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Kuga Titanium X, 2013, Frozen white.
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Put your current wheels up for a swap, with some 17s or 18s, I’m sure you’ll get plenty of response, as 19 are sooo much nicer.
 

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But I was already thinking of smaller wheels with more sidewall because the first gravel road took a big chunk out of one rim. So if a less stiff ride is another benefit of that, all the better.
I'd be going for 17" wheels if that's the case. I bought a set of 17" wheels for country trips after doing the same to my OEM 19" wheels on a dirt track. (I had already ordered a set of aftermarket 19" wheels before the damage occurred, so ended up with two sets of wheels.) Once again, the ride and handling will greatly depend on tyre choice.

PS: Go for a 17x8" with around 40mm offset if you're looking at aftermarket wheels. Stock 17" size is 17x 7.5" ET52.5mm IIRC.
 

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2019 St-Line Edition 2L TDCi 150 2WD
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Discussion Starter #23
Right, I have swapped for 17 inch wheels and a complete set of new BFG Urban Terrain tyres. I quite like it on the motorway and country roads so far. In terms of hardness of the ride there is a marked difference, as you don’t feel every little bump in the road surface any longer. You do lose some precision on the motorway, as expected. I am very happy with the change so far.

I have also enquired about the suspension itself, but haven’t heard back, probably due to Easter.
 

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He's in Denial!
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An action man, ask for guidance and then do it and a result. Pleased for ya. A good result. So what on performance. It an SUV.
 

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Kuga ST Line X 1.5 Eco 180ps 6 Speed Auto AWD Magnetic
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Right, I have swapped for 17 inch wheels and a complete set of new BFG Urban Terrain tyres. I quite like it on the motorway and country roads so far. In terms of hardness of the ride there is a marked difference, as you don’t feel every little bump in the road surface any longer. You do lose some precision on the motorway, as expected. I am very happy with the change so far.

I have also enquired about the suspension itself, but haven’t heard back, probably due to Easter.
Pics would be good
 

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2019 St-Line Edition 2L TDCi 150 2WD
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Discussion Starter #26
Happy with the look. Less sporty, but like @Psshaw said, it's an SUV. Not sure about the details of the rims, I only gave them the make and model of the car.

IMG_2943.JPG
 

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Kuga ST Line X 1.5 Eco 180ps 6 Speed Auto AWD Magnetic
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Happy with the look. Less sporty, but like @Psshaw said, it's an SUV. Not sure about the details of the rims, I only gave them the make and model of the car.

View attachment 6562
That’s great, can’t beat a bit of sidewall for peace of mind kerbside parking(y)
 

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Happy with the look. Less sporty, but like @Psshaw said, it's an SUV. Not sure about the details of the rims, I only gave them the make and model of the car.

View attachment 6562
What size tyres did you end up going for? They look a bit higher in the sidewalls than a stock sized 235/55R17?

That’s great, can’t beat a bit of sidewall for peace of mind kerbside parking(y)
:D One of my annoyances when buying tyres. Don't buy Continentals as they have pathetic rim protection strips. Goodyears seem to have the best (widest) protection strips.
 

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2019 St-Line Edition 2L TDCi 150 2WD
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Discussion Starter #29
What size tyres did you end up going for? They look a bit higher in the sidewalls than a stock sized 235/55R17?
You can just about make it out in the photo, they really are 235/55R17. I had the same doubt and even rolled the stock 235/45R19 next to it to make sure it's the same diameter overall. Must be some sort of optical illusion.
 

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2018 Ford Kuga ST-Line 2.0 TDCi
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I have the opposite experience with my Kuga ST-Line. I find the handling not so great.

My dealer told me the ST-Line suspension springs are 10mm lower and stiffer than Zetec/Titanium/Vignale models. He also told me the shock absorbers/dampers are uprated and it has a thicker stiffer rear anti-sway bar fitted.

I imagine one look at the part numbers for these individual items would confirm any difference.

I have fitted 20mm Eibach Pro-Spacers to widen the track width. This improved cornering and directional stability a little.

I am tempted to try Eibach springs next which are apparently 30-40mm lower and stiffer with a progressive spring wind design.

The other option is H&R springs which are lower and stiffer again or go the full hog and find an adjustable coil over kit.

I also have one eye on the 2018 Ford Edge Sport 20" wheels my neighbour has. Although not sure what size tyre I will need on a Kuga?

Hopefully this will get handling nearer our old Focus ST-Line.
 

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Vignale 2019 MK2 Platinum White
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The ST Line is 10mm lower than other models
 
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I have the opposite experience with my Kuga ST-Line. I find the handling not so great.

