The Ford Kuga. Not very evo, is it? However what if we advised you that it now featured the two.5-litre 5 cylinder from the Focus ST? And that we weren’t pulling you leg, both. Keener to search out out extra? I hope so, as a result of I’m going to maintain writing for a short while but.

Up till now the Kuga has been a wholly unobjectionable SUV: not as spacious and versatile as a Nissan X-Path, nor as fascinating and succesful off-road as a Freelander, however dynamically gifted and fairly good-looking so far as these items go. Bought a perky 140bhp diesel, too – simply as nicely provided that’s what the overwhelming majority of patrons need.

Solely the utterly shameless purchase petrol SUVs lately and so they are usually Turbo Cayennes and supercharged Vary Rover’s, so a 200bhp Ford Kuga isn’t more likely to promote in nice numbers – however for those who’re positive you desire a petrol Kuga, that is your solely possibility. And it’s a superb one.

OK, so the 5 pot has been detuned from 222bhp to 200bhp, however we’ve been knowledgeable that the 2 engines are mechanically an identical, so if a 0-60mph time of 8.2 seconds isn’t fairly brisk sufficient for you, the Mountune equipment as fitted to our long run Focus ST could be a retro-fit possibility.

To be trustworthy, 200bhp is testing sufficient in a lofty, softly-sprung, long-travel SUV. The Kuga drives with a good quantity of panache: it rides easily, handles with affordable verve and doesn’t get unduly led astray by random mid-corner bumps. There’s a nibble if understeer for those who go in a bit scorching (and plenty of flashing lights on the sprint for those who go in lots scorching – the soundness system can’t be switched off), however the Kuga is succesful and for an SUV, fairly informative.

It’s a disgrace the engine isn’t as entertainingly warbly right here as within the scorching hatch, but it surely piles on tempo willingly sufficient as soon as above 2,000rpm and is each easy and nicely mannered, when you can select both a slick six-speed guide or a 5 pace auto. In brief it’s one other polished Ford product – not desperately thrilling however reasonably satisfying.


Engine in-line 5cyl, 2522cc, turbo
Max Energy 197bhp @ 6000rpm
Max Torque 236lb ft @ 1600-4000rpm
High pace 129mph
0-62mph 8.2sec
Worth £24,295
On sale Now

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