Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Kuga Ups Its Game

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Kuga Ups Its Game

Article excerpt

Byline: STEWART SMITH

THERE''S a huge choice of mid-size sports utility vehicles on the market which are constantly being upgraded and improved and the latest is the popular Ford Kuga.

It has undergone a fair amount of styling changes, has more frugal engines and is packed with new safety and comfort features but despite all this the new Kuga is up to PS1,000 cheaper than the model it replaces.

It''s also now available with Ford''s new global all-wheel-drive system which will improve its performance on the rough stuff when you need it.

Since its launch in 2008 more than 45,000 Kugas have been bought in the UK so it''s already a favourite with many.

The latest version, based on a Focus platform, is longer, lower and narrower than the outgoing mode - the extras space being allocated to the boot which has increased in size to 445 litres, and 1,603 with rear seats folded.

The slimmer and lower profile has also cut down wind resistance and that, combined with improved engines, has cut petrol fuel consumption by as much as 25 per cent and 10 per cent for the diesel units.

Ford has gone to great lengths to improve the driving pleasure and on a long run I was really impressed by the quietness of the new Kuga.

Even at maximum motorway speeds there was very little road, engine or wind noise.

All-wheel-drive gives that added grip and it was very noticeable on some twisty hilly roads above Valencia in Spain where the Kuga is produced.

Biggest seller in the UK will be the 2.0 TDCI 163bhp which comes with six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. The manual box is slick and positive but I think most will opt for the auto with its almost seamless operation.

You can expect to get around 45.6mpg on a combined run from this power pack and it produces 162g/km of CO2. It gives this version of the Kuga a top speed of 120mph and a 0-62mph time of 10 seconds. …

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