The Ford Kuga is another car which felt very different depending on the wind conditions.

In still air, drivers came back impressed. In crosswinds, our judges weren’t so enthusiastic. When slowing down from high speeds the caravan’s Al-Ko ATC sensors picked up some slight movement, but nothing to make the driver nervous.

With 295lb ft of torque, there’s enough mid-range pulling power to comfortably handle any well-matched caravan, towing from 30-60mph in 12.6 seconds.

You’d expect a 4×4 to handle a hill-start test well and the Ford rose to the occasion. Very little effort was needed to pull to the top of the hill without wheelspin or excessive clutch slip.

With or without a tourer, the Kuga’s suspension is well judged. The ride can be fidgety over imperfect surfaces but it copes well with bigger bumps and handles neatly.

Inside, the Kuga has space for five, whereas as some similarly priced 4x4s like the Skoda Kodiaq have room for seven.

Otherwise the Kuga is quite practical – the boot had room for all but one item from our testing load of holiday luggage, and the towball and electrics were neatly installed.

The Vignale is the top-spec version of the Kuga, so there’s no shortage of toys included in the price. Judging by What Car?‘s research, there are big discounts available, too. However, resale values are relatively modest and you can buy roomier SUVs for similar money.

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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