This mid-range SUV is crammed with tech


Ford launched the Kuga manner again in 2008, and on the time it represented a stable if uninspiring SUV. Quick-forward to 2017 and the SUV market has modified fairly a bit. 9 years after the unique Kuga, the SUV market is much extra saturated, and Ford’s all-rounder now faces stiff competitors from the equally priced Seat Ateca and Peugeot 3008.

This 12 months, Ford has given the Kuga a much-needed makeover: there’s an all-new inside, up to date infotainment system and slick new design, alongside new security options for family-orientated patrons. However is that sufficient to make the brand new Ford 2017 Kuga price your cash? I took it for an a weekend away to the Yorkshire Dales, with three mates, to seek out out.

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Ford Kuga (2017) evaluation: Tech, audio system and inside

Soar aboard the brand new 2017 Ford Kuga and the very first thing you’ll discover is the improved leisure unit. Ford has decluttered the whole cabin, eliminated buttons and geared up the Kuga with a much bigger, fashionable 8in color touchscreen. The onboard display is receptive to the contact and straightforward to function. Icons and format are clear and sensibly organised, so that you’ll be capable to navigate your manner round from the second you’re within the driver’s seat.

Connectivity isn’t unhealthy in any respect, however Ford has weirdly mirrored Apple and hidden the aux port out of the way in which, as an alternative giving prominence to 2 USB ports and Bluetooth. Whereas two USB plugs are helpful, I’m unsure in the event that they’re definitely worth the removing of the aux jack. What’s incorrect with manufacturers these days?

The Ford has each Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so connecting your cellphone through the USB port will robotically begin whichever setup your cellphone makes use of. As soon as linked, you possibly can decide to make use of your cellphone’s native apps as an alternative of the Ford’s onboard ones, and the advantages are apparent.

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Google Maps has superior route planning, search and visitors avoidance to Ford’s personal inner satnav – the one issues it lacks are speed-limit alerts and safety-camera detection. The good thing about Apple Maps isn’t fairly so clear-cut, but it surely’s at the least acquainted for these with iPhones. As for the opposite advantages? You additionally get entry to SMS and the flexibility to play music and podcasts both saved in your cellphone or through your favorite apps.

That’s to not say Ford’s onboard satnav is poor. I examined this automotive out whereas leaving London on a Financial institution Vacation weekend, so discovering a visitors jam to keep away from wasn’t a problem. Ford’s system rerouted me a number of occasions on the way in which out of London, shaving important minutes off my already hellish ETA.

And in the event you choose to make use of the onboard Sync 3 infotainment system, you gained’t be dissatisfied both. Ford has spent lots of time growing its Sync 3 software program, with the purpose to make operation of the automotive’s leisure and navigation programs as easy to make use of as attainable whereas driving. This primarily means massive buttons and improved voice management.

“I would like petrol.” That’s all you should say and Sync 3 will show a listing of petrol stations close to you. Choose one on the touchscreen and the automotive’s satnav will direct you to a close-by petrol station. Equally “I’m hungry” will give your a listing of native eating places to selected from.

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That every one sounds wonderful, however in actuality, you’re not often going to make use of these options, as a result of Sync 3 is most helpful when it’s working in tandem with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. “Play Bruce Springsteen” will cue The Boss, whereas “Name house” will pause the music and begin the cellphone ringing.

Ford is aware of that none of those options are groundbreaking, however the uniqueness of Sync 3 is in its receptiveness. Like all voice-control programs, it’s removed from excellent, however in the event you get your enunciations clear and study the best instructions, controlling the automotive’s onboard tech is a surprisingly painless expertise.

Ford Kuga (2017) evaluation: Drive and practicality

As you’d count on from a contemporary SUV, the experience is comfy, and the Kuga can maintain its personal in most eventualities. Metropolis centres, motorways, nation lanes – this automobile is designed to eat all of them, and it’s clean however allows you to really feel sufficient of the highway, too.

The Kuga confirmed admirable hospitality to the 4 of us as we battled our manner out of London. The boot, whereas not the largest, nearly managed 4 cabin-luggage measurement baggage and some small extras. An additional passenger would have made issues very tight, although, each contained in the cabin and boot.

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Ford Kuga (2017) evaluation: Security tech

Issues get extra attention-grabbing once you have a look at the security tech Ford has packed into the Kuga. Options similar to adaptive cruise management, lane-keeping and Energetic Metropolis Cease – which robotically brakes so that you can keep away from collisions at speeds below 31mph – aren’t new or groundbreaking, however they’re the whole lot you’d need on a automotive like this.

How properly do they work? That varies, however from my expertise with the Kuga, the lane-control system didn’t work significantly properly. I (by chance and on function) veered throughout lanes on motorways and A roads at speeds starting from 20mph to 70mph. My girlfriend was the one factor that alerted me to my unhealthy driving.

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Self-parking might be embarrassing too. First off, getting the automotive to recognise a parking house isn’t pure. You need to gradual proper down and put in your indicators to provoke the parking-space scanning mode. Being barely nervous about handing over the management of the steering wheel to the onboard laptop, I selected a bay vast sufficient for a bus. After two minutes of switching between reverse and first gear and letting the wheel do its personal factor, I succumbed to the prying eyes of onlookers and completed parking myself. The following time I attempted a tighter parallel bay as an alternative and it did a lot better – tucking itself in comparatively tidily in three factors.

Ford Kuga (2017) evaluation: Verdict

The Ford Kuga characterize an pleasant SUV that doesn’t set the world alight, however has all of the options you’d want in a automotive like this, together with each assistive and in-car expertise. There aren’t any actual killer options right here: it gained’t fear one thing just like the Mercedes E Class, however the Kuga isn’t for a similar viewers, anyway. The onboard audio and navigation programs cater for the whole lot you’re more likely to want in 2017. And the brand new design, whereas not as daring because it might have been, offers the Kuga a complicated makeover, bringing it in keeping with at this time’s motoring fashions.



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