From the outside, the Ford Kuga may lightly mimic the look of a car from one of the world’s most enduringly stylish car companies but this illusion does not survive entry into the cabin.
Nothing about the monochrome materials or foolproof architecture is immediately disappointing, and the propped-up driving position and supportive ST-Line sports seats of this model strike a good balance between making you feel connected to the road and sitting high above it.
However, closer acquaintance throws the cheaper interior plastics into sharp relief, and it’s clear some corners have been cut. The upper door cards, for example, are trimmed in soft-touch artificial leather in the front but brittle-feeling plastic in the back, despite sharing the exact same design. Rivals from Mazda and Peugeot in particular are warmer, more interesting to behold and more pleasant to spend time in, although the Kuga does at least have the measure of older alternatives such as the Nissan Qashqai. There are also some interesting plastic textures, such as the brushed finish on the transmission tunnel, and the touch points in our mid-ranking ST-Line example are of decent quality.
The Kuga does better in terms of occupant comfort and space. Despite the hefty A-pillars, this is an airy cabin, with plenty of leg and head room whichever part of the cabin you’re sitting in. This is particularly true in the rear, because the bench can slide 150mm fore and aft, although as such you’ll sacrifice some boot space to maximise leg room.