Home » Car Review » 2013 Ford Kuga Review [complete] – Two in One

2013 Ford Kuga Review [complete] – Two in One

2013 Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 163 HP Titanium 4WD Review. Ford replaced two models in its range, the European Kuga and the American Escape with a single one: the second generation Kuga. More specifically, Ford Kuga 2 came as a replacement for Escape in the United States and the Kuga’s replacement on the European market. The connections with the old Ford Escape in the U.S. are almost nonexistent, the 2013 Ford Kuga is rather the descendent of the European model of the car manufacturer from Michigan.

2013 Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 163HP Titanium 4WD

2013 Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 163HP Titanium 4WD

The C1 platform forms the basis of 2013 Ford Kuga, which is common with the one used by C-MAX, Grand C-Max and Focus. The design, however, is a mix between what we find in the old Kuga and the new Focus, Ford Kuga 2 having a more “American” look, although this is not necessarily a bad thing.

2013 Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 163CP Titanium 4WD Full Review

2013 Ford Kuga Engine / Transmission 4/5

The car tested was powered by a 163 horsepower 2.0 TDCi. The diesel unit comes in the standard version with all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. This is the most powerful engine available for the 2013 Ford Kuga and we noticed the presence of an entry-level diesel of 140 hp, which is superior to the only one TDCi of the first generation of Kuga that was available at the launch date of the new one.

The maximum power comes at 3,750 rpm and the maximum torque of 340 Nm (251 lb-ft) is reached at 2,000 rpm. The engine is quite elastic, its force being felt even at 1,500 rpm. Compared to the previous generation, we see an improvement in the NVH factor (noise, vibration, harshness).

The soundproofing was also improved, as the unit is quieter than its predecessor.

2013 Ford Kuga Fuel efficiency 4/5

Ford announces a combined fuel efficiency of 5.9 liters/100 km (39.9 MPG US / 47.9 MPG Imp.) for Kuga 2.0 TDCi of 163 hp. At some point, such a mixed fuel economy could be found at a medium-class sedan or a compact car. Now, you can buy a compact SUV with a combined fuel efficiency of 6.0 liters/100 km (39.2 MPG US / 47.1 MPG Imp.). If you can reach that promised mixed fuel efficiency of 6 liter for 100 kilometer, it’s another story.

In the urban traffic, Ford announces a fuel efficiency of 7.2 liters/100 km (32.7 MPG US / 39.2 MPG Imp.), while the fuel consumption for outside the town is declared to be 5.1 liters/100 km (46.1 MPG US / 55.4 MPG Imp.). Reported to its rivals, there are competitors that are offering better results, even if you might think that you can’t reduce the consumption more than that. But Mazda CX-5 has a mixed fuel efficiency of 5.2 liters/100 km (45.2 MPG US / 54.3 MPG Imp.). Also, Outlander is not doing bad in this area, with a mixed fuel efficiency of 5.3 liters/100 km (44.4 MPG US / 53.3 MPG Imp.) for a diesel of 150 hp.

During our test, we obtained a a fuel consumption of 7.5 liters/100 km (31.4 MPG US / 37.7 MPG Imp.) outside the city, in terms of applying an alert style of driving, with four passengers on board, while in the city, the 2013 Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi presented us on the display a fuel efficiency of 8.0 liters/100 km (29.4 MPG US / 35.3 MPG Imp.). Unfortunately, this model doesn’t have a Start-Stop system, so we can’t hope to significantly reduce this value. If you’re not satisfied by this figures, maybe you shouldn’t buy an SUV for city driving.

2013 Ford Kuga TDCi

2013 Ford Kuga Performance 4/5

The 163 hp version of the new Ford Kuga 2 needs 9.9 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) and can reach a top speed of 198 km/h (123 mph). Nothing unusual here, the model has a normal performance for its size and its level of power.

However, the Japanese managed to make the 150 hp Mazda CX-5 to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.4 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 197 km/h (122.4 mph). CX-5 has the same level of torque and delivers it at 1,800 rpm, which could give him an advantage.

Turning to the performance, the 9.9 seconds acceleration for 100 km/h (62 mph) will remain only in the technical book of the new 2013 Ford Kuga, as the model is not for those with sporty ambitions.

2013 Ford Kuga Interior 4/5

Ford Kuga 2 interior has changed almost as dramatically as the outside part. We now have more space for both front passengers and rear passengers and the luggage also have more space. The SUV tested benefits for an electric system that’s opening and closing the tailgate.

The front seats are offering a decent level of lateral support, but not as comfortable as we would have liked. The rear passengers have more space available than what I found on board of the first generation and the headroom aboard the 2013 Ford Kuga is enough even for a two meters (6.5 feet) tall passenger.

The interior design is shared with the new Focus and other new models in Ford’s range, while the materials follow on the same path: more quality than the previous generation, without much trouble and without any remarkable jump in any direction.

2013 Ford Kuga Interior

2013 Ford Kuga Price 4/5

The new Ford Kuga starts from EUR 24,800 with VAT included. The price is paid for the 1.6 EcoBoost of 150 hp version , with front-wheel drive. We tested the 2.0 TDCi Titanium 4WD version , which has a starting price EUR 30,050 with VAT included.

