2018 Ford Kuga Must Tick A Lot Of Boxes To Make It Into Buyers’ Shortlist

On paper, the new Ford Kuga (aka the Escape in the U.S.) has everything it takes to compete against the best in its class.

The latest version of Ford’s SUV comes with sharp looks and the company’s latest tech. The cabin is big enough for hauling a family, although not as big compared to rivals like the Skoda Kodiaq.

The interior mixes soft-touch materials with hard plastics and the dashboard has a distinctive design that’s compromising its ergonomics in certain places. The SYNC3 infotainment system offers clear graphics and all the options you could want from an SUV of this class.

Engine choices include a 1.5-liter EcoBoost petrol with 120hp, 150hp and 180hp, a 1.5-liter TDCi diesel with 120hp and a 2.0-liter TDCi diesel with either 150 or 180hp. You can get a six-speed automatic transmission with the petrol engines and a PowerShift dual-clutch unit with the diesels.

The rather firm suspension of the Kuga isn’t ideal at low speeds, while the claimed sporty character doesn’t translate into a fun driving experience, according to Carwow’s review.

With the segment being a hot-contested one, the Ford Kuga has to tick a lot of boxes to make it into customers’ buying list. So, does it? Find out the answer in the following video.

  • rover10

    When I once drove a ST Line version the low speed ride was fine, the whole car handled better than the pre-facelift model. However, I think Ford should replace this model ASAP, and make it touch bigger with a three door coupe option, + a true ST. My ideal future Ford SUV line up would be as follows:- All new Ecosport, a 2019 Focus based model (similar size as current Kuga), new and marginally bigger Kuga + coupe + ST, new larger Edge with more aggressive looks + Raptor and ST option packs. Electric versions should be options of the line up from each launch. Food for thought????

    • MarketAndChurch

      Would you prefer the 3-row Edge from China, or the Explorer currently sold in America? Here’s the 3-row, and it only really looks good in the ST(Sport) model. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8fae0d822d20f62a74631c41da3c87c5620cb17eb0071833b9a2aa9a05e2ba57.jpg The test mules for the next escape show it adding 2 to 3 inches in length, so it hopefully get a little bigger in the next iteration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtSoMgKaX3M

      • rover10

        Good point MarketAndChurch. I did not include Explorer as I perceive that as an American market only, and the Edge as a Global product, which my crystal ball was primarily based. Where product is built was not included as I wanted to keep it simple. I’ll feel sure the Explorer could become a global player, however for that to be a success, may be it should be designed outside the US, preferably Europe, and to be aligned closer to the Range Rover range, in quality and styling maturity. Only then it may win over German and British customers. Ford should seriously consider a Raptor version of the Edge to compliment the ST. A ‘high rider’ with wide body kit would work globally and at the sametime launch the Raptor brand into World markets. A coupe Edge may sound strange, but such a configuration is being applied to the much bigger Range Rover! If you are going to follow then follow the best. A Raptor option on Escape / Kuga is very tempting too! The burning question, is the US / European market ready for such a beast based on a midsized platform?

    • Obsequious Lickspittle

      I think Ford should replace this model ASAP, and make it touch bigger with a three door coupe version…
      A door 3 door hatch?

  • Jerry Hightower

    I counted 15 lines in the side profile below the belt line. The design is too busy and needs to be cleaned up for a smoother look.

  • Vassilis

    My dad got the 1.5 150hp one a few months ago. Not class-leading but for its money, a very good car. Beautiful as well.

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