Here, we drive the new range-topping 178bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel Ford Kuga, which has benefited from a 10 per cent power boost and a 14g/km cut in CO2 emissions over the previous 2.0 TDCi. An additional 60Nm of torque provides further in-gear urgency and takes the peak figure up to 400Nm, which is distributed via Ford’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system.
In a car weighing nearly 1.7 tonnes, a marginal increase in power is difficult to pinpoint. It’s faster than before, but not by much – the 0-62mph sprint time of 9.2 seconds represents an improvement of seven-tenths.
Still, the engine pulls strongly throughout the rev range and remains muted. There’s a slight whistle from the A-pillar at motorway speeds, although it’s still as calm and composed as before. And while the steering is accurate, we found it elastic, plus it self-centres a bit quickly.
Driving through the snowy French Alps, we had the opportunity to put the AWD system through its paces. On a normal run, the Kuga is mostly front-wheel drive, but in more challenging conditions, power can be seamlessly sent to the rear axle and directed further to a particular wheel to maximise traction.
This Titanium X Sport version costs an eye-watering £32,045, but as the trim was introduced due to customer demand, it’ll likely prove a hot seller.
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