Sunday 15 December 2019

Kuga conquers Ford's tough all-wheel drive SUV feels simply indestructible, writes Ian Mallon

Ian Mallon

Not even the invention of the Ford Capri can compare to the excitement created by man's discovery of fire.

We are told that the first flames were lit in a cave in South Africa about 1.8 million years ago, apparently a couple of hundred thousand years before it was first thought.

At the time this must have been the greatest thing since sliced sabre toothed tiger as man and his hairy housewife finally discovered that mealtime wasn't dictated by wet slugs and cold fish.

It was a moment that mankind had been striving for since he was monkeykind, a moment of history comparable only to the invention of red wine or Swingball.

Today, we are hit with an array of new inventions and discoveries, and almost all come in virtual file form known as an app, which dictates just about everything we do from communications to information gathering to, in sad cases, finding former girlfriends from past school days.

The technological age means that we have now more ability, more control, more communications and more information than we need, or want.

Everything that we need to know from what a Kardashian ate or didn't eat for breakfast, to a piece of Bulgarian folk music, are instantly at our fingertips, just as long as those fingers are gripping a smart phone, or an iPad.

We can access anything we wish, get information on anything we want, without having to use our brains, which is good news for the idiot, and it's not bad for the rest of us either.

Forget the Information Age, this is the Age of the Nerd, the people phobic anti-socials now rule the world from the comfort of their bedsit, and rule upon their virtual kingdoms. For the modern motorist there are now tonnes of satnav pro-grammes to finally find your way from A to B, without having to stop and ask the ruddy-cheeked farmer who will tell you: "Well I wouldn't start from here ... "

My new best friend on the road is Google Maps which is the most improved satnav modern navigation app of them all. It even gently reprimands through the questionable advice of "at the next opportunity, make a U-turn".

Even before the in-phone satnav, technology was always a little bit iffy, in that you sometimes ended up driving into a canyon when you should have been on the N25.

That's probably why I find myself in my Ford Kuga hurtling the wrong way down a one-way street in Ballina, with no word of warning from Samantha Satnav.

The Co Mayo incident only re-inforced the idea that no matter how good tech-nology gets there will still be areas where even the programmers still get wrong.

The wrong way down a one-way street incident aside, nothing could have soured my Ford Kuga experience.

This is a car that oozes sheer beauty, and just for bling effect, mine is white, which has been cleverly christened 'Frozen White' by some arty farty in the Ford colour room.

The Kuga Titanium I am driving is a 2.0 litre TDCi number, it barks out a healthy 140 bhps through a six speed gearbox. The best and worst thing about this car is that it's four-wheel drive, which is great for the rough and icy, but thirsty on the open road. There are lots of nice extras including parking sensors and roof rails.

There is plenty of room onboard for the family, with whom I embarked on a long but satisfying trip west.

It is fast, with plenty of injection and pace for passing and take-off, and most importantly it looks significant.

The Kuga is a beautiful, high-performing family car, which has just about everything you would hope for, it's just a pity it cannot control the satnav on my phone.

The Ford Kuga starts at €33,450, while my Titanium costs €40,200.


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