Ford Kuga Review 2022

Ford Kuga At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Well-equipped, competitively priced, a good amount of space and with a decent plug-in hybrid option, the Ford Kuga is now one of the most rounded family SUVs you can buy.

+Good looking family SUV comes with a decent amount of standard kit and is keenly priced. The plug-in hybrid comes with a 35-mile electric-only range.

-We reckon the interior finish could be a bit nicer, while the boot isn't as big as some rivals. Ford's dropped the diesel from the range and the infotainment interface looks dated.

New prices start from £26,765, brokers can source from £24,250
Insurance Groups are between 3–22

With the third-generation model, Ford looks like it's finally got the recipe right with the Kuga. It's certainly one of the best family SUVs going and we'll explain all in our Ford Kuga review. 

The previous generation Kuga was not really a match for established rivals, but the new Ford Kuga has been given a serious overhaul to take on rivals like the Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4

Initially launching with diesel, petrol, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engine options, Ford's since dropped the diesel engine from the range. The focus is certainly on the hybrid options and the third-generation Kuga is the first to offer a plug-in hybrid option with an electric-only range of up to 35 miles. While you can't ignore the extra weight of the big battery you need to lug around on longer journeys that'll impact fuel economy, for those who do regular short trips it could prove very economical. 

The styling is quite a departure from the older car, with the design taking an influence from other cars in the Ford range, including the Puma and Focus. It certainly looks a lot sharper for it and if you were to glance it out of the corner of your eye, we reckon you might even think it was an Aston Martin DBX in the right light. 

While the Puma very much fits in the small SUV space, the larger dimensions of the Kuga (it measures 4614mm long, 1883mm wide and 1666m high) mean it's an SUV intended for the rigours of family life and the baggage that comes with it. 

That means there's a good amount of space in the cabin of the Kuga whether you're up front or in the back. The sliding bench seats in the back mean you can easily fit a couple of adults in the back if needed, while there's ample space for a couple of kids and the necessary car seats. Boot space isn't as impressive as some rivals (with the sliding rear bench seat slid forward you get 645 litres of boot space, though that drops to 581 litres with the Kuga PHEV). Reality is though that it'll easily swallow most things for a family holiday. Or a couple of kids bikes or an adult road bike with the wheels off. 

If you can look past the fairly dated looking SYNC 3 infotainment system (made easier by the fact that both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trim levels) then the Kuga is very easy to get to grips with. While it might not look as slick as the buttonless central consoles that some rivals sport (and the materials could definitely be better in the Kuga), we really like the amount of physical controls on the dash. It just makes life so much easier when you're on the move. 

In typical Ford fashion, the Kuga will be available in a range of trim levels to suit every buyer - including Vignale, ST-Line and Titanium variants. That's not forgetting the entry-level Zetec trim that kicks off the range at £28,755. Our preference would be the Kuga in ST-Line trim - there's an excellent bundle of standard equipment while the sportier bodykit gives the car a bit more edge. 

We lived with a Kuga PHEV for six months - find out how we got on with it in our Ford Kuga long term test. Why not get a second opinion with heycar's Ford Kuga review.  