Although the list of safety features was more than satisfactory and the technological equipment list had no significant absences, the price is pretty high. We say this because the Ford Kuga 2 competition is in some cases cheaper and better equipped for the same amount of money.

Among the items that we wanted to find on the 2013 Ford Kuga for the EUR 30,000 there is the navigation system, an expensive option, found on equivalent/cheaper versions of Nissan Qashqai for example. Don’t forget about Hyundai ix35, which also comes with a competitive list of features, or Honda CR-V, which has a lower starting price than Ford Kuga 2, Eur 24,676 VAT included, although the top diesel version gets to be more expensive than the flagship Kuga.

2013 Ford Kuga Safety 5/5

2013 Ford Kuga boasts with an enviable score in EuroNCAP tests in “Safety systems” and “Adult occupant protection” categories, ranked first from all the the EuroNCAP tested models in this segment last year.

In terms of safety systems, Kuga 2 is well equipped with a full range of active and passive safety systems, including automatic braking system for an inevitably impact, resulting the stopping of the car if the speed is less than 30 km/h (20 mph). The new Ford Kuga 2 also has the BLIS system from Volvo, that can be found on Focus, a system that monitors the blind spots and prevents the driver of an imminent impact that may occur with a vehicle located in the “blind spot.”

2013 Ford Kuga Technology

2013 Ford Kuga Roadholding 4/5

Compared to the previous generation, 2013 Ford Kuga comes with a subtly increased ground clearance. This is the major improvement to this model, as the first generation of Kuga wasn’t the best friend of the off-road. That doesn’t mean that the new Ford Kuga 2 became an off-roader. But now you can play with more confidence on the forest roads, although you need to pay as much attention as before to the large obstacles.

The Kuga’s steering mechanism responds almost as good as the first generation, the new model taking this feature from the third generation of Focus. The suspension concentrates on the eternal balance between comfort and sportiness, a balance that Ford engineers had “hit” it for the SUV better than they did for the compact hatchback.

Overall, Ford Kuga 2 scored a good ride comfort and dynamic, although it doesn’t ranks first in these chapters. But for a C-segment SUV, this is more than enough.

2013 Ford Kuga Visibility 4.5/5

Kuga 2 comes with large glass surfaces and mirrors, a monitoring system for the blind spots and parking sensors. Unlike its many rivals, Kuga doesn’t have a rearview camera, but it comes with a parking assist system.

The visibility provided by the American model is a correct one, the windscreen hasn’t a very strong inclination and the A-pillars doesn’t bother too much the driver when is cornering left. The C-pillars aren’t annoying as well.

2013 Ford Kuga Technology 4/5

Ford says that the new Kuga 2 is a “Smart Utility Vehicle,” this definition hitting two birds with one shot: Kuga is not as sporty as the previous generation, and the new model comes with increased technological equipment.

Starting from the SYNC system that’s connecting the mobile phone via Bluetooth and uses its functions directly through the media with the possibility of the automatic dialing of the emergency services in the event of an impact, Kuga 2 has become “smarter” with the new generation.

We were expecting for a standard navigation system for the top version, along with a rearview camera and more technological elements. Instead, we have a system for automatically opening the tailgate that works by placing one leg under the rear bumper and it works only when the person making it has the key in his pocket. The system is designed for the times when the driver’s hands are full and he needs to open the trunk.

2013 Ford Kuga Design

2013 Ford Kuga Design 4/5

Ford Kuga 2 design has changed significantly with the new generation. The american SUV is larger and wider, and its appearance reminds of the new generation of Focus, the “source” of its technical platform.

The 2013 Ford Kuga’s new look is unusual because the compact SUV has become a global model and replaced the Escape model on the U.S market. Trying to replace two models with only one, the designer created a mix between the new Focus and the old Kuga .

Overall, everything looks good for the 2013 Ford Kuga, but we cann’t say that this is the most attractive model in the segment.

2013 Ford Kuga Test Drive

We liked:

  • The generous interior space
  • More power and more torque for the top diesel
  • Low fuel consumption compared to the previous generation
  • Generous range of engines
  • A more comfortable ride

We didn’t liked:

  • No Start-Stop system
  • The questionable design
  • The lack of navigation system as standard equipment for the top version
  • The medium price, not always competitive

2013 Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 163CP Titanium 4WD Specs

2013 Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 163HP Titanium 4WD
No. doors
Engine type/cylinder
2.0 TDCi / L4
Displacement cc
Length mm / in
4524 / 178.1
Maximum power HP (rpm)
163 (3750)
Width mm / in
1838 / 72.3
Torque Nm / lb-ft (rpm)
340 /  250.7  (2000)
Height mm / in
1701 / 67
Top speed km/h / mph
198 / 123
Weight kg / lbs
1692 / 3730
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h / 62 mph
Wheelbase mm / in
2690 / 106
Fuel tank – liters / gallons
60 / 15.8 US / 13.2 Imperial
Manual (6-speed)
Cargo – liters / cubic feet
456 / 16.1
2013 Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 163CP Titanium 4WD receives in our Review an Overall note of 4.1 out of 5.

Leave a Reply