Ford Kuga Vignale review – read before buying your next car
The Ford Kuga Vignale is a high-spec version of the successful mid-sized SUV crossover. It still features all of Ford’s family-friendly practicalities and comforts, plus the Kuga’s popular features like a raised driving position, chunky looks and higher ground clearance. What it adds is Vignale’s extensive (and expensive) features list, pushing this into the premium class.
Ford Kuga Vignale design and looks
The five-door compact crossover Kuga came onto the market in 2008. It was a crossover with SUV styling, designed to drive on the road, not off it. The body is raised higher, which is to give drivers a commanding view of the road and taller imposing looks, rather than clearing rocks and tree trunks underneath. The 2016 make-over freshened the design, adding some of the typical Ford family features, including a deep front grille and badge, creased tailgate and flared headlights.
While there have always been high-end versions of the Kuga, Ford has tried to create the impression the Vignale is almost a separate brand. Expect prominent Vignale badges to remind you of its rank.
Underneath, the Vignale Kuga is the same as the normal Kuga - just more lavishly appointed. Car-spotters might notice a different ‘Vignale’ pattern to the front grille inserts and bigger special alloys wheels. This Ford model also offers a selection of special paint options.
Are used Ford Kuga Vignale good to drive?
The Kuga range has been a great success as it handles much like Ford’s other cars – and that’s generally well above average. It’s a tall SUV but doesn’t feel like that on the road. The steering is light and responsive and the ride is smooth. It’s as easy to drive as a hatchback and for passengers, it’s as refined and comfortable as a saloon. The crossover is particularly quiet, and it’s relaxed when cruising on the motorway.
Different engine and gearbox combinations allow you to pick the Vignale that best suits your driving style. Automatic gearboxes are more relaxed and manual gearboxes are more involving. The two-wheel drive version is more economical, while the four-wheel-drive car offers more grip in slippery conditions.
The Kuga Vignale is as easy to drive as a hatchback and for passengers, it’s as refined and comfortable as a saloon
Ford Kuga Vignale interior space, storage and style
All Kuga interiors improved after 2016, thanks to the redesign. It banished lots of old-style switches and introduced an eight-inch touchscreen system. The Vignale was given a distinctive interior trim – with hexagonal quilted patterned leather on the dashboard and seats. There are also chrome inserts to highlight some areas of the cabin.
The Vignale versions appeared in 2016 and have proved very successful. They have much higher prices new, less so when used. Buyers can find bargains among these up-rated versions. The biggest difference owners will appreciate is the extra equipment fitted. There’s not just different trim - the actual seats underneath are plusher than in the lower-spec versions. Of course, the cabin head and legroom remain similarly generous in the front and back.
The Kuga’s upright touchscreen controls onboard systems, including a slick phone connectivity link, DAB sounds, voice commands and a clear sat-nav. The Vignale boasts a long list of gadgets, from its sophisticated cruise control to an effective dual-zone climate system. Auto wipers and lights are standard. Vignales also have a noise-cancelling system to drown out any unwanted rackets. It’s a high-tech way of keeping the journey quiet inside the cabin.
Vignales have much higher prices new, less so when used, so buyers can find bargains among these up-rated versions
Ford Kuga Vignale practicality and boot space
The Vignale is crammed with all the technology Ford can muster – including sophisticated systems like hands-free parking, weather-dependent lights and an automatic powered tailgate. Add this to the usual Kuga kit - sat-nav, dual-zone climate control and alloy wheels – and you’re laughing.
The boot is the same usefully spacious area as all Kuga. Rear seats fold down but as they are plusher than normal they’re not as flat. Some rivals have bigger boots, but the Kuga’s is a good, even, square shape. There’s also no load lip, making it much easier to get heavy luggage in. There’s certainly space for the family’s bags.
Kuga Vignale owners get the added bonus of special treatment at Ford dealerships, including a dedicated area and priority service.
Ford Kuga Vignale running costs and reliability
As usual, factors like fuel type, automatic gearboxes and all-wheel drive can influence a Kuga’s economy. The auto petrol all-wheel drive Vignale model, for example, may return around 38mpg. At the other end of the scale, a diesel two-wheel drive can give you around 64mpg. The new hybrid can offer huge fuel savings, officially rated as up to 202mpg on shorter journeys.
Because of its mainstream origins, other Kuga Vignale running costs like insurance, parts and servicing will be less than many premium SUVs.
Reliability is easier to judge and the Kuga has scored very well on owners’ reports. Some surveys even make it the least likely SUV to experience problems. Sign up for cinchCare and enjoy further peace of mind when it comes to reliability.
What cinch loves
The whole Ford Kuga range is comfortable, reliable and cheap to run. It offers five-door SUV styling and practicality that’s also as simple to drive as a normal car. The Vignale is the flagship version that adds distinctive premium quality trim as well asa vast array of luxurious equipment and high-tech safety features.
What else to consider? Ford Kuga Vignale alternatives
The Vignale is the highest specified model in Ford’s popular Kuga range. These are five-door mid-sized SUV crossovers that offer the ease of ownership of a hatchback plus the rugged styling and raised seating position of an SUV. The Vignale offers an elevated level of trim and equipment too.