For the Kuga in You

Imperial Ford Kempton Park, represented by Lavonne Davis (one of our Women of the Year Award winners) is proud of their history as suppliers of the Ford Brand; with the incredible new Kuga on her showroom floor, Lavonne is confident in the abilities of the crossover-SUV to impress. Having taken the Kuga ST Line for a spin in the past, I was looking forward to taking the 1.5 EcoBoost Ambiente Kuga for a test drive.

 The Concept:

Fords compact SUV has been well-refreshed and upgraded to be family-fit, safe and a great deal of fun to drive.

The Looks:

A very nice balance has been struck in the design of the new Kuga – it is both subtle and elegant, as well as assertive and bold, but in a rather nice, ladylike way. I love that it doesn’t seem overbearing, and yet still has that strength inherent in the way it looks that reminds you it is still an SUV. The prominent hexagonal grille and angular headlights are modern and neat, and the interior is much of the same – clear, concise control on the dash and funky vertical air vents. There is also a four-wheel range of alloys to choose from.

The Feel:

Compact SUV’s can feel cramped by virtue of their size – while trying to cater to families, this segment sometimes misses the mark. The Kuga is spot on though, with enough space to seat four adults comfortably, and five passengers in total if you have three kids in the back. Additionally, the boot is really spacious and can even fit a bicycle. The front is spacious for the driver, with great visibility in all directions and a brilliant driving position that inspires confidence.

The Features:

Right off the bat, safety has been prioritised in this generation – the new Kuga offers seven airbags that are positioned in such a way as to provide 360-degrees of protection front and rear. ISOFIX child seat anchors are also available for two seats in the back. You start the Kuga with a button, and a semi-automatic air con is available to keep you comfortable. Cruise control and a 12V power point is added on the Ambiente model, and with each model up, more features get added. But even at the base model, six speakers, Ford SYNC with Bluetooth and Voice Control is available.

The Drive:

With a 1.5-litre engine under the hood, the Kuga Ambiente has a front-wheel-drivetrain that is paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. On this model, 110 kW of power and 240 Nm of torque is kicked out, which is efficient for city driving – with smooth acceleration, good pull at take-off and eager speed – but is also great for towing or having to carry a lot of cargo. Although it isn’t the fastest compact SUV on the market (taking 9.7 second to get to 100 km/h), it does do fairly well in terms of fuel economy, using around 6.2-litres per 100km.

The Score:

Covering all the bases for an excellent all-round vehicle, we score the Kuga at 8 crowns out of 10.

Where to Find It:

The Ford Kuga can be viewed at Imperial Ford Kempton Park, or on their website: www.imperialford.co.za

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