One of my major criticisms of the previous generation Kuga was that the equipment levels didn’t seem that congruous. Safety equipment like autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control was on the options list, whereas an automated parking system was standard on upper versions. I’m pleased to say that the latest Kuga has none of these quirks, and even the cheapest Zetec model comes comprehensively equipped. A navigation system is standard, as is front and rear parking sensors, rear privacy glass, cruise control, wireless smartphone charging, power folding door mirrors, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, a lane keeping aid and a selection of different driving modes. It has all of the equipment that you would likely find on upper trim levels on rivals. Titanium versions gain even more, with goodies like a 575 watts B&O premium audio system with ten speakers and a subwoofer, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, rain sensing wipers, half leather upholstery and keyless entry and start. For me, it offers all of the equipment that I seek in a car, and it would be the one that I would choose, if only I could live with the chrome slatted grille, which I don’t think I can. It’s why I opted for ST-Line X specification when I chose my car, as the chrome strips are eschewed in favour of a sportier, wavy-patterned grille.
Last month I reported on a request from Ford not to charge up my Kuga, as there had been some cases of the high voltage drive battery overheating. With no fresh news on the remedial work, I sought advice on progress from the UK press team. A spokesman told me that a team is beavering away to solve the issue once and for all, but for now, there’s no news of when the fix will be available. The advice for existing owners of Kuga PHEVs is that it’s safe to drive, but only to use the car in the default mode ‘EV Auto’. With new car deliveries suspended and customer orders on hold, it’s heartening that Ford is putting safety ahead of profits.
A trip to Wales for a few days made the most of the Kuga’s technology, as the hilly environment allowed the car to harness much of the energy lost when travelling down steep hills. Even without being able to plug the car in each evening, we’re still seeing some great economy figures, and this month the average sits at 63.5mpg. That’s despite long motorway jaunts to and from Wales, where the brake regenerative opportunities are low. And the dashboard is delivering impressive electric-only mileage, with the tally rising to 1,042 miles this month. I was worried that the inability to charge would see that figure tumble, but no, rather impressively, more than half of our miles have been completed using electricity.
Date arrived 12th June 2020
Fuel economy 201.8mpg (WLTPcombined) 63.5mpg (on test)
Total Mileage 1,850 Electric Mileage 1,042
I like that Ford alters the grille and bumper design depending on the trim level.
I couldn’t live with the grille that comes on Titanium models. It looks too goofy for me.