Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid interior & comfort
Sitting in the latest Ford Kuga, some may feel a little disappointed by the lack of flair or personality. Others will relish its logical layout and chunky, easy-to-operate climate controls. The standard eight-inch infotainment screen runs Ford’s latest SYNC 3 operating system, and while it’s perhaps not as intuitive as the BMW and MINI iDrive set-up, there’s plenty of functionality and simple enough to use.
Entry-level cars (Zetec for most of the range, or Titanium for the plug-in) have conventional analogue dials with a small TFT display in the middle. These are clear and easy to read, but they make the cabin feel a little out-of- date, which is not good for a car that launched in 2020. Upgrade to ST-Line trim or above and you get a fabulously vibrant digital set-up, which gives the Kuga a much more modern edge.
Comfort and refinement are good, too. Obviously, the Kuga is at it best when you’re running around town in electric mode, but increase the pace and things remain hushed. The seats in our Titanium test car weren’t the most sculpted we’ve sat in; there’s lots of adjustment in the backrest and lumbar support is sufficient, but the flat bases lack any kind of thigh bolster, which could prove challenging on long journeys.
Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid dashboard
Go for the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid in ST-Line spec or above, and you’ll immediately notice the fantastic digital instrument cluster. It’s worth upgrading from the lesser Titanium model on this basis alone – as it adds a premium edge missing in the cheaper cars.
Elsewhere, the Ford feels built to a good standard, with the cheaper-feeling plastics hidden away on the lower centre console and at the bottom of the doors. Everything you touch regularly has a high-quality feel, and the dashboard is laid out in a logical, if slightly dull, way.
The seats are pretty adjustable, but don’t feel like they’ve got all that much thigh support, which could pose problems on longer journeys – but you sit nice and high and there’s a decent view out. Regardless, ST-Line cars get front and rear cameras, which really help when parking.
Equipment, options & accessories
If this Ford Kuga plug-in floats your boat, note that you can't get in the cheapest Zetec spec. as the plug-in hybrid powertrain is only available in Titanium trim or above. The upside is that every Kuga Plug-In Hybrid therefore gets at least 18-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen, LED lights, dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charging and a suite of safety kit including autonomous emergency braking, cruise control and lane-keeping assistance.
ST-Line cars get sportier styling, fully digital dials and unique wheels, while the ST-Line X brings a panoramic roof, a powered tailgate and heated front seats, plus larger 19-inch wheels. Vignale boasts premium leather and a head-up display, among other luxury features, but prices for that car hit almost £38,000. Careful not to get carried away with the options list – as those costing north of £40,000 cost £455 a year to tax, not £135.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
Every new Ford Kuga comes with an eight-inch infotainment display running the brand's SYNC 3 system, which is among the more logical interfaces on the market. There are a few annoying niggles – like how hard it is to navigate back to the car’s standard infotainment system when using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – but on the whole, it works well.
All Kuga models get the aforementioned smartphone connectivity options, as well as sat nav and a three-month subscription to FordPass, with a wi-fi hotspot and free live traffic updates. In addition, all Ford plug-in hybrid customers get access to the FordPass app, which allows you to warm up or cool down your vehicle remotely.