On initial inspection, the ST Line Kuga looks like it has a bit of character about it. The new front bumper, sloping roof and accentuated side skirts show off the slightly sportier look. Those sporty features, coupled with the Lucid Red paint, give this car a positive first impression.
Other external design features that we loved were the pop out door protectors. These spring-loaded bumpers come out and protect the Kuga against those annoying wall and trolley dings. The other is the automatic boot, which can be operated with a double tap from the Ford’s key.
Inside the vehicle this SUV is clearly designed with one aspect in mind; space, and there is an abundance of it. You could comfortably fit four 6ft individuals in and still have space to move around.
There are some nice additional features, such as rear heated seats and climate control, meaning any rear passengers can have that extra level of comfort. In the front, there are large adjustable cup holders, and plenty of other storage areas in the doors and centre console.
The ST Line Kuga comes with excellent parking cameras; making it much easier to park a larger vehicle. Another superb design feature is the climate control, encompassing traditional physical dials rather than being built into the infotainment system. Climate control is something adjusted regularly by drivers, so when you have to flick through multiple menus just to stop the car from steaming it can become quite tedious and frustrating.
Some of the design downfalls and oversights include the stop/start button being in an awkward position. It took a while to find by most people when they got into the car. The pedals were slightly awkward, with foot slips during driving which perhaps could have been prevented with grip features on the surface of the pedals.
The charging mat did not work and it was inconvenient that Apple Car Play and Android Auto worked only by being directly plugged in. Furthermore, the heads-up display was found by some to be slightly distracting and a bit uneasy on the eye. Other SUV crossovers, such as the Nissan Qashqai, have this display projected directly onto the windscreen, rather than an unattractive extra piece of acrylic protruding out of the dashboard.
The final design feature that could be improved is the collision assist, which was found to be over sensitive and unnecessarily annoying. Of course, we want our cars to be as safe as possible, but being over bearing frustrates drivers and results in them turning the feature off, thus making the vehicle more unsafe.
Reviewed by Jenna Cockette, Customer Relationship Manager