Ford Kuga Hybrid 2024 Review

Ford Kuga Hybrid 2024 Review

Is its spaciousness and practicality enough to convince you that it is one of the best family SUVs out there? In this car review, we explore the pros and cons of the car, especially its new hybrid technology. Is it able to justify its price as a family-oriented hybrid SUV, or do its competitors stand out better?

Retail Price: £42,455.00
Savings: £6,964.00
Motorfinity Price: £35,491.00
Motorfinity Lease starts from: £451.75


The Ford Kuga ST-Line edition plug in hybrid model contains the following key features.

0-62 in 9.2 seconds

Acceleration

188 brake horsepower

Horsepower

Emission 

30 g/km

Emissions

Top speed of 124 mph

Max Speed

Digital Cockpit Pro

Feature

Overview Ford Kuga Hybrid

The Ford Kuga Hybrid stands out in the SUV market and competes effectively against renowned compact crossovers like the Volkswagen Tiguan, Peugeot 3008, Skoda Karoq, and Seat Ateca. This hybrid variant is offered in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The hybrid technology comes in two options: a 2.5L plug-in hybrid and a 2.5L full hybrid, with the latter being exclusively front-wheel drive. The third generation of the Ford Kuga, which debuted in 2020, is currently available, and Ford anticipates releasing a facelifted version in 2024. 

The hybrid variant is only available in the Titanium and the models above. Kuga is considered the most environmentally friendly vehicle in its class. Also, its lower emission gives it an appealing benefit in kind tax. 

Ford Kuga Facelift Variant

Ford is expecting to do some significant upgrades for the new facelift variant. Ford is expected to do considerable exterior and interior updates in the facelift. For the exterior, Ford plans to position Kuga towards a sleeker and more modern SUV rather than just a mid-size family SUV. To change this, Ford includes a narrower grille, redesigned headlights with an integrated light bar and a new bumper design. The new taillights are also updated. The interior is expected to be improved towards a more tech side, which includes a digital infotainment cluster, replacing an 8-inch touchscreen unit with a 13.2 unit. Materials and colour schemes are updated to make Kuga a more modern SUV. 

The Hybrid Technology

There are two hybrid variants in the Ford Kuga: plug-in hybrid and the full hybrid technology. Both of the hybrid technologies comes with a petrol automatic transmission which makes it highly performance orientated and a smooth driving experience.

Difference between the driving experience

The main differences between the hybrid and the traditional variant of the Ford Kuga are power delivery, fuel efficiency, and driving dynamics.

The plug-in hybrid provides a more silent and responsive drive when in electric mode; it delivers higher performance with the added benefit of electric-only driving capability. The plug-in hybrid suits shorter commutes without petrol (typically around 35 miles or more). Also, plug-in hybrids are more suitable for eliminating range anxiety, a common issue associated with EVs and hybrids, as the petrol engine facilitates longer trips.

The driving experience of a full hybrid is all about balancing fuel efficiency and performance. It's ideal for city driving with frequent stop-start conditions, enhancing fuel economy.

How does the car perform in electric-only mode

In the electric-only mode, the plug-in hybrid offers a quiet and smooth experience, which is typical of electric vehicles. The electric motor delivers instant torque, one of the best compared to its competitors. This ensures responsive acceleration right from a standstill, which is particularly noticeable in urban driving conditions. 

What differentiates Kuga Hybrid from others?

The Ford guaranteed comfort and driving experience is a big plus in the Ford Kuga compared to the other hybrids. Due to less wear and tear, the vehicle is economical and has low maintenance, particularly the full hybrid. 


Fuel Efficiency of the Ford Kuga

Ford claims a combined fuel economy of 217,29 mpg and an electric range of up to 28-41 miles (fully charged in 3.5 hours). Is this actually what it is being advertised? Our experts did a test run and came up with the following observation:


Expert
Chris Marren, Motorfinity

"Upon doing various test runs, the Ford Kuga gave an average mile of 39 miles, which is closer to what Ford claims. The combined fuel economy is challenging to obtain if you mix electric and petrol modes. Around 70-80% of this combined fuel economy can be achieved."

There is a significant difference in fuel economy for the Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid when the battery is low. The Kuga does maintain a small charge to allow some electrical assistance. This makes it quite efficient when compared to its rivals, for instance. Kuga does maintain around 50 mpg even with a low battery.

The Running Cost of Ford Kuga Hybrid

Compared to the rest of the hybrids, the Ford Kuga has one of the lowest running costs, too, by not compromising on performance. The electric driving range is 39.5 miles. The plug-in hybrid version can be highly economical in urban environments with frequent short trips. 

