As winter shows no sign of loosening its grip on Northern Europe, Ford’s new Kuga has been attracting glowing reviews in the press. New Fiesta is the other big news maker in what has been a very positive week for Ford.
Sunday Telegraph (UK) on new Kuga: “In a fiercely competitive market that is teeming with excellent cars, this one deserves a place near to the top of anybody's consideration… Ford's designers have given the new car a racier silhouette. At the same time, the interior duplicates the excellent C-Max which rivals Audi for the intelligence and clarity of its controls layout. And the doors close with a thonk that resounds with Teutonic seriousness of purpose. Clever, thoughtful engineering and innovation are also behind the "air-kick" mechanism which activates the Kuga's automatic tailgate. If your hands are full of gubbins as you approach the back of the car you can - so long as you have the remote key-fob on your person - wave your foot under the rear bumper and cause the tailgate to lift. You can close it with similar balletic grace if you have lifted a load of stuff out of the car. Such smart thinking lies behind the floor arrangement in the load space. If you lower the rear seats, you can lift the panel in the dropped boot space, connect it into slots on the sides of the body and easily make a completely flat floor at the back for bulky loads. Delightful, ingenious simplicity.”
Auto Bild (Spain) compared the Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 140 Trend to the Hyundai ix35 2.0 CRDi Tecno. The Kuga was the winner of the comparison with an overall score of 478 out of 700 points. VERDICT: “Although it has lost some dynamism in its new generation (previously, the chassis was perhaps too firm), the Ford Kuga remains self-assured on the road, transmitting good sensations. But its greatest achievement is its improvement in cargo capacity and rear-seat space. It is now well-positioned against the competition in these areas. The Kuga’s new style is a little more minivan-like and less SUV-like. Whether or not this is positive is a matter of personal opinion. More high-tech and attractive than the Hyundai, it is the clear winner of this comparison.”
Autocar (UK) says Kuga sets a new sporting benchmark among ‘compact’ SUVs. “Whether you want a comfortable and easy drive, a big towing capacity, serious off-road ability or a cavernous cabin, the sub-£30k 4x4 class already caters for you. But if you want genuinely athletic, absorbing handling, it doesn’t. Or it didn’t, until now. Crossovers like the Nissan Qashqai arguably offered something for keener drivers in need of added ‘utility’. But now the Kuga has become a fully fledged SUV, it has not only come of age but has also brought typical Ford-brand dynamism and poise to a segment that badly needs it. A Hyundai Santa Fe offers considerably more space and isn’t a great deal pricier, while if you have genuine need of a dual-purpose 4x4 for regular off-road use, you could spend your cash better elsewhere. But we like the Kuga’s blend of the abilities you might look for in an SUV. More importantly, we rate it. And if you’re a regular reader of this magazine, we expect you will too.”
Cars.uk.msn.com (UK) on new Fiesta ST: “The new Ford Fiesta ST is a deeply impressive hot hatch. Vigorously agile yet friendly with it, this is a car that’s not only easy to drive fast but one that should also prove extremely easy to live with, with ride quality and refinement that shames some rivals’ standard superminis. For the money, it’s a steal. And even if the Clio Renaultsport proves more decisive to drive, it’s hard to imagine how the Fiesta ST could possibly be bettered as an everyday proposition.”
Auto Strassenverkehr (Germany) on new Fiesta ST: “It doesn’t just look dynamic and nimble, it drives that way too… We have no trouble believing that the Fiesta ST accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in only 6.9 seconds. But the Fiesta ST also caters to more rational-thinking consumers with an average fuel consumption of only 5.9 liters per 100km, according to NEDC standards. What’s more, given its rich set of standard features, including climate control, a sound system, and 17-inch light alloys, its entry-level price of 19,990 euros can be regarded as comparably reasonable. The torquey and nimble Fiesta ST provides loads of driving fun. At a price of less than 20,000, euros it is also considerably more affordable than the sporty variants of VW’s Polo and Opel’s Corsa.”