Ford Kuga I is one of the most requested cars by all 2 AlmostCars readers. But is the Ford Kuga I worth your attention and money? Or is it just another Ford ready to make your mechanic rich?

 Launched in 2008, the Ford Kuga I was expected at the cross-over party. By 2003 the big stuff like the Touareg had already appeared, the Rav4 dominated the sector by 2005 and in 2007 the Nissan Qashqai, the car responsible for the cross-over phenomenon, was launched. So the Americans had to come up with the idea of a crossover. In fact, with the idea of the first crossover.


Did the Ford Kuga recipe work?

For the first attempt, you could give them a passing grade but that’s about it. Basically they took a Ford Focus, stretched it, gave it stilletos, gave it a 2-liter diesel, and sent it out into the world. It was assembled in Germany so it should be a quality product as good as it gets, it offered the highly-desirable high seating position that was above the peasants driving normal cars, and in entry-level spec it was sort of reliable. No wonder so many people aspired to or bought a Ford Kuga I. An unpretentious car, but one that ticks all the boxes for the average buyer. It’s not as fancy as a Tiguan, it’s better equipped than a Duster and it’s easier to drive than a Captiva / Antara. Like the Ford Focus, the Ford Kuga I appealed to people who didn’t know exactly what they wanted. They just knew they wanted a crossover and one that wasn’t VW. It’s still an average car for average buyers, but at least it’s not as popular as a VW and you can say you have something different. A well-executed car, but that’s about it. Ford Kuga I – the official car of the “meh” interjection.


Ford Kuga I Engines


2.5 Turbo of 197 horsepower  – An engine with tradition in the Ford family and especially in the Volvo family, where it was… “borrowed” from. One of the gifts Ford gave itself when it bought Volvo, this inline 5-cylinder monster is a reliable, fast, and tasty engine. Exactly what you’d expect from an engine built in the northern parts of Europe. The only point of concern is the airflow meter, but otherwise, you shouldn’t worry. Maybe the fuel economy could raise concern and heart rate, but for the 200 horsepower it’s really worth it.



2.0 TDCI of 136 and 163 horsepower – The 163 version comes only in 4×4 and automatic transmission flavor, so the star remains the 136 hp 2.0 TDCI. You won’t overtake anyone aggressively driving a Ford Kuga I with a 136-horsepower 2.0 diesel but atleast you won’t be driving daily to the mechanic. However, as notable issues go, there’s the dual mass flywheel and particle filter, as with any European 2.0 diesel. As I said earlier, the Ford Kuga I is an “meh” car, it doesn’t blow you away with anything.


Ford Kuga I General Issues

  • As with any 2010s-era Ford, expect some issues with electronics and their gremlins. Infotainment system, climate control, self-aware radio and so on. 
  • The car’s computer sits behind the left-front wheel fender. Yes, ladies, ladies, gentlemen, and everything in between, the Ford Kuga I’s computer is located next to the left front wheel. You don’t have to be Gina Linetti, the human form of the 100 emoji, to realize what will happen if you hit a puddle, a pothole, or a boulder. 
  • The PowerShift automatic transmission needs its oil and filter changed every 3 years or third service. If you don’t stick to this service schedule you’ll have to sit on the bench next to Ford Focus III owners who have wrecked their automatic transmission.
  • For 4×4 models you need to know that the system needs all 4 tires to be of the same make, size, and wear, otherwise, the differential will explode more than a Christian to whom you might tell that not all priests are religious people. Because front tires wear out faster due to braking, it is recommended to rotate the tires constantly. If you don’t know what that means and don’t want to know what that means, just mention tire rotation at the tire shop staff and they’ll take care of it.


Ford Kuga I Verdict

Ford Kuga I – the VW Jetta of crossovers. The Ford Kuga I is for the kind of guy who wants a crossover. He doesn’t know what he wants, it just has to be a cross-over. He wants it to be decent, to get him around and not make a fool of himself wherever he goes. He doesn’t know much about cars and doesn’t want to know about them either. He just knows it’s Ford so it’s semi-desirable, it’s semi-big so it’s semi-desirable and it looks good so it’s got presence. If you want a simple crossover that’s more luxurious than a Qashqai or Duster, then the Ford Kuga I is for you. It’s not a bad car, but it’s not exceptional either. Plus you can see that all the technology was taken from the Focus and the interior from the C Max, so the effort was minimal. But here’s the thing, the minimal effort still brought decent results and astronomical sales.

Which engine do I recommend? Other than the 136 horsepower 2.0 TDCI you don’t have much choice. Most cross-over drivers don’t need a 4×4 or an automatic anyway. A Ford Kuga 4×2 2.0 TDCI 136 horsepower 2.0 TDCI and manual transmission can be a relatively cheap car to maintain and definitely good looking. Because when you have crossovers, often only looks matter. At least you get a decent car besides looks.