I was incredibly lucky to be invited along to the Ford Kuga launch earlier this week. Myself & around 20 other journos, bloggers, celebs & PR folks were amongst the 1st to get our paws on this beauty of a car.
The VIP treatment started as soon as we landed in Cape Town, with Ford taking over a corner of the airport. My luggage was whisked from my hands & replaced with a steaming coffee while we chatted & waited for everyone to arrive.
Brand manager Kuda (not be confused with Kuga!) giving us a run down of the features we could expect. And there are lots!
We quickly paired up & really didn’t need any coaxing to jump behind the wheel. My driving partner, mommy blogger Tanya Kovarsky graciously let me go first. I was excited but also a little nervous – I’d never driven an SUV before & wondered if it would feel ‘weird’ vs. a sedan – it didn’t at all. Then I realised the Kuga we’d chosen was an automatic, which I hadn’t ever driven before either – my nerves! Tanya gave me a tutorial in the car park & it was actually really easy. Well, bar the one time my brain (& foot) lapsed & thought there was a clutch for a moment, leaving us almost banging our heads on the dashboard (sorry Tanya!).
Quite the view…
The venue was a surprise to us, all we knew from the invite was that it was about 100km outside of Cape Town, so we headed out onto the N2. The Kuga was solidly stable on the road (& on the off-road bits) due what I later learned to be the intelligent all wheel drive (AWD) system. The steering was responsive & intuitive so I found myself quickly relaxing in my seat since it didn’t need much work. Meanwhile Tanya started to charge her phone – via the USB port (seriously I’d never seen anything like this before) & I later learned that the SYNC entertainment system (powered by Microsoft & with 8 Sony speakers) can dock up to 12 phones or media devices!
There were no objections when 2 hours later, we pulled up here…
We checked in & then headed out for some R&R of our choice – either a massage or a round of golf (this is a no brainer!). If you ever make it out to the Arabella’s spa you must ask for a lady by the name of Anne – her hands are just magic!
View from my room – now catch your breath… 🙂
Next was the park assist demo. The car is parking itself. See where my hands are. No jokes.
All done & parked. See where my hands (still) are.
Kuda referred to the Kuga as a SUV i.e. a smart utility vehicle & that’s a really apt description. Looks aside (she’s not just a pretty face) it’s packed to the brim with technology but without sacrificing on comfort or safety one bit. I’m a bit of a geek, so I was tickled by the these features:
- Park assist. It finds the parking spot & then parks the car for you. I kid you not.
- Hands-free tailgate. i.e. with the key in your pocket, the boot will open if you wave your foot just underneath the bumper – no more motioning over to the car guard for help when you get back from shopping sprees 🙂
- Voice controlled bluetooth entertainment system that can do a heap of things including reading your SMS’s to you (depending on your phone) & even create a new playlist via voice command.
A peak inside the Ford Kuga
Oooh, I almost forgot to mention the stylish sunglass holder (this is a car with style that knows that I have style). Another surprise was that it was littered with cup holders (I’ve had enough “accidents” to believe that I could never really have enough) & then there are concealed storage spaces in places you’d never expect to keep you valuables out of sight.
The Ford Kuga is available in 9 colours & 6 models across Ambiente, Trendline & Titanium & retails from R289 900 including VAT. More info is on their website (in case you want to know about torque & other fancy things that went right over my head!). You can book a test drive here or for your very own Ford Kuga adventure experience of your choice, check out this post on how to enter (trust me its a goodie!).
I haven’t had to drive my own car yet since I’ve been back – could just be a delay tactic since its bound to be a bit of a drag after all this 🙂
Update: I got to spend some one-on-one time with the Kuga after this launch for a week, check out my further thoughts here.