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Ford Kuga launched – review hands-on

Chunky styling, easy to drive and with plenty of room for four adults - just make sure your garage is big enough



One final feature Ford was keen to demonstrate was the keyless entry system, which was fitted to our test car. This is £350 inc VAT on the top-spec Titanium X model, but this rises to £700 on the Titanium and isn’t available on the base Zetec at all.

With keyless entry you can open the car door simply by having the key in your pocket and pulling the door handle, but it’s particularly useful when it comes to the boot. If you have your hands full, you just need to swing your foot under the rear of the car and stand back. The boot lid will swing magically open. You can also close it with the same movement, or just press the button on the end of the boot lid.


We drove the Kuga on a city route around Valencia. It’s an easy car to drive, despite its size. Large mirrors make changing lanes simple, and the torque of our test car’s two litre diesel meant we could leave it in third gear half the time while still darting into gaps. We did manage to set off the car’s Active City Stop system with a particularly snappy manoeuvre, which applied the brakes automatically as it felt we were about to collide with the car in front.

We drove the manual version, and the high-set gear lever took some getting used to – it felt more like a Transit than a Focus at first. However, just like a Transit, the car shrinks around you, and driving it in town soon feels natural. As mentioned before, parking wasn’t the simplest endeavour. The main problem was that we couldn’t see the car’s front corners from the driving seat, and had to rely on the parking sensors. When trying to reverse into a parking space with an impatient Valencian driver creeping forwards towards us, the sensors at the front-right bleeped continuously, leaving me worried I was going to take off his Passat’s nose; unable to see the end of my car and relying on the sensors, as far as I was concerned he was parked in my bumper.

Ford Kuga

We were impressed with the satnav, but found the screen a bit small for our liking

We were impressed with the built-in navigation system, which had clear prompts and warned us in advance which lane to take. We were spoiled by Valencia’s wide boulevards and low traffic density, though, and can’t be sure whether it would cope as well with traffic-blighted South-East England. We did think the satnav display could have been larger, but a small repeater display on the dashboard showing the next turning helped. We were also big fans of the clear dashboard dials, with their smart-looking and easy-to-see blue hands.

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