With the Kuga it's easy to let the options sheet enthusiasm carry you away to a bigger bill than you’d ever imagined. But if you resist the urge to play fast and loose with the spec, you’d find the Kuga has been priced quite aggressively against its competitors by Ford and some distance from the likes of the Land Rover Freelander 2, which is substantially more expensive, model for model.
The bigger problem for the Kuga is the plethora of crossovers that are attacking it from beneath – the likes of a Peugeot 5008, Nissan Qashqai or Skoda Yeti are considerably cheaper, offer broadly similar space and pace, and, with the current exception of the Peugeot, can be had with four-wheel drive. Then there’s the likes of the handsome Kia Sportage or Hyundai ix35 – cars that are close to the Ford in terms of spirit and ability, but some way short of the Kuga on price. They’re better equipped than the Kuga, too – especially when it comes to the warranty.
No one runs a car like this expecting world-leading economy or saintly emissions levels, but the 31.6mpg we achieved with the 2.0 TDCi in testing would most likely translate into a 40-42mpg real-world consumption for a sensibly driven car living out of town.