Insurance cost is another prominent factor in evaluating the total running cost of the vehicle. Insurance is a recurring expense, typically monthly or annually, and a car in a higher insurance group significantly increases these costs. The Ford Kuga hybrid ranges from insurance group 19 to 21, with mid-range models like Titanium in group 19, while advanced models like ST-Line X range up to group 21. 

Interior

Ford Kuga interiors are known for their sleek design and practical features, offering a range of interior amenities that cater to comfort, convenience, and technology. 

How good is the cabin space?

The Ford Kuga's cabin is spacious and airy. Headroom and legroom are good for both the front and rear passengers, and the five-seater vehicle does not feel compact in any way. Overall, the cabin space is quite spacious, making the Ford Kuga a highly spacious large SUV in its segment. 

The cabin looks much like the Focus but on a bigger scale. The architecture, console and infotainment cluster are the same as the Focus. This can be one of the downsides of the Kuga, though there is no question about the quality. Considering the market, the use of the same design that is used on a smaller vehicle can be a matter of importance to some. 

The ST Line X model has a panoramic sunroof, the sunroof enhances the cabin's openness and light, providing a more spacious and airy feel. 

panaromic sunroof of the ford kuga


The interior scan button in Ford Kuga

As with any other Ford vehicle, the interior scan button is a feature designed for the vehicle's security system. When turned on, it engages the interior sensors of the car's alarm system. The scan button uses motion sensors to detect movement or changes within the car's cabin when the alarm is set. 

When turned on, the interior scan message appears on the vehicle's instrument system. You also have an option to deactivate it from there. 

How good are the seats in Ford Kuga

The seating on the Ford Kuga is of a high quality. The interior features vary slightly between the hybrid and the other variants. The extent of the difference does not depend on the hybrid, though, but more on the trim level; for instance, the Vignale trim, which is the high-end trim, has both hybrid and non-hybrid models in it, has distinguishing features and is top in its class. All hybrid variants come with a 10-way power adjustable driver seat with memory function and an 8-way manual passenger seat, including lumber support and height adjustability. 

The differences between the trim levels are as follows: The hybrid variant of the Titanium edition has Ray black cloth with partial sensical trim seats, while the ST and ST lines X have Raptor black cloth with partisan sensical seats. 

The top variant, Vignale, offers a luxury feel compared to the cloth and Sensico in other hybrid trims thanks to its premium Windsor black leather. Also, the vehicle has heated seats for both driver and passenger, making driving on the Ford Kuga a delight. 

The infotainment cluster of the Ford Kuga

The vehicle's infotainment cluster offers a range of features. Our expert favourite has to be Ford's Sync3 infotainment software, which is known for its responsiveness and user-friendly interface. It supports pinch-to-zoom gestures, making navigation particularly intuitive and easy. 

Here are our expert favourite infotainment cluster features:

Over-the-Air Updates

Ensures your system is always up-to-date with the latest features and improvements.

Climate Control

Easy adjustment of temperature settings for optimal comfort.

Applink

Seamless integration with your smartphone apps for an enhanced driving experience.

Advanced Navigation

Offering detailed maps, live traffic updates, and an easy-to-use search function.

Voice Control

Hands-free control for safe and convenient access to various features.

The touch screen has a high-resolution display and does give a premium feel. The standard screen size is an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The optional 12.3 system also provides excellent value and is worth considering. 


Exterior of the Ford Kuga Hybrid

What does it look like?

The Titanium and ST line editions of the Ford Kuga include 18-inch magnetic machined alloy wheels, ST-Line X includes 19-inch 15-spoke machined finished alloy wheels, and the top-of-the-line edition includes 19-inch 10-spoke lustre nickel alloy wheels. Every wheel contributes to the aesthetic and purpose for which the specific trim is designed. 

There is no significant difference between the exteriors of the hybrid and non-hybrid variants of the Ford Kuga. All the hybrids have a similar-style grille and swept-back LED headlamps. There is some difference between the exteriors of the trims, as the ST-Line and ST-Line X have a sportier appearance, whereas the Vignale is more luxurious. 

ford kuga plugin hybrid exterior


Exterior of the ST- Line Series

The ST-Line series has unique front and rear bumpers giving the vehicle a more aggressive and sportier appearance. It's not stated, but bumpers in ST-Line and Vignale trims make a car look more like a top-of-the-line SUV in its category, a thing that other entry-level trims fail to do. 

Body skirts are also added in the ST-Line variant, contributing to a lower and grounded vehicle profile. This makes the vehicle sporty and improves its overall aerodynamics. The large rear spoiler also enhances aerodynamics and contributes to the sporty character. 

The other distinctiveness is the power-opening panoramic roof, available only in ST-Line X and Vignale trim. Our experts consider it one of the best panoramic sunroofs in the SUV. 

