Refreshed Ford Kuga 1.5 Ecoboost AT Trend

Refreshed Ford Kuga 1.5 Ecoboost AT Trend

Facelifts have been known to often save the image of some brands, they may gather lost momentum and add much needed numbers even in times of the worst economy, the trick is to know exactly what to add to what works already. In the case of the Kuga, it did a lot more to turn things around, especially after the “Fiasco”, and I will leave it at that.

The looks are impressive and simple touches have done justice to the look, allow me…..the front end has revised headlights, a stunning chrome grille, a reworked front bumper and a new bonnet. The side profile boasts new set of good looking alloys from 16” to 19”, all else seems the same and it still works for the look. Taillights have been reworked as well to add LED lights. Always loved the split twin tailpieces, those remain in place.  My test mule wore a gunmetal grey paint job with gloss black multi spoke alloys. The Interior is where it just took my breath away, it felt like something in a much higher price bracket. Fit and finish felt premium, materials are solid, The cluster is a combination black backdrop with white labeling with a digital interchangeable insert. The multi-function steering wheel has less buttons which meets my approval compared to its predecessor and neatly fitted paddle shifters for the gearbox. The centre console is rather long as one moves from the touch screen, which is fitted into the dash to a few key buttons below to enhance maneuverability of the system, to the magnificent 3 zone climate control system, what is lovely is that nothing is hard to reach. I do approve of the raised gearlever. The seating position was great which equated to much a joyful full drive. A bad seating position can spoil everything about a car for a driver.

The shove from the 132kw turbo charged 4 cylinder was quite responsive, with a humble 240nm of torque I expected less shove, to my surprise it was impressive. The 6 six speed automatic gearbox is gem, with or without the paddle shifters, it really is that good. The ride quality is just great as my family quite loved spending time in the car, even with some spirited driving it felt surefooted despite the high ride height. The only gripe is the start- stop tech on really hot days, it can be annoying, one does have the option to switch it off, however I am the type that wants to see everything working when I do a review. What was more impressive was the fuel consumption, I covered a smidge over 640km on the tank before topping up, which got us close to 750km with 8litres of fuel top up.

The Kuga offers great convenience and safety features, some highlights include, lane keeping assist with vibrate alert feedback on the steering wheel should the driver straddle over lanes, advanced parking assist with rear view camera, a 2 pin power socket for rear passengers, user friendly rear seat adjustment and easy access to the boot. The Navigation system is one of the best as it is crystal clear, detailed and it has voice activation, The voice activated Sony Sound system is brilliant. The overall feel of the interior offers superb practicality and did I say it is roomy.

I have to admit , I utterly enjoyed this test unit for a lot of reasons, while I may have come across some nay sayers shouting “Vutha” meaning it burns, eventually they saw the light during test stint. This is one is would buy for my family, it is that good.


Pricing for my test unit is R445 900,  backed by Ford Protect, which includes a four-year/120 000km warranty, three-year/unlimited roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. Petrol models geta 4year/80 000 service plan while Diesel powered model get a 5year/90 000 service plan.


Thanks to Ford SA for the test unit.

Yours in motoring

Wezile Lorenzio Bonani



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