Saturday, September 19

Review: Behind the Wheel of the Sporty Ford Kuga ST (2019)

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The sporty ST brand is extremely popular with South African motorists who like to live life in the fast lane. As a result, the Ford Fiesta ST continues to grow in popularity each year. But, what happens when you’ve outgrown the hatchback lifestyle that the popular Ford Fiesta ST provides? For most people, the older you get means investing in a more practical SUV that can fit the kids, dogs, shopping bags and everything else. But now, thanks to the Ford Kuga ST-line, upgrading to a more practical SUV doesn’t mean you have to say good-bye to having fun. But, is this sportier version of Ford’s Kuga the right choice for you? I put it to the test to find out if it’s the right pick for your garage.

It’s got the athletic appeal

Ford Kuga St-line

If you love cars with a sportier look and feel, then this performance-inspired Kuga is sure to get you excited. The Kuga ST-Line delivers a bold design that mirrors its sporty character. Details like the Ebony Black finish for the front grille, matching sports mesh finish on the fog lamp bezels, and an integrated body kit, complete with high gloss rear roof spoiler and wheel arches further contribute to the eye-catching, athletic appearance of the Kuga ST.

Inside the Kuga ST, details like sport seats and red-trimmed stitching for the seats, steering wheel and gear lever gaiter, give the interior real stand-out appeal. Ford takes the look one step further with the alloy pedals and scuff plates incorporating the ST-Line logo and ST-Line exterior badging on the front fender.

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Behind the wheel

Ford Kuga St-line

The Kuga ST is an exceptionally comfortable car drive. Ideal for covering long distances, the Kuga’s comfort will ensure road trips with the family are a real pleasure. The Kuga engine hasn’t had any performance upgrades from the base-line models, but chassis enhancements, incorporating optimised suspension and steering, mean the Kuga ST-Line delivers the sportiest driving dynamics yet for this model. Furthermore, the Kuga’s steering system employs a revised calibration to deliver a tighter, more responsive and sporty feel. It’s also quite quick off the mark, getting you from 0 to 100 in under 8 seconds. Not bad for a ‘mom car’.

For me, the Kuga ST offers the best of both worlds. If you’re reluctant to give up your nippy little hatchback for an SUV then the Kuga ST might just make the transition to a more practical car a whole lot more fun. With this vehicle, you’ll get that go-anywhere, take-anything convenience that an SUV offers while still being able to enjoy that sporty feel you get from the likes of a Ford Fiesta.

What does it cost?

Ford Kuga St-line

A selection of option packs is available with the Kuga range-topping models. Choose from the Driver Assistance Pack (with Adaptive Cruise Control, Advanced Active Park Assist, Blind Spot Information System and Lane Keeping Aid) or the Styling Pack (with a power opening panoramic roof, 19-inch alloy wheels and a larger single-wing rear spoiler). High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights can also be specified on ST-Line models.

The Ford Kuga 1.5 EcoBoost Ambiente FWD 6MT starts at R433,500 and caps out at R600,700 for the 2.0 EcoBoost ST-Line AWD 6AT and R617,000 for the 2.0 TDCi ST-Line AWD 6AT. 

All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.

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