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Saturday 1 April 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# Review
Review: The Ford Kuga ST-Line is a great SUV for families, even older ones
But should you buy it over the regular Kuga model?

THE FORD KUGA is a spacious and practical SUV that is particularly good for those with a young family.

I say that because the materials used in the cabin are durable and easy to keep clean, there are plenty of useful storage areas through the cabins and the rear doors open to almost 90 degrees – making fitting child seats and lifting children in and out of them nice and easy.

There are ISOFIX points on both of the outer rear seats too and, you can squeeze two child seats and a booster seat in the back. I know this because I have seen my cousin get his three boys on the back of his Kuga. It is a squeeze but it is doable.

If you have larger children, there is a decent amount of leg and headroom in the back for those. Again, you’ll get three across the rear seat. There isn’t much room for the unlucky one who has to sit in the middle, but they will have decent legroom thanks to an almost flat floor.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

The height of the SUV and those wide door apertures make this a really good car for those with mobility issues too.

The boot is one of the largest in the class and it is a very handy square shape with a low loading lip making sliding things in and out a doddle.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

My test car was powered by the 180hp 2.0-litre TDCI diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual, all-wheel drive transmission. It is a punchy and flexible unit developing 400Nm of torque at 2,000- 2,500rpm. Out on the road, the Kuga feels swift and the engine is smooth in almost all conditions.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

The Ford Kuga starts from €33,345 in Titanium trim, but, if you want this 180hp 2.0-litre engine under the bonnet it’ll cost you €44,230.

However, my test car was the ST-Line version, which starts from €36,145 but with the above engine, it costs €45,030.

Is the 180hp 2.0-litre ST-Line model worth the extra over the Titanium version?

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

The extra €2,800 for the ST-Line model gets you a sporty body styling kit; body coloured front skirts; lower centre silver skid plate; front and rear body colour wheel arches; body coloured side skirts, rear skirts and door claddings; high gloss silver lower centre rear diffuser and a high gloss black rear mesh. You also get 18-inch dark machined alloy wheels (Titanium models get 17-inch alloys) and black roof rails. The cabin gets a dark headliner, alloy foot pedals and ST-Line seats, gear knob, steering wheel and floor mats with contrast stitching.

It also comes with Enhanced Active Park Assist which helps with parallel and perpendicular parking – very handy when you have a car full of distracting children.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

The Kuga feels well composed and, thanks to the all-wheel drive there is plenty of grip. It feels sharp to drive too and the positive gearbox feels great. It really is one of the better SUVs in its class in terms of driving and handling.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

So, is it worth the extra money to go for the ST-Line? Well, if the roads you drive on most are in poor condition I would say no, stick to the regular model. However, if you spend most of your time on more decent surfaces then I think the more sporty styling, added technology and tweaked suspension and steering are worth the extra.

Overall, the Ford Kuga ST-Line offers the same great space and practicality of the regular model but looks and handles that little bit better and sharper.

READ: Top tips for driving in the dark >

READ: The Volkswagen T-Roc will be one of 2018′s biggest cars. We took it for a road test >

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