So on a daily basis I drive more than 100kms. It starts at 5:30am in the morning with me running out the house with a Lou Harvey overnight bag stuffed with two outfits, my Superman backpack that acts as a Laptop carrier, my handbag, a lunch tin and a host of keys. I drive a good 35 minutes to get to the stables where my horses are kept. I exercise them, spend 20 minutes getting ready for work and then hit the highways for about an hour to get to work. When I finish in the office I’m usually back in my car for 30 to 40 minutes to head home or off to wherever I need to be that evening. During the day I drive around for meetings and the like.
I know very little about cars. I drive a Nissan Tiida that I plan to basically kill with kilometres before moving on. With the amount of driving I do, it always made sense to push a little hatchback to its death and start the process again.
This was until I climbed in to the driver’s seat of the Ford Kuga. This is not a car review. I’m not going to tell you how well it handled corners or how fuel efficient it is (and it is, very, if you’re wondering. I can say that because I drive a lot so I know these things). What I am going to do is tell you about all the tech in the Ford Kuga.
So I’m running out my house at 5am and my hands are full. The Kuga works on a keyless ignition but another rad feature of this is that if the key is in your pocket or in your bag you can simply walk to the boot, kick your foot under the back of the Kuga and a sensor picks it up and pops the boot. More hands to hold more things! By kick I mean swipe it… it’s hard to explain, it is a bit like a weird clown dance. Who cares, the boot opens.
One of my less than fantastic traits is that I can’t parallel park. To this day I’m still not sure how I got it right in my driving test (I did though and once is enough). The tech in the Ford Kuga does it for you. Active Park Assist will let you know if you have enough space and will even steer the car in to the parking for you. All you need to do is control the accelerator and break. Rather fancy right?
So Active Park Assist is fun and opening a boot while waving your foot around is nifty, but the real diamond of the Ford Kuga is the Ford Sync system. I’ve written about it before on Tech Girl but let me tell you, using it is something else.
I spend a lot of time driving and I cannot justify not being available on my phone during those times. I’m well aware of the dangers of talking on a phone and driving as well as texting and yet I still do it. Oh dear.
SYNC is awesome. You connect your phone either wirelessly via bluetooth or you can plug it in via a USB cable (great for charging a low battery). I used an Android phone but the software is compatible with Windows, iOS and Blackberry too. The car then downloads your address book and routes all your calls through the speakers. When someone rings the caller ID pops up on the radio display. SYNC also can play music (and not just off your smartphone but also off certain music apps on it, WINNER) and read your text messages.
It’s easy enough to control via buttons on the steering wheel but I found the voice commands so much easier to use. Best part? No data connection needed. This is all done offline so it isn’t costing you money either.
I felt I was safer on the road utilising the tech in the Ford Kuga. Also, once the vehicle had been taken back (we get to review it not keep it. Dammit!) I did spend a few times shouting at my Tiida to call the office before realising I’d lost the plot. The best part about SYNC is that it is available in all Ford vehicles, not just the higher end models. So whether you’re buying an entry level car or the fancy Kuga, you’re still going to be a bit safer on the road.