~~As per my Ladybloggers pledge, I was not paid to attend the event nor was I paid to write this blog post, and all opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone.~~
Being invited to a product launch or an event of some kind is ALWAYS a pleasure, and a Ford vehicle launch is no exception. Getting to drive a fabulous new vehicle and being put up in luxurious hotels is simply glorious!
On Tuesday morning I was flown to Cape Town courtesy of Ford South Africa, and even though @TanyaKovarsky and @laurakim123 were both on the plane, I ended up between some much older people who didn’t stop talking… But its my own fault for trying to practise my mingling skills!
Once we arrived in a rather chilly CT, we were plied with coffee and snacks whilst waiting for the full complement of bloggers and journos to arrive, and I finally got to meet @cupcakemummy in the flesh!
Then after an intro to the all new Kuga, we quickly partnered up and made a mad dash for the keys with everyone trying to get a first drive in the top-of-the-range Titanium.
I really could go on and on and on, but I am going to try and keep it as short as I can without leaving out too much awesomeness…
We spent the night at the Arabella Hotel & Spa, where we were not only afforded the luxury of some precious free time but were treated to either a massage or a golf lesson! Guess which one I opted for… 🙂 We were also given a chance to try out the park assist functionality first hand (see below) and before heading into Hermanus for a glorious outdoor dinner in a Forest Theatre with an operatic duo providing entertainment, we covered the business side of the launch with presentations by Ford’s Dean Stonely and Kuda Takura.
As I knew it would, the Kuga impressed me no end.
The new Kuga looks a lot more aggressive than the previous Kuga which should make it even more appealing to the husbands of the moms who will fall in love with this car!
I did the first half of the drive to Kleinmond with Harassed Mom navigating, and I only almost-stalled it twice (being used to driving an automatic), and then we switched halfway there with Laura-Kim driving the dirt roads! I was first to drive the Titanium the next day as well – on a different route – with the half-way switch meaning Laura-Kim had her first go at driving an automatic.
On the drive to the hotel we drove the 1.6EcoBoost Trend with a 6-speed manual gearbox, then on the way back to the airport the next day we drove the 2.0TDCi Titanium which is an automatic with the SelectShift option.
The Kuga is an SUV, so its a big car, but it doesn’t feel like one when you’re behind the wheel. And with an urban fuel consumption of 8.3L/ 100km for the Trend and just 7.4L/ 100km for the Titanium, it won’t feel like a big car when you’re refuelling either.
The new Kuga is longer, lower and narrower than its predecessor and it handles like a dream. The power is great and there is almost no lag when you put your foot down to overtake, or to *coff* experience its power a little bit. The steering wheel is small enough that you don’t feel like you’re steering a tractor and the doors are sturdy enough to give a nice “thunk” when you close them but you don’t have to dislocate your shoulder to pull them shut from inside. Its spacious and comfortable, and the automatic gear changes are seamless. The Kuga’s front seats can be adjusted six ways, with lumbar support, and the back seats can be reclined! And all the Kuga’s come with the push-button start which I love.
And it has an incredible FIVE STAR EURO NCAP safety rating! Do you know how hard it is to get five stars!??!
Looking at the Kuga from a woman’s “…ooh look another cup holder…” perspective, there are eight of them! More than enough in the front and the back and there are even trays in the back that fold down for the passengers to use! And with me loving all the fiddly bits on a car- there is hidden storage under the back seats, the centre console space can hold a 1.5L bottle, and there’s a 230-volt inverter in the back of the car for laptops or chargers! The seats fold flat quite easily, and the load floor can be adjusted for when you need a level surface – like transporting boxes and boxes of cake and cupcakes!!
The tailgate on the Titanium opens on its own power, you can open it with the remote for when your hands are full, and on the Titanium you can add the mind blowingly fabulous Hands Free Tailgate functionality where you can open AND close the door with a swish of your foot under the bumper!
The Park Assist functionality is an optional extra on the Titanium, and its a fantastic-futuristic-slighty-creepy option at that. Using the sensors in the car to tell you when to brake, you take your hands OFF the steering wheel and it neatly parallel parks itself. Sitting in the driver’s seat watching that steering wheel spin is a slightly surreal experience and it had Cupcake Mummy and myself giggling our heads off in disbelief.
Here’s a video demonstrating how the All-Wheel-Drive was tested on the Kuga (AKA Escape in North America), AWD makes driving easier but its also a phenomenal safety feature..
I would go out tomorrow and buy myself a Kuga if I could. In Frozen White or Moondust Silver.