FORD'S first serious offering in the 4x4 world was the Kuga and it’s a great performer in every way.
IT used a lengthened and widened version of the excellent Focus chassis and the tried and tested 2.0-litre diesel engine used across the Ford range, which gives good performance with excellent economy.
It comes with an intelligent four-wheel drive system in most models that drives the front wheels normally, but brings the rears into play when needed.
But there are some models with just front wheel drive to help give lower emissions and a rip-snorting 2.5-litre five cylinder turbo petrol.
The 2.0-litre TDCi two-wheel-drive will almost certainly be the most expensive second-hand but if you don’t cover many miles, one of the petrols will save cash.
The ride is excellent and the suspension also delivers good road holding and handling.
Safety is top drawer, with stability control, six airbags and a steering wheel designed to move sideways away from the driver in an accident.
The sports seats are great, with good head and leg room but the boot is rather small, even though split-fold rear seats make more room when needed.
The light and airy cabin is comfortable and refined, practical and modern. There's a mini tailgate for loading smaller items and it comes with such little luxuries as an auto-dimming rear view mirror and automatic headlights and wipers.
Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi
Price: Pay about £13,000 for an ’08 08-reg Titanium, or £14,200 for a ’10 10-reg Zetec
Mechanical: 136bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving two or four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 112mph
0-62mph: 10.7 seconds
Combined mpg: 44.1
Insurance group: 10
CO2 emissions: 169g/km
Main rival: Nissan Qashqai
Motors.co.uk value verdict: