The third coming of the Ford Kuga sees the return of recognisable and welcome traits for Ford’s popular SUV.

This all-new plug-in hybrid version isn’t without compromise in terms of dynamics and ergonomics, but it is commendably comfortable and spacious, and there’s evidence to suggest that lighter, simpler Kuga derivatives will sit at or very near the top of the class for ride and handling. This is also an attractive family car, and the third of British Kuga owners who opt for the plug-in model will benefit from excellent electric range and competitive pricing.

Good value and potentially frugal but the Kuga has more to give

What we would have liked to see from such an engineering-led company is greater precision and finesse in the way this electrified powertrain conducts itself. As we’ve discovered, the car’s efficiency and performance are good, but details concerning the driving experience highlight Ford’s relative inexperience when it comes to hybrid cars.

With the caveat that Autocar has yet to test several high-profile plug-in rivals from a class in which it’s evidently difficult to get the product just right, overall the Kuga fails to deliver the same knockout blow that Ford has achieved with its lower-riding hatchbacks.

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