By Benjamin Chunga
Coming in at R506,900 is the Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi Titanium PowerShift AWD model, which sits on a turbocharged engine that produces 400nm of torque and 132kw of power. I got the chance to drive this city SUV for a week and I must say it was not what I expected.
Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine cruising down the highway at 120km/h, listening to your favorite album via Apple Car Play, seated comfortably, with the sun shining through the double panoramic roof when suddenly some legend swerves into your lane without indicating. In most cars you’d probably hit their bumper, but not in the Kuga. The Kuga has grown up and has been fitted with amazing safety features that instantly warn you about a possible collision thus preventing any unwanted scratches or dents in your car. But it’s not just the safety features that are impressive when it comes to the Kuga. You have a ton of features including sat nav, front and rear fog lamps, ABS, RSC or roll stability control, a Sony sound system, cruise control with ASLD (speed limiter), rain sensing wipers as well as a leather finish inside the car to add that premium feel. The Ford Kuga drives like a dream, it handles pretty well for a car its size and that high up off the ground, although I did find that the fuel consumption was nowhere near Ford’s claim of 5.4l/100km but rather more towards 8.6l/100km, which still is not a bad thing for a car of its size.
The Kuga also has an automatic tail gate, just kick to open and press the button on the gate to close, or kick to close, the choice is yours really. This really comes in handy when you have a lot of bags in your hands or when you just want to show off a little. In the model I was driving I had two USB ports and two 12v charging points.
Right off the bat you realise that the Kuga is authoritative in every aspect of the word. Once I adjusted the driver’s seat to my driving position, there was more than enough room left behind my seat for a fully-grown adult. The boot space was a bit of a letdown because you’d expect a car of its size to be able to carry your entire home in the trunk (maybe I’m pushing it a little), but you would definitely expect more than what you get. That said, the boot has more than sufficient space for the the kids sport equipment and the odd sho’t left, so this isn’t really a train smash.
All in all the new Ford Kuga is a very comfortable and commanding ride, and is thus as rare as a can of mogodu, as my Aunt loves to say.
Amanda: The new Ford Kuga is a beautiful piece of machine and Ford was smart to largely retain the shape of the previous Kuga generation as it is quite appealing to the eye (a bias view perhaps from a previous Kuga owner). The one thing that does immediately jump out is the menacing front grille shape of the new Ford Kuga that resembles its big brother, the Ford Everest. The front grille certainly gives the new Ford Kuga presence on the road and simply adds to its beauty. One of the main things I’ve always enjoyed about the Ford Kuga is its ability to drive smoothly, comfortably and quietly on daily commutes or long distance trips. The comfort levels of the Kuga, to both driver and passengers, is something to be commended. The new Ford Kuga has certainly retained that, it is a comfortable drive. The new Ford Kuga is certainly a great offering to this competitive segment of the market and one hopes consumers will judge it on its own merits.
Khulekani: The Kuga has grown up. That phrase is a bit over used but the Kuga has indeed grown up. It no longer fades in the background in a very busy segment thanks to its new and more assertive design tweaks. You will be noticed in the new Kuga. The turbo-diesel Kuga we had on test is no slouch and just wants to go. Trips down to the coast and back won’t be a chore. Ford has also done well with the improvements inside the Kuga. The car feels premium and this is key as buyers are spoilt for (good) choice in this segment. The boot appears to be on the compact side but will be happily shared by a family of four.
Sala: The first thing that stands out from the grown-up Kuga, is the SYNC3 that works via an 8-inch touchscreen. All the audio and connected smartphones can be controlled with conversational voice commands. No more texting and driving. The SYNC3 system supports Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
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