Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the top-spec Ford Kuga.
My week in the 2015 Ford Kuga Titanium presented a slightly different set of circumstances as there is already a Kuga Titanium in the garage at home.
My partner has the Ford Kuga Titanium with the diesel engine and absolutely loves it! While I’m a fan, as evidenced in my 2014 review of the top-spec diesel version, it was great to spend a week better getting acquainted with the petrol-powered Kuga Titanium.
The verdict has to be though that the $2,000 price premium for the diesel version of the Ford Kuga is well worth the money.
On paper the petrol engine looks pretty good - 178kW and 345Nm with claimed combined fuel consumption of 8.8L/100km.
The diesel packs only 132kW, but significantly more torque – 400Nm and this is where the difference really is felt. While theoretically the petrol engine should be more willing from a standing start I just really didn’t feel that much difference.
As acceleration continues the diesel really comes into its own and if you plan on carrying a full load of people, or plan to use your Kuga on highways/country roads, then the diesel is superior.
It also uses less fuel. The petrol-powered Kuga drank an average of 10.6L/100km in my week of city/suburban driving; expect the diesel to use about 8.0L/100km in the same conditions.
Away from the engine choice a reminder that all Ford Kuga models, other than the base model Ambiente, are automatic and all-wheel drive only. That entry-level model also comes with only the smaller 134kW/240Nm 1.5 litre petrol engine.
If you opt for the Titanium grade of the 2015 Ford Kuga you get just a generous list of standard features, including; digital radio, heated front seats, glass roof, leather trim, auto tailgate, 19” alloys, sat-nav, reverse camera and push-button ignition.
So, as you can see there’s not much else you could really want for.
Some of the good points of the Ford Kuga also include the legroom upfront, large wing-mirrors, solid and quality feel and generous rear cargo area.
While I still maintain that the dashboard is just a little bit busy, particularly the Sony audio interface (my partner informs me though that you get used to it), rear legroom is a bit disappointing and the low profile tyres on the top-spec model make the ride a bit unforgiving.
I also reckon the Kuga front seat bases could be a little longer, you’ll notice this if you’re a bit taller.
All grades of the 2015 Ford Kuga come with a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; there’s a mountain of small/medium SUVs on the market in 2015 and the choice is almost ridiculous! In saying that the Ford Kuga is a good all-rounder, the Titanium boasting a good mix of sporty/luxury and practical.
If the choice comes down to petrol or diesel – pay the extra dollars for the diesel, it should also help with resale value too.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Ford Kuga Titanium Petrol
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 178kW and 345Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $44,990 (Titanium)