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Kelly Does a Test Drive: Ford Kuga

I love driving (read why here) but I’m not really a car person. What’s under the bonnet doesn’t concern me.  What I look for in a car is the  the freedom to get from A to B, how easily I can put the  groceries in the vehicle and if I can listen to music through my iPhone. Shallow huh. For me, it’s all about usability and the comfort I feel behind the wheel. So this is not your typical car review, filled with facts, figures and specifications. I figure if you want to know all the specs, you can visit the Ford Kuga website or download the key features PDF here: Ford Kuga Key Features.  What I do want to share is my honest opinion of the Ford Kuga and how much I enjoyed doing a test drive in New Zealand.

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This time last week, I was driving the Ford Kuga at the launch in picturesque North Island in New Zealand. You can read more about my time in New Zealand in my Live Blogging posts.  The test drive covered a wide range of road types and surfaces including winding sections, a short dirt road, suburban streets and long stretches of highway.

{Beautiful ocean views at the driver change stop}

Ford Kuga Review -- Launch in New Zealand

Ford Kuga: The Background

The Ford Kuga is the new addition to Ford Australia’s SUV (sports utility vehicle) portfolio. This model was a great success in Europe and is now available in Australia in a limited capacity (200 cars per month).   Bob Graziano, President and CEO of Ford Australia said, “Ford of Europe has created an exciting entrant into the compact SUV segment and we’re confident our customers in Australia will be excited too.”

First Impressions

The Ford Kuga is smaller on the outside than I thought, and I can imagine zipping around the city and easily parking at the school drop off zone.  Although the car is compact on the outside, the  inside is surprisingly spacious.  I found the car easy to drive on all tested road surfaces.

{Compact on the outside}

Ford Kuga Review -- compact SUV

{Spacious on the inside}

Ford Kuga Review -- Inside is spacious

What I liked

The interior design of the Ford Kuga is pleasing to the eye and boasts many of the expected modern extras including MP3 capable stereo and keyless push button start. I especially enjoyed the handling as it was responsive and I felt relaxed and confident behind the wheel.  The clever rear tailgate, complete with flip glass, would make an easy job of transporting groceries and sporing gear.

{Keyless push button start}

Ford Kuga Review -- push button start

{Steering is responsive and well-weighted}

Ford Kuga Review -- Handling

{Rear tailgate with flip glass}

ford kuga review -- Rear tailgate with flip glass

{One of the folding options for the back seat}

Ford Kuga Titanium -- folding back seats

{Wide range of colours}

Ford kuga review -- colours

What I didn’t like

Some notable omissions for me included the lack of an inbuilt GPS and reversing camera.  I believe Ford will include these features in future models.

Last Word

A family of three or four could enjoy the ease with which this car would navigate suburbia, happy in the knowledge they could also enjoy the flexibility of an adventurous weekend away.

Price (plus on road costs)

Kuga Trend $38,990

Kuga Titanium $44,990

Kelly Does a Test Drive

This was my first test drive and I had a lot of fun. The event was beautifully organised and the staff at Ford were lovely to work with.  There is a natural loyalty amongst the employees and an undercurrent of strong belief in the brand. I liked that.

Thanks for reading my first car review.

Other Reviews

Go Auto

The Motor Report

Links

Ford Kuga Website

Ford Kuga Brochure

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    nellbe
    February 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Lovely review Kelly, it does look like a nice car. In my next car I just want central locking or keyless entry as my old Ford doesn’t have them and with kids I think its essential! I do have a Ford Laser and I tell you, it is the best car ever, runs so well, especially for its age, it has never let me down. I love the name Kuga, although it reminds me of the Cougar Ford used to sell a few years back?

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      February 29, 2012 at 7:46 am

      Thanks Nell. Reliability is such an important factor for me too. The name is interesting. I asked if there was a meaning behind the name but I think it’s just a name. Really nice car to drive.

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