Our long termer boasts over £4,000 worth of optional extras, and most of them I couldn’t live without. I am a bit of a gadget fiend, and have always chosen a top specification car, rather than something more basic. I’ve got used to a certain level of equipment, and with each new car I have to top it, to keep pace with the latest technology. But is everything essential? I would wager yes in almost all cases, but I’ll let you decide.
Let’s attack this alphabetically, and the appearance pack costing £350 is a bit of a snip. While I’m not particularly bothered about the silver roof rails, the rear privacy glass is all but essential to deflect prying eyes from the cabin, and to keep our eight year old monster shielded from the sun. £550 buys you the convenience pack, which should really be billed as the protection pack, as it includes front and rear parking sensors, mirrors that fold away automatically when you lock it, and the natty self parking system that takes all the hard work out of parallel parking, saving your alloy wheels from abrasions. It’s a piece of kit that is rarely used, but in tight spaces, it’s a real boon.
The detachable tow bar does what it says on the tin, and costs £625, while the driver assistance pack is priced at £900, and includes all manner of hi-tech equipment to stop you from requiring a trip to the body shop. Apart from the autonomous emergency braking system that takes over the braking should you fail to stop for the car in front, there’s blind spot assistance to help manoeuvring on faster A-roads and motorways, as well as a lane keeping aid that alerts you when you’ve strayed out of your lane.
Next up is a combination of items that I could certainly do without – keyless opening with ‘hands-free’ power tailgate. Priced at £350, it’s reasonably priced, but I’m more than happy to press a button on the key as I walk towards the car, and I’ve found that waggling your leg underneath the rear bumper is hit and miss and doesn’t always result in the tailgate opening. It only takes a moment to lift the rear hatch yourself and I certainly wouldn’t miss these functions if I didn’t have them.
Metallic paint on the Kuga is £545 and when we ordered our Kuga, the range of colours wasn’t as interesting as it is today. Our car is finished in Burnished Glow and was one of the new colours to Ford’s colour palette when the Kuga was launched. I’m told that Sterling Grey is a popular option with customers, and the new addition of Deep Impact Blue, that is similar to the colour found on the iconic Focus RS and Racing Puma, is a colour that I would probably have opted for, had it been available.
With a busy working life taking me to all ends of the earth, satellite navigation is essential. It costs £750 in the Kuga, and also includes a handy reversing camera. DAB digital radio features, too, as well as the new SYNC multimedia system. It all mostly works effectively, but frustratingly, when using the Bluetooth audio streaming, the track and artist is no longer displayed, like it was on Ford’s audio system in previous generation cars. It’s a step backwards and here’s hoping that the feature is integrated into future updates.
The instruments allow you to view all the vital statistics on your car all in one place. It saves scrolling through endless menus.
Great as the Piano Black surface on the audio system looks, it seems to be a magnet to dust and dirty finger marks.
|Date arrived:||1st August 2013|
|Mileage to date:||7,221 miles|
|Fuel consumption:||45.6mpg (official combined)
36.3mpg (on test)