Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -


The Ti­ta­nium is the ab­so­lute top of the Kuga range. The 2.0-litre turbo en­gine was up­graded late last year, along with some equip­ment up­dates. Stan­dard fare in­cludes self-park­ing tech­nol­ogy, sat­nav, heated leather seats, sun­roof and rear-view cam­era. The tail­gate can be opened by sweep­ing a foot un­der the rear bumper with sen­sor key in hand. Ser­vice in­ter­val is 12 months/ 15,000km, the first three cost­ing $310 each (though the fourth year/60,000km ser­vice spikes to $510).


The four-cylin­der, the most pow­er­ful in its class (178kW/ 345Nm), is shared with the Fo­cus ST hot hatch (in a dif­fer­ent state of tune). It has a lot of oomph from low revs and is supremely smooth and re­fined. The catch: it’s com­par­a­tively thirsty (8.8L/100km) and

re­quires pre­mium un­leaded.


The Kuga adopted Ford’s Euro­pean de­sign theme, which the com­pany has now em­braced glob­ally. The space­ship-style dash­board won’t be to ev­ery­one’s taste but it’s func­tional and there is am­ple odd­ment stor­age. The cabin is roomy and the cargo area is mas­sive (406L seats up, 1603L down). Seven airbags bol­ster the five-star safety rat­ing. The Ti­ta­nium will au­to­mat­i­cally call 000 in a crash if the airbags are de­ployed and if a mo­bile phone is paired and within range. Rear-view cam­era is also stan­dard. A worth­while $1600 tech­nol­ogy pack in­cludes au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing, radar cruise con­trol, blind-spot warn­ing and lane-keep­ing cam­eras.



Un­der lux­u­ri­ous com­pact SUV styling, the Ti­ta­nium con­ceals hothatch per­for­mance. The turbo en­gine is a joy, al­ways ready to move even with the slight­est press of the ac­cel­er­a­tor. Ford has also done an in­cred­i­bly good job on the sus­pen­sion — it soaks up bumps de­spite rid­ing on 19-inch wheels shod with low-pro­file tyres.

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