Attending a PR event for the launch of a car is slightly different to the launch of a new baby formula mainly because you actually get to experience the product first hand.
The event was held in the Cape so we were flown down on Tuesday morning and some amazing snacks and come coffee we paired up, got our Kuga’s and headed off. Up until that point we had no idea where we were going so imagine my surprise when I saw “arrive at Arabella Hotel and Spa”
I drove with Angel, who is a bit of a Ford Fundi and knows a lot more about cars in general than I do. During the briefing we were shown the features on the Kuga Titanium which is the top of the range Kuga and really does have many bells and whistles on. One of the things that really appealed to me was the hands free tail-gate.
A gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the tailgate when the driver has the Kuga key fob in their hand, pocket or bag. This allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without needing to set down packages or dig around for keys. The same motion closes the hatch.
Trying to open the boot, watch the trolley and the wriggling toddler is not always the easiest thing to do so a boot that opens and closes on it’s own really would make my life easier. It can be controlled from the outside via the movement of the foot or there is a button in the front that opens and closes it – perfect for dropping kids off.
Another feature on the Titanium that is pretty cool is that when you change lanes without indicating the steering wheel vibrates and if you continue to do this it actually pops up a notification suggesting you rest. One of the reasons for this is the driver is tired or falling asleep and veering off the road it offers the warning. This is not standard in all the Kugas – just the Titanium.
For our drive there we weren’t lucky enough to get the Titanium so drove the Trend. The route marked out is through back roads, dirt roads and mountain passes so we really got to feel how the car drove on all terrains. I got all the dirt roads though on my half of the drive and while I can only compare it to the cars I have owned, I can say that you hardly feel like you are off the tar. The car doesn’t shudder and shake and there is hardly any noise.
Once we had arrived at the hotel we all go to try the Park Assist feature on the Titanium. This was a mind blowing experience. The car basically parallel parks on it’s OWN! With the push of a button, it reverses, turns and gets itself into the parking without you even touching the steering wheel. Now this feature may be a little gimicky because how often do you really parallel park but it is still very cool to see what technology they are able to build into cars.
Between this and the official presentation we were treated to a 45-minute long massage – it was heaven in a heated room.
The presentation was very technical and a lot of it went over my head but what did stick out was the safety rating – it has a 6 star safety rating which is apparently excellent. When you are transporting kids then the car safety is a big part of the consideration.
Advanced Ford-developed software behind the new Kuga’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system pre-emptively reassesses conditions about 20 times faster than it takes to blink an eye, readjusting the power split to give the driver the precise blend of handling and traction at all times.
If, for example, the front of the vehicle is on a slippery surface and the rear is on pavement, the all-wheel-drive system can send all the torque the powertrain can produce to the rear, putting power where the driver needs it.
Using advanced software and sensors, the system gathers data from 25 external signals, including wheel speed, accelerator pedal position and steering wheel angle, to deliver outstanding driving performance in both wet and dry conditions as well as excellent off-road traction.
Greater confidence when entering and driving through turns is enabled by the technologies Torque Vectoring Control and Curve Control, which are available together for the first time in an SUV in the all-new Ford Kuga.
It is only a 5 seater so is too small for our needs but you can seat 5 comfortably and the boot is nice and big. There are trays with cup holders at the back. So for a family of 4 it really is a super awesome car!!!
We have looked at a few cars similar to the Ford and the Kuga is not badly priced. The Titanium is obviously expensive (well for me) but the Trend is pretty reasonable priced.
So if you are in the market for an SUV then I can really recommend the new Kuga.
Disclaimer – while this trip was paid for by Ford, this post was not. All opinions and views here are my own.