We tested the Ford Kuga last year, but Ford has already updated the car.

The new 178bhp engine gives it even more punch. Accelerating from 30-60mph takes 12.7 seconds. That’s pretty brisk, so you won’t be stuck behind dawdling traffic for long.

The Kuga is a stable tow car as well as a reasonably quick one. At the legal limit it feels secure, although some drivers found the caravan began to move around a little in crosswinds. That said, the Al-Ko ATC sensors on the caravan detected no instability when slowing down from high speeds.

At first, the Kuga took the lane-change test in its stride. However, as we repeated the test at higher speeds the caravan began to slide around more, and on the third and final run the Kuga really struggled.

We could live with a so-so performance in the lane-change test, but the hill-start is why the Ford Kuga picks up a worse score this year than in 2014. The handbrake wouldn’t reliably hold car and caravan still on a 1-in-6 slope, even when pulled on very hard.

Without a caravan to pull, the Kuga is a fun car to drive with precise steering, tidy handling and a firm but not uncomfortable ride.

Inside, passenger space is reasonable, but the boot is significantly smaller than a Honda CR-V‘s. Our practicality testers couldn’t find a way of squeezing in all our typical holiday luggage. The reversing camera was a definite plus, but the electric socket was awkward to access.

Top-spec Titanium X Sport cars come with a long list of toys, but so they should with a price tag of over £32k.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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