When it comes to cars we’ve had our fair share of bad luck. We’ve spent way too much time sat on the hard shoulder waiting for the recovery truck, spent a small fortune on repairs for a whole host of issues, and test driven more new cars than I care to mention. And although we were fortunate to finally get a new family car last year, a seven seater for my entire brood, the issue remains that Gaz’s car is going through all of the same problems as our old one. So when Bristol Street Motors asked us to test drive a Ford Kuga for the week, we were really looking forward to seeing what it could offer us as a family.
Bristol Street Motors originated nearly 100 years ago as a single Ford dealership on Bristol Street in Birmingham, and has since grown to become the 6th largest motor retailer in the UK, with over 120 locations across the country. We went to our nearest branch in Wigan to collect the Ford Kuga ST Line for review and I was instantly impressed with just how stylish it looks!
The Ford Kuga is a 5 seater SUV, so unsuitable for us as a family car but for Gaz, using the car on a daily basis for work, or as a second car on the weekends when Lewis is at his Dads and it’s just the five of us, it’s a really spacious car which is perfect for families.
There’s no denying that, for me, the appearance of the Kuga ST Line is a huge selling point. Not only is the body of the car sleek and stylish, but finished with Absolute Black 18″ alloys, it’s hard not to admire how great they look!
As much as I could admire the appearance for the Kuga all day long, because it really is such a gorgeous car, on a practical level it was important for me to put it to the test and see whether the appearance matched up to the performance in our daily lives.
With six gears and powered by diesel, along with an EasyFuel cap which was fab, I had high expectations for the the Kuga and couldn’t wait to take it on a proper test drive.
By the end of the week, having driven the Kuga each day on a variety of journeys, I was in no hurry to hand the keys back to the garage! Hailed as “Made for the great outdoors” I can safely say it didn’t disappoint!
Things we loved….
It drives like a dream
It was so easy to drive, completely smooth on the road, and fared well in all weather conditions. For someone like me, who isn’t the most confident of drivers, despite driving for 22 years now, it is so important that I feel comfortable behind the wheel and in full control of the car, and the fact that I was instantly at ease was a huge positive for me.
It’s SO spacious!
For a family of five a regular car can often feel far too crowded and yet the Ford Kuga is huge! I felt as though the inside of the car was as spacious as our 7 seater and even with three children in the back, with space for three ISOfix car seats, there is still so much room for the whole family.
Although it isn’t the be all and end all for me, I do like my car to look good on the inside as well as the outside, and the Kuga has a gorgeous leather interior and a real air of style about it. I think often, as parents, we feel we have to sacrifice being stylish for being practical and so it’s always great when you realise that you can still combine the two.
Ever since we got a keyless car I struggle to drive anything that needs manually starting with a key. I find myself automatically reaching for the start/stop button, even when it’s not there, and so I was happy to discover that the Kuga has the same Ford Power start button.
Electronic parking brake and windows
As with the start/stop button, I have a preference for an electronic parking brake as I think once you’ve had a car with it, it’s hard going back to a manual. It’s also great for traffic lights, starting on hills, and for those baby brain moments when you park up and forget to pull the hand brake on. If you do that in the Kuga it will sound an alarm instantly!
Electric windows are a real must, not just for ease of use but if you’ve ever had a child who suffers with travel sickness you’ll know that sometimes it’s just a matter of getting that window opened as quickly as possible!
With Ford Sync you can synchronise your devices to your car to play music, make and receive calls on your mobiles, have incoming text messages read along and control them all with simple voice commands. The system can even assist you in calling the Emergency Services, in the event of an accident. It’s such a handy feature and great for modern families juggling work and kids and struggling to find the time to breathe! I made full use of making and receiving calls as I drove, it was a great time saver instead of waiting until I got back home and eating into my work hours.
Lots of handy storage
Any parent will tell you that storage is a must when it comes to cars. If you haven’t got a change of clothes, some baby wipes, and an emergency stash of snacks in your glove compartment then are you even a parent?! The Kuga has lots of room in the glove compartment as well as a handy centre console with storage tray, cup holders, CD storage and two 12V power points.
And even more storage for the weekly shop!
Before kids I would never have thought that the size of the boot would a clincher when choosing a new car, but anyone who has done the weekly shop for a family of six will tell you, a good sized boot is a real must!
I headed to our local supermarket and discovered that not only was it easy to park (more about that later!) but I was able to fit in a full weekly shop with so much space to spare!
I hold my hands up and admit that parking isn’t really my forte, especially parallel parking! The Ford Kuga has Enhanced Active Park Assist (including perpendicular parking, pull out assist and flank guard) as well as parking distance sensors to the rear.
Things we didn’t love quite as much….
On our first outing in the car the SatNav stopped working just fifteen minutes in. As we were on our way to a hotel at the time it made for an interesting journey with us driving blind trying (and failing!) to follow road signs. The SatNav didn’t work at all the following day, but the morning after it was back working and whilst I’m sure it was just a computer “blip”, it was a bit dissapointing at the time.
Where as the Kuga is such a stylish car, inside and out, I feel that the dashboard is lacking ever so slightly. In keeping with the style of the car I would have expected electronic features as opposed to manual dials, such as the lights, heating, and volume buttons.
I found the volume dial made using the touch control panel more difficult as you had to position your hand in an unnatural way to do so. It’s not a big deal but I just think if all of the dials were electronic it would be much sleeker and easy to use.
On our second day driving the car the engine error light flashed up which impaired the performance of the car. This lasted for two days until the next time we used the car the light had gone off again. Again, I’m sure this was just a computer error and yet reliability is a huge necessity when buying a family car and so would cause me to investigate the likelihood of this happening again further.
So what did we think?
Despite the few hiccups we had I absolutely loved the Ford Kuga and felt so at home behind the wheel. It’s funny how the appearance and general feel of a car can have such a huge impact on your driving and I felt so confident on the road and a better driver because of it.
For the weekends when Lewis is at his Dads, or when I take the children out by myself, I think the Kuga would be a great addition to our household and is definitely one to consider when Gaz upgrades his car this year.
I’ll be returning to Bristol Street Motors when the time comes to see what they can offer us. It’s so important for me to buy from a reliable car sales garage and after receiving such excellent customer service during the duration of our review, I can’t recommend them enough!
** This is a collaborative post with Bristol Street Motors. We were gifted use of this car for 7 days and compensated for our review. All words and opinions are my own. **