Ford Kuga 2.5 FHEV ST-Line X 5dr CVT

  • Automatic
  • Petrol/Electric Hybrid
  • 49.6 mpg
  • 5 door suv
  • 130 g/km CO2
  • 130 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 49.6 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 9.1 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 180 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

Ford sees its self-charging Hybrid powertrain as the core volume engine with this uprated version of its third generation Kuga upper mid-sized family SUV. The big change with this update is the introduction of a 4WD option for Kuga Hybrid customers. Who will also notice the smarter looks and much improved cabin.


Ford's range of electrified SUVs is growing. But you might not be quite ready for the brand's mid-sized full-EV crossover, the Explorer. If that's the case and you need AWD, then the brand wants you to consider this much improved version of its third generation Kuga as an alternative, reviewed here in Hybrid form. This 2.5-litre non-plug-in model is now available with the AWD system it lacked from launch - and can now tow a lot more too. Plus it has a rejuvenated cabin. Do you really need that Ford family EV cossover quite yet? If not, then maybe it's worth looking at one of these first.

Driving Experience

In its original form, this Kuga Hybrid could only be had with front wheel drive (in our market anyway). That issue's been addressed as part of this facelift, which with AWD boosts the petrol/electric powertrain's usual 180PS output fractionally to 183PS. As before, this car uses a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine assisted by an electric motor powered by a tiny 1.1kWh liquid cooled battery, which is replenished by both the engine and the energy recovered under braking. Choose the AWD version and you can make the most of this updated Kuga Hybrid's improved towing capability, now boosted to an impressive diesel-like 2,100kg, a best-in-class figure. Special sat nav functionality allows owners to enter the dimensions of their car and trailer, then the software will plan a route avoiding low bridges tight corners: neat. The other reason you might choose a Kuga Hybrid is much as before: it remains one of the more engaging mid-sized SUVs to drive. Which means you can make the most of the quite eager performance: engage the sportiest drive mode and the 4WD Hybrid makes 62mph in 8.3 seconds, nearly half a second quicker than the front-driven Hybrid version. The top speed is 122mph. As before, there's what Ford describes as a "smooth and linear response to acceleration", partly in thanks to this car's power-split CVT auto gearbox. Simulating gear-shift functions, this transmission is designed to adjust the ratios for optimum performance and fuel efficiency and will adjust the engine's rpm as the speed changes to reduce the "rubber band" effect commonly associated with CVT set-ups. This simulated gearshift function is available in 'Normal' and 'Sport' driving modes, and, according to the car's chief programme engineer, Glen Goold, gives a "more engaging drive with the familiarity of traditional 'cog swaps', plus the added benefit of limiting engine noise." On the subject of noise, the car also features a 'Silent Key Start' feature, enabling it to pull away from standstill in pure electric mode, which is ideal for those early morning starts, or in the cut and thrust of stop-start driving. What else? Well off-road ability has been enhanced - well it has if you opt for the new 'Active' variant, which has a ride height raised by 10mm at the front and 5mm at the rear. This version also gains an extra 'Trail' driving mode, which optimises traction control and throttle response for progress on different surfaces.

Design and Build

There are few visual clues to this Ford's Hybrid powerplant, so the look is as with any other Kuga variant, a car usefully updated in recent times. The most obvious differences are at the front, which features redesigned headlamps and a reprofiled grille. As before, the grille has body-coloured accents for the 'ST Line' variants. The top 'ST Line X' further adds red brake calipers. Smarter tail lamps, different alloy wheel designs and a fresh palette of colours complete the exterior changes. Arguably of greater significance are the updates inside. As part of the media upgrade to its latest SYNC4 infotainment set-up, Ford has added a much larger 13.2-inch central touchscreen. It has fewer physical buttons flanking the monitor and includes cloud-based navigation, over-the-air updates, a 5G data connection and wireless 'Apple CarPlay and 'Android Auto', along with Amazon Alexa. The 12.3-inch digital instrument display you view through the wheel is also new, featuring graphics that change with the selected drive mode. Not so good is the fact that all physical climate controls (bar the windscreen demister) been moved to the central touchscreen. That demister's function button now sits alongside the switchgear that was previously on the centre console (for the rear view camera and drive modes). Which has freed up space for an extra centre console cubby. The liquid cooling system for the batteries allows them to be packaged much closer together, and therefore they don't intrude into the capacious interior that still allows back seating for three. As before, for rear seat passengers, the entire second row of seats can be moved backwards for best-in-class 1,035mm rear legroom, or forwards to increase boot space by 67-litres. A remote release function enables the second row to be folded flat with ease. Out back, there's a 475-litre boot, which can be extended to 1,534-litres.

