The Ford Kuga has more space than a small family car, but rear legroom is tighter and the boot smaller than in other SUVs
Passenger space is one of the main reasons you choose an SUV, so it’s a shame that it turns out to be one of the Ford Kuga’s weaker areas compared to similarly priced alternatives.
That’s even true of the front seats, which are low on headroom if you buy a model that comes with a panoramic glass roof. Steer clear, though, and you should be okay in the front, and getting a comfortable driving position is helped by the fact that the steering wheel has height and reach adjustment. Both front seats can also be raised or lowered and all but the entry-level Kuga’s driver’s seat has lumbar adjustment for extra support on a long drive.
Titanium X and ST-Line X cars have an electrically adjustable driver’s seat that’s less of an effort to move than the manual seats fitted to the rest of the range, although a memory function – that could remember two drivers’ seating positions – isn’t fitted.
The Ford Kuga’s relatively small back seats are a bigger issue, though. They compare well to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf but judged against similarly priced SUVs – chiefly the Skoda Kodiaq and Volkswagen Tiguan – they’re left wanting. Your passengers just don’t get the excess of knee and headroom they would get in the Skoda and VW, although the Ford’s back seats do recline a few degrees.
Stick three in the back and your passengers will feel squeezed for shoulder room, although the flat floor means everyone has somewhere to put their feet.
Interior storage is one side of practicality the Kuga does pretty well. The door bins are big enough for a litre bottle, as is the glovebox. You get a couple of cupholders in front of the gearstick – Titanium models and above get a rear centre armrest with two more – and under the front centre armrest there are a couple of charging ports for your phone.
The Skoda Kodiaq goes further to make your life easier, though – it has an umbrella hidden in its door and an ice scraper stowed under its fuel filler cap.
If there was a school for small SUVs, the Kuga would come home with a ‘must try harder’ report card in practicality… It just can’t mach newer SUVs for space
The Ford Kuga has a 406-litre boot that is pretty small compared to ones you get in the Skoda Kodiaq (720 litres), Volkswagen Tiguan (615 litres) and SEAT Ateca (510 litres).
That said, there’s no lip to lift luggage over, which makes loading easier, and you get hooks that you can secure your shopping with. It might not have the outright capacity of rivals, but the Ford Kuga has enough space for everyday items such as a baby buggy and will easily swallow a family’s luggage for a week or two.
If you need to carry more than that, the rear seats fold into the floor – increasing the Kuga’s total carrying capacity to 1,603 litres – although they do leave a lump in the floor that’s a pain when you’re trying to slide longer items into place. The back seats also split 60:40 as standard, so you can carry a combination of long things and passengers if you need to.