David Motton

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When powered by the 2.0-litre diesel engine from the Focus, how does the four-wheel drive Ford Kuga perform in the tough Practical Caravan tow car test?

Overview

If there is a better-looking 4x4 than the Kuga, we haven’t seen it. That counts for little when it comes to towing, however.

Under the bonnet is the same 2.0-litre diesel as in the Focus. It’s a refined and punchy engine, and certainly isn’t overwhelmed by the 1613kg kerbweight. 

Towing

We tested this diesel Kuga towing a Swift caravan and it pulled from 30-60mph in 19.5 seconds and felt like it would tow at 60mph all day.

With a beefy engine and four-wheel drive, hill-starts were straightforward, although the handbrake needed a firm pull before it would hold.

For such a sporty-looking 4x4, the suspension is surprisingly soft and compliant. That’s fine driving solo around town or when you’re not in a hurry, but it allowed too much body roll in our lane-change manoeuvre test – the Volkswagen Tiguan felt more controlled through the cones.

Space

The back seats are cramped and the boot only managed half our holiday load. In fact, the Kuga was the most disappointing of all the Fords in this year’s tests. Good looks aren’t everything.

Technical specs

Kerbweight1613 kg
85% KW1371 kg
Towball limit105 kg
Maximum towing limit1500 kg

Verdict

Yes, this is a good looking car, whether towing your caravan or during solo driving, so in terms of kerbside appeal it scores very well. It also has a strong engine and a comfortable ride, but not to a top standard, while cabin space and luggage room are in short supply.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It is a handsome design
  • The engine is strong and it has four-wheel drive

Cons

  • It's lacking when it comes to boot space
  • The rear seats are cramped
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