Dead and buried is the quirky 2008-2013 Ford Kuga of old. It was highly rated by us but it proved popular on too few continents, and catered for too narrow a spread of tastes, to be worthy of a place among the Alan Mulally model generation.
Its replacement has in effect moved up a class. Measuring over 4.5m long, it’s now a closer match for a Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe than a Nissan Qashqai or Mazda CX-5, and has kept pace with a facelifted version released late in 2016, which saw further inspiration drawn from the US market, the inclusion of a new Ford SUV corporate grille - seen formerly on the Ford Edge - and the addition of new trims including the sporty Ford Kuga ST-Line and the luxury-focussed Ford Kuga Vignale.
The repositioning of the Kuga is a crucial part of Ford of Europe’s growth strategy; Ford is aiming to displace the more traditional ‘sports utility’ brands and lead the 4x4 market, and with the emergence of the new and very large Edge - it is well-placed to do so.
Ford's new Kuga caters for many tastes too, as it's offered with a range of frugal turbocharged petrol and diesel engines and the option of automatic transmissions on some models. There's even less costly two-wheel drive models, which are notably more efficient, ideal for those who want something the size and shape of the Kuga but without the need for additional traction.