices can be controlled with voice commands. Sync 3 also offers Apple CarPlay and Android AutoT connectivity.
Standard safety features on the facelifted Kuga include 7 airbags, ABS, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), trailer stability function, hill launch assist and rollover mitigation. ISOFIX child seat mounts are also standard.
The latest Kuga also introduces an enhanced version of Ford’s Active City Stop with low-speed collision mitigation and avoidance which is offered as part of the Driver Assistance Package. The package also includes features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot information system, lane departure warning, lane keeping aid and advanced active park assist.
Perpendicular parking functionality is also offered on the Kuga to help drivers locate parking spaces alongside other cars and parallel to the road and will steer into spaces while the driver controls the throttle and brakes. The facelifted Kuga has a 5-star Euro-NCAP safety rating.
Price as driven: R 506 900
We first drove the Ford Kuga 2.0 Titanium in December 2015 and because we’re big into sports we quite enjoyed having a nice loading capacity in a reasonably priced compact SUV. You can read our original impressions in more detail here, Ford Kuga 2.0 Ecoboost Titanium.