There was a Ford Cougar once; a family-size coupé based on the Mondeo Mk2. It was a handy thing that, in range-topping 2.5 V6 guise, could do 0-62mph in 8.2sec.
Although it’s spelt differently, the Kuga, launched in 2013, at least sounds the same and, with the right engine, promises to be almost as much fun. It’s a family SUV rather than a coupé, so where the Cougar was sleek and low, the Kuga is tall and chunky. It’s based on the Focus Mk3 and is the model we think of when searching for an example of a fine-handling mainstream SUV.
Like most cars, the Kuga can be split into pre- and post-facelift generations. The latter arrived in 2016 and is characterised by restyled front and rear ends, the availability of a new 118bhp 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine, an improved infotainment system within a more comfortable interior and extra driver assistance tech.
If only for its striking-looking trapezoidal grille first seen on the Edge, Ford’s larger SUV, it’s the generation to buy and not as expensive as you might fear, with a 2017-reg 1.5 TDCi Zetec with 20,000 miles costing £13,350.