With the festive season now firmly in the rear-view mirror, our long-term Kuga has gone back to performing its usual functions as a family shuttle, covering mainly local journeys. Iím sure I should have ticked the box for a ëtaxií sign on the roof, as my sister and nephew commandeer both car and driver to chauffeur them around. Early morning trips to Asda to drop her off to work, and the school run each day means that our Kuga rarely warms up properly, before the engine stop button is pressed and it is able to resume its slumber. And these kind of trips arenít very conducive to fantastic fuel efficiency.
Looking at the average economy figure our Kuga is achieving in isolation, and the 41.2mpg looks to be around 25 per cent down on the official figure. But considering the kind of use it is put to, thatís a fantastic result. Had we been completing a 50-mile jaunt to work each day, then we would perhaps expect more, but 41.2mpg in often sub-zero temperatures is a miracle from a 177bhp 2.0-litre engine with an all-wheel-drivetrain.
Over the Christmas period, the Kuga was turned into something resembling Father Christmasí sleigh, with shopping trips in overdrive. Not only the gifts themselves, but also the mountain of food and drink that is absolutely necessary to feed a hungry family, and all the extra guests that joined us. After all, the shops are closed for a whopping 24 hours, 48 hours maximum, and so preparation is key. I have to admit to missing the expansive boot of my last long-termer, the Edge, as that had a luggage capacity of 602 litres, while our Kuga is 146 litres smaller at 456 litres when measured to window level. Thatís not to say that it is small, because it really isnít, but just about every car in the Kugaís class, except the Nissan Qashqai, has a larger cargo carrying capacity. And when youíve got to squeeze in food and drink, as well as a few gifts, every centimetre counts.
Weíve been making plenty of use of the heated front seats, a function that comes as standard on our Vignale specification car. The button for each chair is usefully located on the central control panel for the ventilation system, and so you donít need to go hunting around on the touchscreen, like you do on some rival motors. Having loved the heated steering wheel on the Edge, we wish we had ticked that box for our Kuga ñ at just £125, itís such a reasonably priced option that I would urge everyone to tick it. If your hands are warm, the rest of you will come up to temperature quite quickly, removing the chill from an icy cold morning.
Date arrived 20th October 2017
Fuel economy 54.3mpg (combined) 41.2mpg (on test)
The heated seat buttons are getting a good workout during the cold months.
Just about all of the Kuga’s rivals have a larger boot.