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a small SUV for towing?
"I'm looking to purchase a small/mid-sized SUV for about £20,000. We only drive about 8,000 miles per year so I'm guessing petrol but we do tow a trailer tent quite often in the summer months so it must cope with that OK. I'm looking at the BMW X1 or X2 or maybe the Audi Q3. I have not discounted going bit bigger so the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 or Ford Kuga may be options."
The low-down grunt of a diesel engine will make light work of towing your trailer tent but it's not ideal for your otherwise low mileage. I'm guessing your trailer tent isn't particularly heavy, so a punchy turbocharged petrol should be able to tow it without too much effort. Depending on its weight, a BMW X1/X2 or Audi Q2 should be up to the job and they're excellent small SUVs. How about a Volkswagen Tiguan? It's not quite as premium as a BMW or Audi, but you get more physical car for your money. Take a look at the Skoda Karoq, too, if you're not fussed about the badge on the bonnet.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Ford Kuga PHEV battery drain problem
"I have a one year old Ford Kuga PHEV. I retired 6 months ago and don't do the mileage I used to. After some problems with the regular 12v battery going flat and locking me out of the car etc. I am now being told I need to drive the car more using the petrol engine rather than electric to charge the battery. I can find nothing mentioning this on Ford sites and was not told any of this by the dealer."
Unless the car is left standing for weeks at a time, this shouldn't be happening. I would expect the dealer to replace the battery in the first instance, as it may be a faulty 12V battery. If the problem persists, I'd demand a diagnostics check to see if there is a problem with parasitic battery drain - but make sure this test is carried out when the car is connected to a wallbox and again when it is unplugged from the power supply (as I have heard of parasitic battery drain cases when PHEVs are plugged into a Type 2 charger). If that doesn't fix the problem, let me know and HonestJohn.co.uk will be happy to speak to Ford UK on your behalf.
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you recommend a 4x4 company car with good load carrying capacity?
"I am looking for a new company vehicle. I work in outdoor events - in the summer I am on green field sites across the country and in the winter I’m doing the meeting rounds with current and prospective clients. So I need something with a reasonably large load carrying capacity and some 4x4 capability to cope with rough tracks, uneven ground and serious mud. In an ideal world I’d like a reasonable fuel consumption. I’d also rather not be crippled by benefit in kind (BIK) tax. The most fit-for-purpose over the last 8 years was a Skoda Octavia Scout. I had a Passat Alltrack for a while which was ok but pricey on BIK. However, jacked up estates seem to be on the way out. I have looked at hybrids but most seem pointless as they have a very limited range on electric, are expensive on fuel, have load space limited by batteries, plus few places I stay have exterior sockets available for charging. I was seriously considering a double cab Mitsubishi or Nissan pick-up but then both pulled out of the UK market. One worry was the security of a hard top as I do carry some reasonably pricey kit around. I guess I’m looking for a workhorse that is reasonably comfortable, enjoyable to drive and doesn’t cost the earth to run. Does such a beast still exist?"
I don't think there's anything that'll tick all the boxes (good on fuel, low BIK and practical for your needs). You need to weigh up the compromises but, essentially, I think your options are: A pick-up truck like the Isuzu D-Max. There are fewer trucks on the market now, as you've mentioned, but the D-Max is a solid choice with a payload of more than 1000kg (important for low BIK). It won't exactly be car-like to drive, but it'll be well up to tackling rough tracks and muddy fields. High-spec models are fitted with luxuries such as cruise control and a reversing camera. A plug-in hybrid SUV like the Ford Kuga. This will be more comfortable than a truck and only marginally more to tax, but it'll be thirsty without regular charging. It's not as versatile as a truck, either. A diesel 4x4 such as the Skoda Kodiaq. Something like this will probably be the best tool for the job (with low fuel costs and impressive versatility) but, unfortunately, you're going to get stung on the BIK. My money would go on the truck.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What is Ford doing about the fire issue on the new Kuga PHEV?
"What is Ford doing about the fire issue on the new Kuga PHEV? I can't charge my car so what is the point in having it? Ford has not contacted me even though I've rung their customer relationship centre. "
The current advice from Ford is that you can still use the car as a 'mild hybrid'. This means driving it in Auto EV mode rather than charging it. This will give you a small bit of charge (less than 1%) to get some assistance around town but the majority of work will be done by the petrol engine. We've included the latest statement from Ford below. "The safety of our customers is a top priority. We realise that vehicle recalls are inconvenient to customers, but they assure vehicle quality and safety in service. As part of our commitment to safety, Ford is temporarily suspending the sale of all Kuga PHEV vehicles to address a potential concern with the high voltage battery, which in certain circumstances could possibly result in a fire in the battery area. "Customers currently in possession of any Kuga PHEV are advised to not charge their vehicles and to only drive in EV Auto mode until repair work is completed by their Ford dealer. It is important to stress that the vehicles remain safe to drive in EV Auto mode. This latest action includes all Kuga PHEVs built to date, many of which have already been reworked by a Ford dealer. "Owners are being individually contacted. We also will discuss with them as soon as possible when to schedule the rework at their chosen dealership once a complete and approved update is in place. "We apologise for the concern this issue is causing and thank our customers for their patience and co-operation. We will take care of our Kuga PHEV owners and are looking at ways to improve customer experience during this difficult situation, including providing an extended warranty or maintenance service provision, depending on market. "We remain committed to providing safe and high-quality vehicles, addressing potential issues and responding quickly. Should customers have any additional concerns, we ask them to contact the Ford Customer Contact Centre on 020 3564 4444."
Answered by Keith Moody
More Questions

What does a Ford Kuga cost?

Buy new from £24,250(list price from £28,215)