Road Test Review: Ford Kuga ST-Line X

Independent review by Maxine Ashford

5-minute read

Ford Kuga Exterior Front

Road Test: Ford Kuga ST-Line X

Explore the key features of the Ford Kuga ST-Line X in our expert road test review

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The Ford Kuga ST-Line X combines a host of high-quality technology with an effective plug-in hybrid powertrain.


  • Efficient plug-in hybrid technology
  • Plenty of kerb appeal
  • Generously equipped
  • Engaging to drive
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Company drivers and any green natured private motorists can now take advantage of Ford’s stylish Kuga SUV with full plug-in hybrid technology.

With a driving range between charges of 39 miles, it's the ideal solution for anyone with a short commute who can take advantage of the electric miles and charge overnight when tariffs tend to be lower.

With its low emissions, it also means business drivers reap the financial rewards too through Benefit in Kind tax savings.

Driving Experience

Powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine with a 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Kuga PHEV costs £38,005 before any options are added.

The top-range ST-Line X spec features a number of high-quality extras to add a more refined and premium feel to the Kuga.

It’s a stylish and robust 5-door SUV with 222bhp of power on tap, helping it complete the 0-62mph sprint in 9.2 seconds and maxes out at 125mph.

The official combined fuel economy figure is a whopping 202mpg, but this would only ever be achievable with regular charging and regular battery top-ups.

When it comes to performance, the Kuga PHEV drives really well. It's slightly heavier than its siblings due to the added hybrid technology, but it feels wheel balanced on the country lanes with plenty of power on tap for short bursts of pace to overtake slower moving vehicles.

The automatic gearbox is nicely timed, although there are no paddles to change gears manually. There are drive modes to alter the handling and dynamics of the car called Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Snow/Sand assist. The last two odes are for added grip in more adverse driving conditions.

Design and Technology

There’s no denying the Kuga PHEV has plenty of road presence with its muscular styling, black roof rails, full LED lights with daytime running lights, a powered panoramic roof, plus 19-inch alloys with red brake calipers.

The interior is bright, spacious, modern in its layout, and generously equipped. The flat-bottomed steering wheel features red stitching and alloy pedals are a hint to the car’s sporty characteristics.

There's an excellent sound system, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a rearview camera, and an 8-inch touchscreen.


The Kuga is exceptionally comfortable and there are heated front and rear seats and the elevated driving position results in great all-round visibility. The sensors and rear view camera make manoeuvring into tighter parking bays simpler.

Powered front seats make it easy to find a comfortable driving position and a head up display is great to keep a watchful eye on your speed

There's an EV Boost button that allows you to charge the battery from the engine. This isn't the most economical means of boosting the charge, but it's handy if you need EV miles to drive in a Congestion Charge zone.

And when it comes to charging, the battery can be boosted from 0 to 100 percent in 3.5 hours via a home wall box.

Passenger space is impressive with ample room for a couple of adults in the back, and the boot, accessed via a powered tailgate, is well sized with a 1,481 litre capacity. This can be increased to 411 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

Throughout the cabin there is a glovebox, central cubby, seat back pockets, deep door bins, a sunglasses holder, wireless charging pad, front and rear cup holders, along with some non-slip trays.

Safety features are comprehensive too with the likes of pre-collision assist with autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping aid with lane departure warning, electronic stability control, cruise control with adjustable speed limiter, tyre pressure monitoring, plus a full suite of airbags.

All in all, the Kuga has always been a superb car. Now there's even more choice and appeal with the introduction of plug-in hybrid technology. And that's very good news for the business driver.
Maxine Ashford


The family-friendly Ford Kuga is a family-friendly SUV through and through. The model we tried was in ST-Line X trim level, which brings plenty of sharp styling cues to the range including 19-inch alloys, full LED lights, and sporty characteristics throughout.