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Used Ford Kuga Review

06 Dec 2022

Are you thinking about buying a used Ford Kuga? Then we’ve got good news for you - it’s a great all-around SUV, with excellent build quality, responsive handling, comfortable suspension and plenty of good equipment as standard. There are also very capable petrol and diesel engines and a two or four-wheel drive version. 

There’s just one Kuga body style, which we see as a plus. Rather than having to umm and ahh whether to buy the hatchback, saloon or estate, the Kuga is a roomy five-door SUV with a good-sized boot. You can love it or leave it - and we love it! You’re going to hear why in our used Ford Kuga review. 

Pros and Cons

Pros 

  • Great to drive
  • Cheaper than most SUVs to run
  • Well equipped
  • Good space for passengers

Cons

  • Not the best off-road
  • Smaller boot than some rivals
  • The interior is not as luxurious as some alternatives

How does it look?

If you’ve been shopping around for a Ford Kuga for sale, you’ll know that it’s a smart-looking car. One of the criticisms levelled at the Kuga is that it prioritises design over functionality, but we think it marries its handsome looks with practicality to create a stylish and solid SUV for family buyers. 

The first chunky, good-looking Ford Kuga was launched in 2008. Ideally though, you’ll be able to stretch to the second generation Kuga, which came along in 2013 and ran until 2019. It still has great styling but is a bigger and more commanding vehicle overall. In 2016, the Kuga had a facelift, with better kit, a bolder wide-bar grille and high-set headlamps with smart LEDs. There were also some alternations to the dashboard and interior to reduce the number of buttons and make room for the latest Sync3 infotainment system. 

In January 2020, the Mk3 Kuga came on sale and it’s the best one yet. It looks great, handles brilliantly and includes a Ford Kuga hybrid, which can boost your fuel economy considerably - particularly if you do a lot of short-distance driving.   

What’s it like to drive?

Where the Kuga excels is in its ride and handling, both of which are of the level you’d expect from a much smaller vehicle. Despite being a good-size SUV, it feels more like a hatchback to drive, with the firmer suspension providing good body control and agility but with plenty of absorption for bigger bumps and patched-up town roads. 

However, unlike some of the competition, the Kuga is very much a road-based rather than an off-road car. Most of the used Ford Kugas out there are front-wheel-drive and even the 4x4 is not really geared up for genuine off-roading. Yes, the extra traction is useful for drivers who tow and for driving in bad weather, but if you want to make easy work of bumpy fields or muddy tracks, you’d be better off with one of the Kuga’s rivals. 

As well as being great on the roads, the Kuga is a safe car, too. It has a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating and the availability of features such as lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control enhance its credentials. 

Which is the best used Ford Kuga to buy? 

The first-generation Kuga (2008-2012) was a great-looking compact SUV that competed with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai. Mk1 Kugas are getting on a bit, but if you can find one with reasonable mileage and at a sensible price, you won’t be disappointed.

The Mk2 Kuga (2013-2020) is a different beast altogether. It was designed for the North American market as well as the UK and Europe, so it’s quite a bit bigger than the Mk1 and competes against a whole new class of larger SUVs. It initially came with a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine, which was replaced by a smaller 1.5-litre engine in 2016. The entry-level diesel engine, the 1.6 TDCi, was also replaced by a 1.5-litre TDCi. In both cases, the smaller engines are better, so if your budget stretches to a post-2016 Kuga, it’s well worth paying the extra. If you regularly have a car and a boot full of people and want a little more oomph, the 2.0-litre TDCi is also very good, but the more economical 1.5 TDCi is our top pick.

Most versions also come with a choice of a six-speed manual or dual-clutch gearbox, as well as front or four-wheel drive. All combinations are good performers, so that’s down to personal preference. 

If you’re looking for something more recent, the Mk3 Kuga (2020-present) has two 1.5-litre petrol engines, the Ecoboost 120 (118bhp) and the Ecoboost 150 (148bhp). There are also two diesel options, the 1.5 Ecoblue 120 and 2.0 Ecoblue 150, which mirror the power output of the two petrol engines. 

The Mk3 Kuga added a 2.0 diesel Ecoblue 190 (187bhp) to the lineup if you’re looking for more grunt. There’s also a plug-in hybrid, which combines a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a power output of 222bhp. If you’re in the market for a Mk3 Kuga, we think the plug-in hybrid is a solid pick.  

When it comes to trim levels, there’s a good level of basic equipment across the board, with the entry-level Zetec having air-con, electric windows and cruise control as standard. The Titanium trim brings some nice extras, such as rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, and an upgraded infotainment system. The ST-line models are the sporty option with a body kit, sports suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels. 

How much is a used Ford Kuga?

You’re unlikely to find a decent Mk2 Ford Kuga for sale for less than £5,000, and if you do, you should probably be asking why. Up your spend to around £8,000 and you’re looking at a 2015 Kuga in good condition and with reasonable mileage. Upwards of £10,000 will buy you a post-facelift 2017 model with low mileage, while £13,000 will secure a good 2019 model. 

You can expect to pay upwards of £16,000 for a 2020 runout. And the latest used Mk3 Kuga’s will cost you a minimum of £20,000, which is still a useful saving when compared to buying new. 

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