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Quite often, the Ford Kuga is the best-selling diesel car in the sales charts in the UK, and in Diesel Car’s mailbag, it is one of the cars that is most often asked about by readers. One theme seems to run through those enquiries and that’s price. For a medium-sized SUV, it’s priced quite keenly, and aside from the Kia Sportage, there appears to be nothing else that touches it for a combination of space, value for money, and equipment. There are smaller SUVs that start a little cheaper – the SEAT Ateca and Skoda Karoq – but both of those are around 20 centimetres smaller in length, which is quite considerable.

With the message to ‘Stay at home’ now relaxed, we’ve been rediscovering the Kuga’s attributes on trips other than for essential shopping and its blend of communicative steering, supple ride quality and willing 188bhp turbodiesel engine make this the powerplant of choice in the diesel line-up. It’s a shame that the mild hybrid technology that is available on the 148bhp edition of the 2.0 EcoBlue engine hasn’t been applied to this engine, as that would up its green credentials and have a positive effect on its CO2 emissions and fuel economy figures. Not that these are excessive, as 155g/km and 47.9 to 49.6mpg are class-leading statistics for a flagship model offering the benefit of four-wheel drive and that much get-up-and-go. All of the Kuga’s rivals deliver figures that are considerably inferior.

And surprisingly considering the amount of choice out there on the market, few manufacturers have gone down the luxury route, unlike this Vignale version of the Kuga. And while the majority of late model Kugas that I see on the road seem to be either ST-Line or ST-Line X versions, I’m starting to see a few more Vignales dotted around. Maybe it’s that phenomena where you see more cars when you’re actually driving one.

A recent cold snap over Easter made me appreciate features like the heated steering wheel and seats, and had I been carrying passengers in the back, they would have been able to benefit, too, as the Vignale features heated rear pews, too. The extra tactility of the leather wrapped instrument panel is nice, and makes this Vignale feel just a little bit better than other models in the range. I like the classy looking wood-effect dashboard appliqués, and the soft leather seats are incredibly comfortable, especially on longer journeys. You become ensconced and at journeys end you have to peel yourself out of them as you exit the car. Other premium accoutrements include the B&O audio system that adds extra depth to Ford’s traditionally good setup. The uprated system brings together 10 speakers and subwoofer and 575-watts of power. It’s at its best when driving solo, volume dialled up, sunglasses on and tunes permeating every centimetre of the cabin. The inclusion of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay makes choosing tracks from my iPhone incredibly easy, though it’s a shame that you have to plug it in via the USB socket for it to work, whereas other car companies have wireless CarPlay and it’s so much more convenient.

Date arrived 1st December 2020
Mileage 1,005
Economy (WLTP combined) 47.9-49.6
Economy (On test) 41.2mpg

What's Hot

The B&O audio system is immersive.

What's Not

No wireless Apple CarPlay yet. You have to connect your iPhone using the USB socket.

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