Fleet News's sister publication AM recently quoted Ford of Britain marketing director Anthony Ireson as saying: "There is a growing market for people who don’t value style so much, but what they do want is space and durability at a good price. A vehicle that fits a reality rather than a dream.”
In this instance, he was referring to the Ford Tourneo Connect, but perhaps the same could be said for the Kuga.
It is certainly well-built, with far superior quality than its predecessor which, in parts, felt somewhat cheaply built.
However, the beefed-up 'Ford Focus on steroids' look of the earlier model has been lost in translation with the current design. Instead, the current car is relatively nondescript and often doesn’t get a second look from passers-by.
That’s not to say it isn’t a good car, because it definitely is. Its handling is precise, comfort levels are high, equipment levels are good and the average 42mpg fuel economy I’m achieving is acceptable (just). It does everything I want it to, except leave any lasting memory.
One thing I have found frustrating on our Zetec model is the lack of automatic headlights – they are available as part of the optional £1,000 Driver Assistance Pack, which also includes Active City Stop, Blind Spot Information System, Lane Keeping Aid and automatic windscreen wipers.
Maybe it’s just what I have become used to and it's simply a re-adjustment needed on my part, but there have been a couple of occasions when I've driven at night in street-lit areas for up to three or four minutes before I've realised the headlights aren't on.
The confusion has come as when you start the car all the dashboard lights come on, along with the daytime running lights, which can give the impression that the dipped beams are on too.
Automatic headlights are standard on the Titanium and higher trim levels.