It was only by pure luck that I’m not reporting the premature departure of another Ford Kuga this month. Regular readers will remember that our Kuga plug-in hybrid was returned to Ford earlier than expected late last year, due to a fault with it, but this month’s drama almost saw the demise of its diesel replacement.
High winds were threatened for Essex on the Thursday night, and all appeared to be well outside the following morning. Just as the working day was kicking off a strange snapping noise was to be heard outside the office window, followed by the sound of crushed metal and car alarms going off. Jumping out of the chair and glancing out of the window at the scene of the devastation, we realised that the circa 100-year-old Beech tree had come down. From upstairs, it appeared that all three cars on the driveway had been squashed by the tree, and we couldn’t see whether the house was damaged, too. Rushing down the stairs and out to the driveway and it was like a scene from a disaster movie.
A quick check of the house and the verdict was inconclusive, as the branches of the tree were covering where we needed to see. The Honda CR-V parked to the right of the house had taken the full weight of the tree, with the trunk now weighing down heavily on the Honda’s roof. A smashed rear window and plastic from the rear light clusters were scattered everywhere and it was obvious by the way the CR-V was resting on its haunches that it had already seen its last days on the road.
A quick inspection of the Kuga that occupied the left-hand space on the driveway, and it appears that there’s only light damage, if anything at all. While there were branches resting along the side and on the roof, it looked like it had missed out on all of the action, thankfully. We didn’t relish a call to Ford to tell them of its fate, and so we kept everything crossed. Besides, there was one more car buried underneath the carnage, and this one looked like it had suffered a similar fate to the Honda. The silver MG5 EV could barely be seen from the roadway, as it was camouflaged convincingly by the leaves and branches.
A call to the local council – the offending tree was theirs, not ours – and we were impressed by their response times. We expected a lackadaisical approach, but less than 25 minutes after the tree had fallen, a contractor was at our door, keen to clear up and an estate manager there to apologise and settle our minds. It’s not often that you can say a good word about the local council, but Basildon Borough Council was phenomenal. By mid-day the carnage was cleared up, and the Honda pronounced dead. The MG was amazingly spared any damage, aside from the odd scratch that will T-Cut out and the Kuga hasn’t got a mark on it. It still didn’t make the call to Honda any easier…
Date arrived 1st December 2020
Economy (WLTP combined) 47.9-49.6mpg
Economy (On test) 41.1mpg