Let’s be clear about this: the Ford Kuga is one of the most appealing mid-sized SUVs yet to come to market, and if you are in the mood to shop for such a car, you’d be unwise not to place it at or near the top of your list. It offers the usual class attributes such as distinctive looks, a high driving position and the provision of all-wheel drive, but at the same time a driving experience some streets ahead of the class norm.

Rear space is a disappointment, though. But, and it’s a big but, while the Kuga stacks up well against rival SUVs like the Land Rover Freelander and Honda CR-V, there are cars that, well, cross over into the SUV sector without offering quite the faux four-by-four appeal of a full-blown SUV.

The Kuga is one of the most appealing mid-sized SUVs

Yes, these crossovers, like the Nissan Qashqai. Skoda Yeti, Kia Sportage and Hyundai iX35, offer much of the appeal of the Kuga, but at a lower price They may well make Ford think again about the Kuga’s positioning.

While the Kuga is a good SUV, it’s a long way from being a great car, especially by Ford's own high standards. Ford has addressed the dynamic limitations that dog all cars in this class better than most, but the result is still a machine that promises more than it delivers.