Road test and review of the 2014 Ford Kuga Titanium.
Another week, another small SUV! The love Australian car buyer’s show for small SUV’s is continuing unabated and Ford has an impressive offering in the Kuga.
Priced from $27,990 for the 2WD/manual Kuga Ambiente, every model above this entry point is all-wheel drive and automatic only.
The Ford Kuga Titanium is at the very top of the range and offers a choice of 1.6 litre EcoBoost petrol and 2.0 litre turbo diesel engines, the petrol starts at $44,740 and the diesel is $3,000 more at $47,740.
I had the diesel and while nearly $48,000 is a hefty price tag for a small five-seat SUV, you can’t argue with the standard features list the Kuga Titanium boasts.
It has just about everything you could ever ask for, including; auto tailgate, blind spot warnings, heated seats, digital radio, glass roof, ambient lighting, leather interior and push-button start.
A reversing camera is also there as is GPS. It even has fold-out airplane style tables for rear seat passengers!
Fortunately, all of these extras come in a vehicle that displays excellent build-quality and generally quite clever and attractive styling and design.
Legroom up front is very good, a touch disappointing in the back though, while cabin storage areas and the rear cargo areas are surprisingly well-sized.
As with most of the other Ford models fitted with the same unit – the Sony stereo interface is just a touch busy in my opinion. The centre infotainment screen though is easy enough to manoeuvre around and the driver info screen presents a stack of data on fuel use etc. in a well laid-out fashion.
Be warned though, the Kuga is built in Spain and comes with the indicator stalk on the left (a turn-off for some buyers).
I also thought the front seats could have used just a slightly longer base with added under-thigh support.
On the road the Kuga feels more wagon than SUV. Visibility is quite good from the driver’s seat and this is aided by quite large wing-mirrors.
The diesel engine produces a very healthy 120kW and 340Nm and thus it never really feels strained, acceleration (especially in sports mode) is impressive, though engine noise is a little more evident than you might expect.
During a week of city driving I averaged 7.8L/100kms, the official combined usage is just 6.4L/100kms, and that is excellent.
The ride in the Titanium grade Kuga is let down a little by the low-profile 45 series tyres on the 19” alloy wheels, handling is also just a bit floaty in the bends. The steering is light and precise though and the turning circle impressive.
The Ford Kuga has a very impressive list of active and passive safety systems and thus boasts a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up: The Kuga is a well-executed vehicle. Rear legroom disappointed a little though and it may not have a rugged enough feel for some SUV buyers.
Overall though I found the Kuga a very easy to live with car and with the diesel engine providing plenty of grunt and great fuel economy I can’t think of any good reason why you wouldn’t give it serious consideration.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2014 Ford Kuga Titanium
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo diesel producing 120kW and 340Nm
Transmission: Six speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $47,740