TO SUM UP
Hybrid version compatible with E85
Unique in the market
Starting at € 38,950
Customers who wanted to buy an SUV and were interested in a Kuga could be seduced by its well-thought-out appearance, dynamic qualities, or well-thought-out practicalities. Today it has a new argument and can be decisive, namely the fact that it can run on bioethanol, the cheapest fuel in France today. The Kuga is no exception to Ford, as it is the fourth model to accept it with the Fiesta, Puma and Focus, not to mention the range dedicated to professionals. The American manufacturer is fully committed to this fuel, a choice that today is the only one on the market and could be profitable given the economic context. Although they tend to decline slightly, the price of fuel remains higher than ever. Thus, it costs about € 1.74 / l for the SP95 E10, € 1.81 / l for diesel and only € 0.76 / l for the E85. Simply unbeatable.
So yes, the E85 is a fuel that has a lower performance than the others, which leads to overconsumption. However – this is estimated at between 20% and 25% – it is offset by its lower price. While the other models use micro-hybrid engines, the Kuga goes further with a complete hybridization system, which had already proven to be especially convincing and frugal during our first test.
This Kuga hybrid shares its engine with the plug-in hybrid version. It is a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 152 hp with the Atkinson cycle, associated on the one hand with a 14.4 kWh battery, which allows it to run 100% electric for about sixty kilometers while which for the simple hybrid is 1.1 kWh. battery, which only regenerates with deceleration and can be used up to a maximum of 50 km / h in a few hundred meters. This is the same technology that Toyota has been using for years with the result we know.
The boot is all electric. Then the thermal takes over. Its intervention is done with the utmost discretion and its operating speeds are never too high, which guarantees a very pleasant acoustic comfort, except during heavy loads when the engine is a little more audible. The change to the E85 has no effect on performance, which is strictly identical to the petrol version with a shot from 0 to 100 km in 9.1 s, for example. The same goes for consumption. We found a consumption of 6 l / 100 km in the hybrid / gasoline version. With this version we went up to 7.5 l / 100 km. A different one certainly important, but largely offset by the cost of the plenary. And if you drive in the city very often, your consumption will go down even more drastically, because it is in these conditions where hybridization stands out. So, to fill the 54 liters of the tank of our Kuga, you will have to pay 41 € while the same operation would cost you 94 € in SP95 E10, more than double. So convinced?
As for behavior, the Kuga is always fun to drive. It remains one of the nicest in the category with good overall comfort, despite the dryness of the low-speed suspensions. The direction is accurate and informative, but a bit inconsistent. Despite its road qualities, it is recommended to drive calmly with the risk of seeing some body movements appear. However, we must not forget that the Kuga still weighs 1,700 kg on the scales.
This pleasure aboard the Kuga also implies a certainly classic in terms of organization but modern interior. We simply regret the lack of fantasy, because the whole thing is dark. The digital instrumentation measures 12 inches and the multimedia screen facing the center console is touch. The control panel has good ergonomics and the quality of the materials is good.
Also positive for the practical aspects. Large rear space and it is possible to modulate it thanks to the 15 cm sliding rear seat seat. The load volume ranges from 581 to 1,481 liters, which is the average of the category.