Making a smooth crossover into Kuga town
The new Ford Kuga is a relatively affordable crossover SUV that boasts the sort of technology once reserved for flagship luxury models
Ford Kuga 2.0 140bhp TDI
Model:Kuga 2.0 140bhp TDI
Fuel:Petrol and diesel
Date Reviewed:May 18, 2013
Another feature increasingly common in many family cars these days is a blind-spot alert system that sets off a little light in the wing mirrors if there is a vehicle on either side that you may not have spotted. Finally, there is active park assist, whereby the car will steer itself into a tight parking spot, even one that you might have thought was just too tight.
There’s also a lane-keeping system that monitors the lines on the road and will alert you if you are straying out of lane. An advanced setting will even gently steer the car back into the centre if engaged. The system also reads the speed limit signs, using a mix of Sat-Nav information and the on-board camera. The dashboard constantly shows you what the limit is in any particular area.
We have reported on these systems on plenty of occasions before, but it was only when I had a friend over from Australia last week that I realised how far car technology had come in the eyes of many motorists. He had heard of things like blind-spot assistance and self-parking cars but thought they were the sort of wares you would only find in a €100,000 luxury car. The reality is that you can get features such as active city stop in cars such as the Fiat Panda these days.
Electronic drivers’ aids
These are not the frou-frou gadgets that are useful only in showing off to work colleagues and relatives. These are practical, intelligent electronic drivers’ aids that can save you money in prangs and speeding tickets.
The only downside to the Kuga test car was that it came in what Ford refers to as “burnished glow”, but the rest of us would call metallic brown. If cars are a reflection of their owner’s character and taste, what sort of statement does a large brown car make about you?
Aside from that, the Kuga was a real surprise: nice to drive and easy to live with. Even if you are not in the market for a €30,000 new car, anyone wishing to find out just how far motoring technology has come since they purchased their 2008 or earlier car should pop along and take a spin in a model such as the Kuga. It’s a window into the advances in terms of comfort and technology that’s on offer these days.
The lowdown: Ford Kuga 2.0 140bhp TDI
150bhp petrol version with emissions of 154g/km in front-wheel drive and a 182bhp all-wheel drive petrol version with emissions of 179g/km.
The diesel offerings are powered by a 2-litre diesel with 140bhp with emissions of 139g/km and a 163bhp version with 154g/km.