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Our third Motability car is the Kuga Vignale 1.5T 176PS auto in magnetic. White leather – no longer available. Only other extra is wind deflectors front and back. We couldn’t afford the £900 for the sunroof, which is why we chose white leather – it really lightens up the inside of the car. AP (at the time) £2,395 + £79 for the wind deflectors.
The equipment list for the Vignale is already impressive, but is missing a sunroof and BLIS (Blind Spot) as standard.
We ordered the car on the 11th December 2018 and took delivery on the 14th March. So 13 weeks and 2 days. The dealer actually had the car almost 3 weeks before, but e had to wait for the 3 year anniversary of our current lease – Vauxhall Zafira Tourer SE 1.4T auto in black. We had a Ford Focus Estate 125ps auto in white previous to that.
We were, without difficulty, able to get test drives of a Titanium trim, and an ST-line. The ST was too stiff for our knackered backs, but its handling was crisper in corners. We were treated very well by the dealership – nothing seemed too much trouble. I wish this was the case for all Motability customers.
The engine feels powerful and accelerates quickly when needed. I’ve done mostly town driving, but had one trip around most of the M25 and into central London. The Vignale trim has extra sound proofing, and it shows. There is some wind noise at speed from the wing mirrors, but not much else.
This trim is AWD, but drive is mostly to the front wheels only, unless needed. The difference is obvious on the grass, or in the wet. AWD feels much more stable.
This beast is, as expected, thirsty! We’re getting around 24.3 mpg on average. This goes up to 30ish on faster roads.
The seats are very comfortable, even for long distances. Driver’s memory powered seat is saving my arthritic bones much pain getting in and out, as it automatically moves back and forwards for you. Sadly, only the driver’s seat is powered. All four doors open very wide – almost to 90 degrees.
The main reason we chose the Kuga is that it is one of the few cars left on the scheme with a very high equipment level + 82cm tailgate opening height needed for the power hoist for my wife’s manual wheelchair. There is little room for anything else in the back though – see photograph. People have complained the power tailgate is slow but, at <10 secs to open or close, I’m not complaining.
The reversing camera, park assist, front and rear sensors etc. also save me painful twisting and stretching. The view out the front and sides is great, but that front A frame is thick and obstructive.
The infotainment system is fast, responsive, and logical. It is also badly placed. Most functions can be accessed by voice, but you otherwise have a long stretch to reach on-screen controls. Also Ford, why isn’t there a physical Home button! Also, why does it look like I have the head of a Halo video game character embedded in the dash? See photo – some SatNav info blurred out for privacy.
The cabin is very comfortable generally, but feels a generation old in terms of layout and design of the dash, infotainment, and centre console. There should be digital instruments and a HUD (Head Up Display) at this trim level. Maybe the new Kuga will get these?
The high seating position makes it easy – and comfortable – for both of us to get in and out of the car.
We love the car, and our niggles are minor:
The bonnet release catch – not the interior one, the one under the bonnet – is a PITA to get to. It’s small, fiddly, hard to find, and stiff to operate.
That A frame is huge! Blocks a significant angle of view.
Switching between Apple CarPlay and the car’s own functions is very fiddly. It’s easier to unplug the phone.
Why is there no way to drop the back seats from the rear of the car? You have to access the release from the passenger doors.
I hope this helps, although the Kuga gets replaced by the new version at the end of this year.
Current Motability car: Ford Kuga Vignale 1.5 petrol auto AWD. AP £2,395 + £199 for 4-way 80kg hoist.
Previous Mota cars:
2013-16 Ford Focus estate petrol auto. AP £95. No adaptations.
2016-19 Vauxhal Zafira 1.4T petrol SE Auto. AP £795 inc. basic hoist.