Ford Kuga 2.0T ST Line

Have your cake and eat it with Kuga ST

There comes a time in life when the car enthusiast must make a hard call to get rid of the car he so loves and replace it with a family friendlier solution. Take the lad with the hot Focus ST, whose kids now not only need more space, but they come with more paraphernalia that the good old Focus can take.

Now there's a solution for the Ford fan — see, this new 177kW 340Nm all-wheel drive 2-litre EcoBoost Kuga ST line flagship now offers the best of both worlds — proper performance with space and them some for the kids and all their crap. And it more than just impressed us when we tested it...

Set apart by bold styling and sporty driving dynamics, ST-Line Kugas (there’s a diesel too) get exclusive design elements, interior trim and a sportier suspension set-up thanks to enhanced spring and damper rates, thicker anti-roll bars and stiffer suspension bushes to deliver a 10mm lowered ride height for reduced body roll and sharper, sportier response.

The eye-catching ST adds to Kuga’s recent considerable styling step ahead is further set apart by a more aggressive stance fortified by cool black 19-inch alloys on our tester, wrapped in low profile rubber. There’s a neat bright machined black grille and colour-coordinated skid plate (why?), side skirts, mirrors, door handles, wheel arches and roof rails, a rear spoiler and diffuser and tinted front and rear lights and privacy rear window glass. 

It’a a pleasing car to drive too and worthy of its new ST status, that all-wheel drive bringing a positively planted feel and ride, while sporty, positive handling and an enjoyable character please it apart from the humdrum MPV norm. That EcoBoost lump stars too with performance approaching the GTI and Focus bracket – 7.25 seconds to 100km/h and a 15-second quarter-mile at 146km/h offer a great compromise to the enthusiastic driver whose family has outgrown the faithful old Focus ST

It's economical enough too - we had little trouble meeting its 8.6l/100km promise and it is the perfect comfy cruiser too, silent and stable on that AWB base, gutsy enough to overtake with ease, spacious and well stacked with all the latest, coolest Ford Sync tech to keep the kids glued to their devices and well out of your hair in that cool cabin with contrast stitched partial leather sport seats, a dark headliner and two-layer metallic-effect centre console, alloy pedals and scuff plates.

So there you have it — you love to drive and you dig your hot hatch, but the kids are getting too big and you need the space. What you worrying about? Now you can have your cake and eat it — Kuga ST compromises very little but adds more than enough to kill off that conundrum good and proper…

ROAD TESTED: Ford Kuga 2.0T AWD ST Line
Engine: 177kW 340Nm 2-litre turbo petrol I4                
Drive: 6-speed automatic AWD
0-60km/h:                3.07 sec
0-100km/h:              7.25 sec                      
0-160km/h:              18.66 sec       
400m:                      15.0 sec @ 160km/h            
80-120km/h:                 5.05 sec
120-160km/h:          8.79 sec          
VMax:                             212km/h                               
Fuel:                               8.6 l/100km                         
CO2:                               197 g/km
Warranty/Service:    4y 120K/6y 90Kkm 
LIST PRICE:                     R522K           
RATED:                            83%