Market and Model

You can't get a Kuga Hybrid with base 'Titanium' trim, which is one reason why pricing from the launch of this updated model started from just under £39,000 - for volume 'ST-Line' trim, which comes only in front-driven 180PS form. The plusher 'Active' and 'ST-Line X' variants can also be had with the further option (for just under £2,000 more) of an AWD 183PS Hybrid drivetrain, thouhgh for that with 'ST-Line X'-spec, from launch you'd have needed way over £42,000. At least there's plenty of kit fitted as standard across the range: full-LED headlamps, LED tail lamps, black roof rails, power-folding mirrors, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, a 'Quickclear' heated windscreen, cruise control, all-round parking sensors and a rear view camera. Inside, you get the full media upgrade - a 13-inch SYNC4 centre touchscreen and a 12.3-inch instrument cluster. Plus Electronic Automatic Temperature Control and second row sliding seats. You also get a hands-free powered tailgate, a 360-degree camera, extra camera safety features and power-adjustable front seats. The most popular version will be the 'ST-Line' grade, which gets 18-inch alloy wheels with red brake calipers, sports suspension, a body styling kit and power-adjustable Sensico-upholstered sports seats with black neosuede inserts and red stitching. 'ST-Line X'-spec adds larger 19-inch wheels, a power-opening panorama roof and heat for the front and rear seats and steering wheel. The 'Active' version gets active lifted suspension.

Cost of Ownership

Ford are suggesting that a total range of nearly 600 miles could be possible before needing to refuel in this Kuga Hybrid. This is based upon a WLTP figure of 52.3mpg combined for the front-driven model, and of course, the batteries don't require you to plug in anywhere to recharge. This front wheel drive version is rated at up to 123g/km for CO2 emissions in 'ST-Line' form. It's up to 48.7mpg and 136g/km for the AWD version in 'ST-Line X' guise. Disappointingly, Ford still only offer a 3 year/60,000 mile warranty as standard, which seems a little way short considering the offerings from Kia and Hyundai. Of course, the counter to that is the reach of Ford and its dealer network, and the fact that they offer strong finance packages, affordable servicing plans and also own brand insurance. All of this helps with maintaining the whole-life costs of the car, although the populist Ford badge does take its toll on residuals.


Now that the Kuga line-up doesn't have a diesel, customers are having to get used to this Hybrid powertrain as a replacement - and it makes more sense now that Ford can offer it with the option of AWD for our market. The higher towing capability is an important improvement for this updated model too. As for the mid-term improvements made to this third generation Kuga design, you might not feel the reprofiled looks are much of a step forward but you can't argue with the merits of the more sophisticated SYNC4 infotainment system, which headlines the changes made to the now much more appealing cabin. In summary then, it's clear that the Blue Oval brand now means business when it comes to this class of SUV. And if you doubt that, then you need to try this one.

  • Ford easy fuel
  • Hands free power tailgate
  • B&O premium audio system with 10 speakers, subwoofer and 2 USB ports
  • Black roof rails
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Large rear spoiler
  • Pop out door edge protectors
  • Power opening panoramic roof
  • Rear side wing doors
  • ST-Line body styling kit
  • Partial premium touch sensico upholstery
  • Driver assistance pack with intelligent adaptive cruise control - Kuga FHEV/PHEV
  • Winter pack - Kuga
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Airbags - front driver/passenger, front and rear curtain
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • Evasive steering assist
  • Ford MyKey Gen 2 safety system
  • Manual child proof rear door locks
  • Rear seat Occupancy alert
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Engine immobiliser
  • Keyless entry and Ford power start button
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Remote powered central double locking doors
  • Thatcham category 1 alarm
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 1.1
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 130
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 130
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 123
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - TEH: 148
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - TEL: 142
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - TEH: 112
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - TEL: 105
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - TEH: 187
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - TEL: 184
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - TEH: 89
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - TEL: 80
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 2498
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 89
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 100
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 4.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 8.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 3.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 43.5
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 57.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 34.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 72.4
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.5
  • Badge Power: 180
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: FHEV
  • Coin Series: ST-Line X
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 20E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Service Interval Mileage: 18000
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 9.1
  • Engine Power - BHP: 180
  • Engine Power - KW: 132
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 147
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 20.4
  • Engine Torque - NM: 200
  • Top Speed: 122
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/55 R19
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/55 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Height: 1623
  • Length: 4615
  • Wheelbase: 2711
  • Width: 1882
  • Width (including mirrors): 2177
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 54
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2230
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1517
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 628
  • Max. Loading Weight: 616
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1600
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1614
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.4