Company Car Today

First Drive

1.5 T Ecoboost 150 FWD ST-Line
The story: The sporty ST-Line trim level has been sweeping across Ford’s model range, and the Kuga is the latest to benefit, joining the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo when Ford revised its small off-roader.
Category:J Segment (Sport Utility Vehicle)
Key rival:Mazda CX-5
On sale:Now

The new Kuga, which has been something of a runaway success for the brand, is clearly differentiated by front and rear lights that aren’t quite as attractive as those on the pre-facelift Kuga.

Still, the range has fully come of age with the introduction of the ST -Line trim, as well as a front-wheel drive diesel Kuga that gets down to 115g/km.  The updated model also gets Ford’s improved new Sync3 infotainment set-up, including an 8.0-inch touchscreen.

The ST-Line sits between Titanium and Titanium X in the price list, £1,600 above the former and £1,050 below the latter. It brings a range of aesthetic improvements including rear spoiler, black roof rails, tinted front and rear lights, part-leather sports seat and various other little interior and exterior touches that come together to make a decent difference to the looks.

The driving experience has also been uprated with chassis enhancements including stiffer suspension, but the difference on the road is negligible. That’s fine because the Kuga drives nicely, combining ride quality and handling prowess well for a vehicle  with a higher centre of gravity. Residuals are reasonable –matching a Honda CR-V’s but behind those of the Mazda CX-5.

The verdict

ST-Line trim makes for an attractive addition to the Kuga line-up, and is probably the pick of the range.