Discover zero emissions with Ford’s new Kuga plug-in hybrid – but don’t always expect zero traffic – The Sun


THE last time I went to that there London it was nothing like this – a scene from 28 Days Later.

Now pipe down. Before you get excited, these photos were taken hours before Boris told us all to stay indoors.

 The new Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid claims it can do up to 35 miles on pure electric
The new Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid claims it can do up to 35 miles on pure electric

I wanted to test Ford’s claim that the new Kuga plug-in hybrid could do up to 35 miles on pure electric where it will be used most.

So this was my route: West Ham to Chelsea and back again, east-west-east, via Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. Total: 24 miles.

I have to admit it wasn’t the test I was looking for.

Traffic was free-flowing and added to that, much of central London is now govern­ed by 20mph speed cameras.

 The inside of the car is very much like a Focus which makes it comfortable and easy to drive
The inside of the car is very much like a Focus which makes it comfortable and easy to drive
 The new plug-in hybrid must be charged fro appropriately 3.5 hours
The new plug-in hybrid must be charged fro appropriately 3.5 hours

So while Kuga did the whole journey in EV mode comfortably — and I was still surprised — it perhaps wasn’t a true test of how it will per­form day in, day out, when life gets back to ­normal.

Now, to be 100 per cent clear, I’ve only driven the plug-in hybrid so far.

The new Kuga also comes in plain petrol and diesel from £24k, as well as mild hybrids with a tiny bit of electric boost you don’t have to charge.

But the plug-in hybrid, which you do have to charge (3.5 hours), is the one you want because it gives you the best of both worlds.

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 We started our test route at West Ham's stadium in the London Olympic Park
We started our test route at West Ham’s stadium in the London Olympic Park
 Like all good Fords do, the Kuga rides, steers and handles with agility
Like all good Fords do, the Kuga rides, steers and handles with agility

Potentially, you could run it as an EV all week and only wake up the petrol engine for longer weekend trips.

That said, if you tow a caravan, stick with a 4WD diesel. You should also know Kuga has had a growth spurt. It is longer and wider than the old Kuga and more advanced.

It rides and steers and handles with agility — like all good Fords do — but ignore the quite frankly ridiculous official 201mpg.

You’ll get 40-45mpg in the real world.

 The car boasts noise cancellation which makes drives relaxing and peaceful
The car boasts noise cancellation which makes drives relaxing and peaceful

Key facts: FORD KUGA

Price: £33,085

Engine: 2.5-litre petrol with 14.4kWh battery

Power: 225hp

0-62mph: 9.2 secs

Top speed: 125mph

Economy: 201mpg

Emissions: 32g/km

Other observations. The cabin is very much like a Focus, which is good. Same feel, same steering wheel, same chunky air-con controls, 8in touchscreen in your eye-line, Apple Car Play and all sorts of driver aids like adaptive cruise control.

It also has “noise cancellation” — like fancy headphones — so it is nice and quiet and relaxing, especially when gliding along in EV mode.

Higher specs have a digital instrument panel — handy when switching between the four EV drive modes, left — and I do like the head-up display and heated steering wheel.

Mistakes? The seat feels a little too high and dash is a bit, er, grey. There is a 3D diamond motif on the doors but it needed more love.

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 The new Kuga also comes in plain petrol and diesel from £24k
The new Kuga also comes in plain petrol and diesel from £24k

I like the sliding rear bench. It means you can increase boot space for family debris or make it smaller to give gangly teens more leg room. Maximum storage: 645 litres. And the boot has no load lip.

To sum up, then: It looks like a Ford, drives like a Ford but, best of all, it is future-proof.

When all this blows over, go check it out.

4 ways to drive it…

  • EV Now – electric
  • EV Later – petrol
  • EV Auto – combination of both
  • EV Charge – engine tops up            battery on the go
Climate activist Greta Thurnberg arrives in New York after 14-day journey on a zero-carbon emissions vessel






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