Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid Video Review
A capable Plug-In Hybrid SUV that houses a beefy 2.5L petrol engine and returns better fuel economy than a diesel SUV
Spacious and practical
Good to drive
Enhanced Hybrid appeal
Battery slightly reduces boot space
Higher upfront cost
Infotainment feels dated compared to rivals
The Ford Kuga, a perennial favorite among Irish families, now comes in its latest Plug-In Hybrid variant, adding environmental sustainability to its list of attributes.
Space & Practicality
The Kuga PHEV makes a slight concession in the boot to accommodate the battery pack, but still offers a generous level of space. The Kuga also features a practical sliding seat function, enabling the adjustment of boot space in exchange for rear seat passenger room based on specific requirements. When the seats are pushed forward, the available boot space reaches up to 580 litres, albeit at the expense of passenger seat legroom. Levers are provided for seat folding from the rear, enhancing overall usability. Wide opening rear doors, Isofix and a good amount of legroom make it a family friendly affair in the back. The finish of the cabin as a whole is of a high quality, contributing positively to its overall appeal.
Equipment and Safety
The cabin offers a generous sense of space, creating a comfortable and open atmosphere. The driver's seat in the ST-line model of our test car allows for electric adjustments, ensuring a personalized and comfortable driving position. The inclusion of stylish red-stitched sports seats and a sturdy flat-bottom steering wheel adds to the sporty feel. The infotainment system is managed through an 8-inch touchscreen display with built-in SatNav. It's equipped with essential features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which is a good job because despite the system's overall functionality, some may find the graphics and screen placement a bit dated.
Overall, the cabin is well-designed, balancing quality with durability – an important aspect for a family car. The materials used convey a sense of sturdiness, meeting the demands of family life.
Performance & Running Costs
The Kuga is equipped with a robust 2.5-litre petrol engine, a rare occurance in today's market. This engine affords the vehicle a reassuring and capable performance, adeptly managing its size and weight. Despite the additional load from the onboard battery pack, the fuel economy remains impressive, averaging approximately 6l/100km when the battery is depleted—not bad for a large petrol SUV.
Regarding its electric capabilities, the Kuga has an estimated range of around 56 km. In most scenarios, this seems quite feasible. Even with a more spirited driving style, a comfortable 40 km or more is a reasonable expectation. A full charge takes just three and a half hours, making it very easy to live with, especially for individuals with access to charging facilities at work and home. This could see some people's commuting bills essentially disappear and where the whole PHEV idea really starts to make sense.
Driving the Kuga in either mode offers a pleasing experience. In electric mode, the vehicle operates notably quieter and smoother, with the transition to petrol power having a minimal impact on refinement. Sound insulation in the cabin is impressive, and the handling as solid and predictable as you might expect of a family car.
Reliability & Residuals
The Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid starts at around €45,000, which is competitive compared to rivals. It carries out all of its tasks competently, looks good and can now tick the box for green driving credentials too. It's a great all-rounder and certainly one of the stand-outs in its class when it comes to sheer versatility. Ford has a fairly solid reputation when it comes to reliability and resale values should be strong as a result.
Facts & Figures
Car Tested: Ford Kuga ST-Line X PHEV
Car Tested Price: €53,466
0 - 100kms
412 - 580l
NCAP safety rating