Exterior of the Vignale Body Kit

As mentioned in the SUN, Vignale is the motoring equivalent of spicy sauce and extra salad. It perfectly fulfils Ford's aim of having a more premium SUV that places its users in a world of unrivalled refinement. 

Compared to the competitors, and talking about the exterior specifically, it does compete head to head with models like Audi Q5, B,W X3, and Mercedes GLC. Though it is a bit subjective in nature, the overall exterior design and its practicality and quality do match those of more high-end competitors.

Headlights in the Ford Kuga

All the hybrid trims of the Ford Kuga come with LED headlights and LED daytime running lights. These contribute to the vehicle's aesthetic and functional design and overall ethos. 

The full LED headlights are efficient and visually pleasing, like how they naturally look good in the Focus and the Fiesta and are more forcefully placed on earlier Kuga models. The new model improves that downturn and looks more aesthetically appealing.

 Talking about practicality is the Fog Lights. The Titanium trim only includes the front fog lights. Meanwhile, both rear and front fog lights are included on higher-end models. One objection is that it should have been on all of the trims, considering its safety advantages, and would not just be limited to higher-end trims only. 


Driving

How good is the driving?

One word: comfortable. Whether the extra rubber has been used or the sleek manoeuvrability, the vehicle is a complete family vehicle. The drive is elegant and comfortable and well-suited for the longer journeys you expect from a family car.

Compared to other hybrids in its class, it doesn't have any issues with jumping or creasing on the road and overall provides a relatively smooth journey. The hybrid trims, such as Titanium and Vignale, are very smooth on the road, have no issues with the suspension, and provide impressive comfort on rough roads. 

ST-Line has better handling and driving characteristics and a sportier suspension setup. However, stiffer springs and dampers make the car lean more in turns and improve handling responsiveness. Firmness transmits more road imperfections, making the ride less comfortable. 

The driving moods

Ford Kuga hybrids have four driving moods, which help you get an amazing driving experience. The default driving mode is an auto EV. This mode intelligently decides when to use the battery to maximise efficiency. In this mode, the car automatically switches between electric and petrol power. If you are after a good combination of economy and performance, then this is the mood to go for. 

How well does it drive in different driving conditions?

Our experts have evaluated the Ford Kuga in various settings to effectively assess how well it performs in various conditions. They have taken the hybrid Kuga onto busy city roads, fast-paced motorways, hilly trains, and adverse weather conditions. Being more in the family sector, we also tested its parking manoeuvrability, and load carrying to understand how it handles additional weight. 

The vehicle is well suited for city driving, and the electric-only mode is sufficient, powerful, and efficient for city needs. The handling is very agile and does not feel hard, and it can handle quick turns more efficiently, making it ideal for city driving. 

It is decent for motorway driving, and its electric power and good range make it ideal for families to go on long trips without worrying about mileage. The cruise control and lane departure warning enhance the experience. As is standard with the other Ford models, the cruise control and line assistance technology is smooth, responsive, and accurate, giving the Kuga an edge over its competitors. 

The advanced parking assist technology also comes in handy, making parking a delight and easy on the Ford Kuga Hybrid. The active park assist is very responsive. Compared to the competitors, it does compete well with Nissan Leaf Pro Pilot Park technology or the Peugeot 3008 Visio Park 2 system. 

The 2024 updated variant has a 2100 Kg pulling power, enhancing the vehicle's practicality. The onboard data and map tech calculate tow-friendly routes to get action and are quite suitable for family vacations and road trips. 


Practicality and Boot Capacity

As discussed in the interior section, the vehicle practicality has shown quite an improvement in 2024. With a decent head and leg room, the car meets most family needs. It is less spacious than the BMW X7 but is not a concern for mid-range family needs. 

It provides 412 litres with the rear seats in place, which can be expanded to 1,534 litres when the rear seats are folded down. Also, the sliding rear seats are a big bonus and give it an edge compared to its competitors. If you are short of space, you can slide the rear seats and still be comfortable for the passengers in the rear seats.

The vehicle has various storage bins and cubbies around the cabin, adding to its practicality. 


Price

The base price of the Ford Kuga is £33,380, whereas the plug-in hybrid variants start at £35,810 and £38,555. Compared to its competitors, it is decently priced and represents an attractive choice for families seeking an economical and punchy drive within this price range. Additionally, through Motorfinity, you can save a whopping £8,191 and get it for just £30,464.


Final Verdict

The Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid stands out for its spaciousness and practicality, offering an impressive family-friendly experience with efficient hybrid technology, although it stops short of being the unequivocal best in its class.


Motorfinity and the Ford Kuga

The Ford Kuga is proving a popular choice with Motorfinity customers. It’s very impressive in its class and with equally impressive discount available through Motorfinity, it’s a great option for a family or simply those wanting more all-round space without compromising both performance and elegance.

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