The third lockdown hasn’t given us an awful lot of opportunities to get ourselves familiar with our Kuga Vignale, with recent journeys confined to essential shopping only. Even so, we’ve managed to take note of a few differences between the plushest specification of our car and other models in the Kuga line-up.
The first, most noticeable change is to the front bumper and grille, which appears to grin at you like a Cheshire cat. There’s chrome edging to the wavy front grille and sweeping silver appliqués that frame the front fog lights, while at the side there’s body coloured side mouldings with a chrome insert. The glass house is punctuated by chrome edging and the roof rails are finished in silver, instead of black. Vignale badges adorn the front doors and rear tailgate and the premium appearance is completed by a lustre nickel-effect to the 19-inch alloy wheels.
The cabin of the plushest Kuga is marked out by a leather-wrapped instrument panel and sumptuous perforated leather upholstery, together with a soft leather wrapped steering wheel. Active noise cancellation helps to deliver a more serene driving experience, especially on the motorway, while the premium B&O Play audio system delivers a high-quality sound that permeates all around the interior. Connection to the music located on my iPhone is via Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay, though it’s a shame that it isn’t wireless, like on some other BMW and Volkswagen Group cars. Heated seats both front and rear feature, as well as a heated steering wheel, and they have been made extensive use of in the recent wintry weather conditions.
We love the bright blue digital instruments, as they’re really easy to read at a glance, meaning that you keep your eyes on the road for a longer period of time. The metal pedals are a neat touch, too, and so are the Vignale branded kick plates that deliver an upmarket ambience as soon as you climb aboard.
One niggle with the Kuga has manifested itself ever since I picked up my new iPhone 12 Max Pro. Apple experts will know that it is the latest iPhone out, and it has refused to work with the Ford’s wireless charger. An error message on the touchscreen says that there’s something between the phone and the base mat preventing it from charging. I think it has to be down to the Apple branded leather case that I bought for the phone. While all other cars I have driven recently don’t have a problem with it, I’ve found that the Focus also throws up the same error message, so it has to be a Ford thing. I’m willing to bet that it has something to do with the Magsafe magnets that are embedded in the case, but it’s odd that other wireless chargers don’t have a problem, but this Ford one does.
Date arrived 1st December 2020
Economy (WLTP combined) 47.9-49.6
Economy (On test) 42.2mpg