Review

The Ford Kuga is good, but is it worth it?

Under the hood

David Walshe

Reporter:

David Walshe

Email:

david@netacar.ie

The Ford Kuga is good, but is it worth it?

I remember when there were only three trims levels from Ford. No calculator needed trying to figure out the mix of options you could afford. Simple.

Ford must be giving a nod to that past with the Vignale line of premium equipped cars. (When you read Vignale, think Ghia).

It’s the product of a belief that Ford buyers want a more luxurious Ford. So for a Vignale model Ford have thrown everything at it. That Vignale look sees it get a dedicated hexagonal, honeycombed grille and higher quality inner trim materials. It is very nicely done. All the good stuff is in there like 18" alloy wheels, automatic everything, unique Vignale body styling kit, full leather seats and steering wheel, SYNC3 system with 9 Sony speakers, dual electronic automatic temperature control and lots more besides. Despite this, there are 24 options/packs you can specify which undermines the Vignale concept a bit as well as the just under €6k premium over the Titanium model Vignale to pay.

The Kuga is Ford’s third best seller in Ireland displacing the Mondeo as we all scramble to sit higher up in cars. As a Mondeo owner I prefer the ride in it but the Kuga has its charms and is one of the best handling crossovers available. That handling comes at the expense of a softer ride. Performance from the diesel engine is potent and has the 150PS sweet spot, for me, of power. Mine had a manual gearbox but in a Vignale it has to be automatic.

Inside it’s very roomy attributable to its larger dimensions over the last Kuga.

There is a Ford familiarity to all the controls with only the infotainment system harking back to the format from the recent past and it needs a better look and position.

Crucially for the Kuga, if you are not Vignale inclined, are a number of trims at price points to suit most Crossover/SUV buyers for this size of car. There is currently a 0% finance offer available and the 181 Clean-up campaign could net you a sizeable discount of up to €5,000 making the Kuga very attractive indeed.

The Kuga is one of, if not the most, refined crossovers/SUV’s available but I’m not convinced that wearing the Vignale label has the attraction or appeal for buyers it should evoke and pushes it into territory that, moneywise, they may spend elsewhere.