At Run Ride Dive we’re into sports in a big way. Scuba diving, mountain biking, trail running and many more and there’s nothing better than getting a vehicle to review than one that suits the busy outdoors life we enjoy. Which is why, when Ford sent us the new Ford Kuga 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium, we were delighted to be able to drive this compact SUV.
The Kuga 2.0 Ecoboost is the latest addition to the Kuga range, following the release of the 1.5 EcoBoost and the 2.0 TDCi diesel version. This is the most powerful Kuga to date with an engine derived from the popular ST. In this guise the motor delivers 177 kW and 340Nm of torque via all wheel drive!
With the heatwave and subsequent absence of any chance of rain in November we headed down to some friends to get our hands on a few nifty golf clubs before heading off for a round. The Kuga’s boot, adorned with an easy to use sliding cover, measures a full 456 litres before folding down any of the rear seats. With the rear seats down, the luggage volume rises to a staggering 1653 litres. The split rear seats also allow a staggered approach to fit even the largest of professional golf bags. The vehicle we tested was also fitted with a motorised rear door which opens from the key and closes with a switch on the tailgate. Very useful if your hands are full when approaching and presumably beneficial for anyone with a back problem.
The drive is as smooth as you would expect from a six speed auto gearbox in 2015 and road noise is no issue at all. The driving position is easily adjusted to accommodate just about any size driver with electric motors providing lift as well as fore and aft positioning. The co-pilot must make do with a lever operated seat though.
There are two display screens in the Titanium Kuga we reviewed. One in the centre console and one in the cluster between the rev counter and the speedometer. We asked about satnav and were advised it was not yet an option which is probably what the large console screen would be most suited to. The cluster screen displays a large array of options and settings as well as the warnings like unlocked seat belts and park distance gaps.
Ford is pushing it’s technology integration forward with the new SYNC2 system which combines music with bluetooth mobile management via voice controls. The system supposedly can recognise 150 voice commands without a learning phase. (Ed: I can barely manage 150 words in my vocabulary!) The greatest benefit is the option to voice dial, reply with set messages and hear text messages without taking one’s hands off the steering wheel. We prefer not to text, or read text at all while driving and only used the bluetooth call function which we were able to connect to our phone in seconds thanks to the voice prompts.
The Ford Kuga is an attractive vehicle with striking lines and a stance which makes it appear sporty. It doesn’t lie either with 0 – 100 acceleration claimed at just 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 212km/h. One thing we didn’t like was the shiny black plastic centre console and the white buttons on the Sony sound system. The glossy black just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the classy interior which is finished with sporty leather seats.
The new ST-derived powerpack delivers a welcome boost of power when you need to step on it but at a significant cost in fuel. We enjoyed driving the Kuga around Johannesburg but would advise caution with the revs if fuel economy is important. On the open road we cruised within manufacturer specified fuel consumption rates.
Switch to sport mode and all hope of economical driving is lost as your senses enjoy the acceleration and thoughts of frugality are instantly forgotten.
Price: 469 900 incl VAT
|18″ Alloy Wheels||R5,250|
|Driver Assistance Pack||R15,450|
|1.5 EcoBoost Ambiente FWD||2.0 EcoBoost Titanium AT AWD|
|Service Intervals||20 000km||20 000km|
|Comprehensive Warranty||4 yr / 120 000km||4 yr / 120 000km|
|Service Plan||4 yr / 80 000km||4 yr / 80 000km|
|Roadside Assistance||3 yr / unlimited km||3 yr / unlimited km|
|Corrosion Warranty||5 yr / unlimited km||5 yr / unlimited km|