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The best alternatives to the Ford Kuga

Those searching for a practical five-seat SUV could do much worse than the Ford Kuga. It’s fun to drive, the diesel engines make for great tow cars, and even mid-range models are loaded to the gills with plush features and clever gadgets.

While it ticks many of the boxes SUV buyers demand, many critics believe that there are one or two (or five) better alternatives. So what choices are there? We’ve taken a look at the best available.

If you’re not convinced by our list, spec up a Ford Kuga in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.

Volkswagen Tiguan

In almost any market segment you care to look at, Volkswagen has a direct rival to one of Ford’s models. The Tiguan is its Kuga competitor and, as we’ve come to expect from Ford, it has all the makings of a great all-rounder.

The second-generation model promises to be 24 per cent more efficient than the model it replaces, thanks to an improved engine lineup and a weight reduction of at least 50kg across the board. Cabin quality is a noticeable step up from the Kuga, while the vast 615-litre boot is over 50 per cent larger.

It isn’t available to order until 2016 but, before then, read our VW Tiguan preview to learn what’s new on this model.

Kia Sportage

While it didn’t seem long ago that Kia produced rather cheap and soulless cars, that has all changed in recent years. Thanks to the appointment of designer Peter Schreyer – creator of the original Audi TT – much of Kia’s lineup is now seen to be among the most stylish in their segment.

The Sportage is among the most attractive of the bunch, yet it has plenty more to fall back on than just its looks. The cabin is one of the most spacious in the class, while the 503-litre boot is significantly more generous than the Kuga’s. Factor in the market-leading seven-year warranty and a much lower price than the Ford, and the Sportage lays claim to being one of the best in the class.

The new model won’t be available until 2016 but, until then, see all the info we have on it in our Kia Sportage preview.

Mazda CX-5

While many Ford models are praised for their sharp handling, it’s frequently Mazda with which the Blue Oval competes with in the driving enjoyment stakes. The Mazda CX-5 is no exception – low weight by class standards endows the CX-5 with an agility that very few competitors can come close to – including the Kuga.

Perhaps more impressive is the fact it doesn’t come at the expense of ride quality, which remains impressively comfortable on long journeys. It’s also spacious inside, and achieves a five star Euro NCAP crash test score.

Put the Mazda CX-5 in our car configurator to see what savings are offered.


Those who appreciate the kudos of a premium badge on the bonnet of their compact SUV should give the BMW X1 some serious consideration. It mixes the typical BMW traits of stable handling and strong, economical engines with an impressively roomy and practical cabin. Its 505-litre boot is almost 100 litres larger than the Ford’s.

Like most of these alternatives, entry-level models are two-wheel drive, but the BMW uses the Mini hatchback’s platform for a sportier feel. Four-wheel drive is available for more expensive versions.

Spec up a BMW X1 in our car configurator to see how much you could save.

Renault Kadjar

Ever since the second-generation Nissan Qashqai was released in 2013, its range of abilities have been so highly praised by testers that it has become almost the default crossover of choice. That’s all changed thanks to the Renault Kadjar.

The pair were developed on the same platform, and share a near-identical engine lineup. Crucially, however, the Renault is more eye-catching, a little more practical, and cheaper to buy. Combined with the smooth ride, low running costs and top safety ratings which has made the Nissan such a hit means not only does the Kadjar become a great alternative to the Kuga, but it lays a strong claim to becoming the new class leader.

See what discounts are offered by choosing your ideal Renault Kadjar in our car configurator.

Save money on your next SUV

Put any of these cars in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. For more options, head over to our deals page or, if you’re still struggling to pick your next car, check out our car chooser.

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