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The Top Gear car review:Ford Kuga
What is it like on the road?
Let’s start with engines, as there’s a few of them; three petrols, three diesels. Following the modern downsizing trend, the 1.6 Ecoboost has shrunk to a 1.5, gaining efficiency along the way. You can have it in three flavours of power; 120bhp, 150bhp or 182bhp. If you want a diesel, a 2.0 offers a similar range of power outputs to the petrol, but more torque – up to 295lb ft in top spec. Good for towing and lugging stuff, that. Efficiency is up too: it can now average more than 54mpg. Take the 150bhp FWD model and it now cracks 60mpg.
This power can either be spread over two or four wheels, via manual or dual-clutch ‘boxes. The middling 150bhp diesel is a bit of a sweet spot, but they all suffer from a slightly agricultural tone and boosty delivery of power. Unfortunately, like all the homogenised global platform cars, the Ford Kuga has lost some of its old magic in favour of a less playful driving experience. It handles the UK’s surfacing well but doesn’t excel like some of its newer rivals, such as the Kodiaq. But that’s largely because the suspension bits were left as they were for the facelift.
What has been improved are the safety features. There’s a full roster of stuff, much of which is standard on higher-spec models like the Ford Kuga Titanium. It ranges from lane assist to ‘active nibble compensation’ that counteracts little tugs and pulls through the steering. It can now also park itself, there are intelligent headlights to improve visibility, and the bonnet has been resculpted to be kinder to pedestrians if all of the above systems are in vain.