Ford Kuga (2008 – 2013) Review

Ford Kuga (2008 – 2013) At A Glance


+Best handling crossover apart from Mazda CX-7. Comes with useful split tailgate. Economical 2.0 TDCI engine. Two-wheel drive version available which emits just 156g/km.

-Rear seats not as versatile as other SUVs this size. Quite pricey new. PowerShift diesel automatics emit 179g/km.

Insurance Groups are between 16–24
On average it achieves 87% of the official MPG figure

If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Ford Kuga review.

Ford was a bit slack when it came to launching a small SUV - or 'crossover' as they've now become know. While the Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan were making waves, Ford was nowhere to be seen. Maybe the brand didn't want to rush into developing a compact 4x4 that could end as unpopular as the terrible 'when did you last see one on the road' Vauxhall Antara.

So Ford took its time. And while it may not have been first to the party, the Kuga is one of the best compact SUVs on the market. Like its rivals, the Kuga is design mainly for on-road use rather than tackling muddy slopes so it’s no surprise to see an athletic rather than chunky approach to the styling. With its trademark grille and swept-back lights the Kuga is a great example of Ford's 'Kinetic' design. It's certainly one of the best looking crossovers on the market.

It looks like a premium car and it's the same story inside. When it launched the Mondeo in 2007, Ford radically upped its game in terms of interior quality and it’s continued in the same vein with the Kuga. The layout is simple but stylish and despite lots of black trim, it isn’t gloom although the lack of rear seat versatility means it's not as practical as other crossovers. Although the split tailgate is a very useful touch.

But the Kuga is really head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to handling. Using the same platform as the Focus, it strikes a good balance between handling and comfort with good agility in corners and a forgiving ride. The engine line-up is simple with a 2.0-litre diesel that comes in two power outputs (the lower powered version available with 2WD) and a 2.5T petrol which is great fun but very thirsty.

Real MPG average for a Ford Kuga (2008 – 2013)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

18–50 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

I've lost the bonnet key for my Ford Kuga, how can I open it?

"I have lost the bonnet key for my 2010 Ford Kuga and I am wondering if there is an easy fix without needing to replace the whole key and locks ?"
If you Kuga is equipped with keyless entry the fob has an emergency key built into it which will allow you to open the bonnet. Your vehicle handbook will show you how to extract the key from the fob.
Answered by David Ross

What's causing the rumbling noise in my Ford Kuga?

"I’ve just bought a 2010 Ford Kuga diesel with the PowerShift automatic gearbox. There is a rumbling noise coming from the centre near the gearbox transfer box like a wheel bearing noise. The gearbox Is fine and I've checked both oils in the gearbox and transfer box. Is this a common fault and could you tell me what might be causing the noise? "
Reads like a crack or split in the exhaust system. I would recommend getting it checked.
Answered by Dan Powell

Where is the coolant temperature sensor in a 2009 Ford Kuga?

"Do you know where the coolant temperature sensor is on a 2009 Ford Kuga 2.0d? The radiator cooling fan is not coming on."
Follow the wiring back from the fan to the engine block where the temperature sensor/sender will be screwed into the water jacket. You'll probably need a bigger socket than most people possess to remove it, though. (Obviously, first make sure that the problem is not simply that a wire has snapped.)
Answered by Honest John

What's causing my Ford Kuga's flat battery?

"I have a 2012 Ford Kuga diesel. Recently, the battery has started to go flat every 10-14 days if its stood on the driveway or only used a couple of times a week for short journeys. It has had the Bluetooth software upgrade and the dealer says there is no drain on the battery, which is also fine. Any idea what could be causing this? Should I buy a new heavy duty battery? "
This has been a problem with some Fords from Fiestas up. But a diesel used for short runs from cold beats its battery up very effectively because it takes out more than it puts in. Go on a 100 mile run in your Kuga and you may find you have put enough back into the battery for it to be okay, or it may have lost its capacity to hold a full charge of 13.5 volts.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Ford Kuga (2008 – 2013) cost?