My dealer told me the ST-Line suspension springs are 10mm lower and stiffer than Zetec/Titanium/Vignale models. He also told me the shock absorbers/dampers are uprated and it has a thicker stiffer rear anti-sway bar fitted.

I imagine one look at the part numbers for these individual items would confirm any difference.

I have fitted 20mm Eibach Pro-Spacers to widen the track width. This improved cornering and directional stability a little.

I am tempted to try Eibach springs next which are apparently 30-40mm lower and stiffer with a progressive spring wind design.

The other option is H&R springs which are lower and stiffer again or go the full hog and find an adjustable coil over kit.

I also have one eye on the 2018 Ford Edge Sport 20" wheels my neighbour has. Although not sure what size tyre I will need on a Kuga?

Hopefully this will get handling nearer our old Focus ST-Line.
I think you are just starting in the wrong place, it's an SUV !

You will never get anywhere near a Focus of any sort. The car is too heavy, and too high. If you try and lower it substantially you will just end up ruining the ride. If you want Focus handling buy a Focus, if you want an SUV you will have to compromise.
 

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Mr. Uses Lots of Words
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The nice option would be to have your weekly runabout and then something fast and sporty for the weekend.
 

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Kuga ST Line X 1.5 Eco 180ps 6 Speed Auto AWD Magnetic
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Mr. Uses Lots of Words
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I think some fine tuning can be done to the suspension to improve the handling but like Gregs24 points out, the Kuga is never going to handle like an ST Focus. @murcod has made some improvements to his Kuga which has improved the handling which he is happy with and I think @Martin1977 has done the same. I would like less body roll but I accept the fact I have an SUV and it has Roly poly handling. I just drive slower to suit the car.
 

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2018 Ford Kuga ST-Line 2.0 TDCi
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I think you are just starting in the wrong place, it's an SUV !

You will never get anywhere near a Focus of any sort. The car is too heavy, and too high. If you try and lower it substantially you will just end up ruining the ride. If you want Focus handling buy a Focus, if you want an SUV you will have to compromise.
I would have agreed until I drove my colleagues Porsche Macan diesel which felt more like the Focus than my Focus-based Kuga.

I have also test driven the SEAT Cupra Ateca which handled similarly car like for an SUV.

Whether these vehicles are a fair comparison or not I will try to improve the Kuga handling as best I can.

My Macan owner/colleague drove my Kuga and he felt it handled better than he expected but not a patch on his Porsche. He wasn't happy with the high clutch pedal position and the slow manual gear change of my Kuga but he countered it gives an element of control back to the driver primarily gear/engine braking and cornering.

I will order the Eibach springs and report back any handling improvement. Incidentally Ford Parts list Eibach springs as a dealer approved accessory which I wasn't expecting.
 

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I would have agreed until I drove my colleagues Porsche Macan diesel which felt more like the Focus than my Focus-based Kuga.

I have also test driven the SEAT Cupra Ateca which handled similarly car like for an SUV.

Whether these vehicles are a fair comparison or not I will try to improve the Kuga handling as best I can.

My Macan owner/colleague drove my Kuga and he felt it handled better than he expected but not a patch on his Porsche. He wasn't happy with the high clutch pedal position and the slow manual gear change of my Kuga but he countered it gives an element of control back to the driver primarily gear/engine braking and cornering.

I will order the Eibach springs and report back any handling improvement. Incidentally Ford Parts list Eibach springs as a dealer approved accessory which I wasn't expecting.
Kuga doesn't handle as well as a Porsche Macan - well there is a surprise. Even assuming it doesn't have air suspension, or active dampers, it is a completely different beast (and price). The Macan is still only good for an SUV.

You can nail down an SUV with lowered suspension, stiff dampers and ludicrous ARB's and it will sort of handle on a smooth road, but fall apart on UK B roads - assuming you haven't broken your spine with the ruined ride. As I said you are starting in the wrong place. Save the money and spend it on something more suitable for the role. The Kuga is good for an SUV, but hopeless even compared to a standard Focus.
 

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Mr. Uses Lots of Words
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The picture below is the Focus based Kuga prototype well before it went into production in 2008. The wider track improved the cornering ability to match the standard Focus but was scrapped in favour of providing the customer with a spare wheel kit.

6618
 

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I will order the Eibach springs and report back any handling improvement. Incidentally Ford Parts list Eibach springs as a dealer approved accessory which I wasn't expecting.
I'd suggest, given you've already got the ST Line with lowered suspension, to first upgrade the rear sway bar to the Hardrace 22mm bar. REAR SWAY BAR - 7738 | HARDRACE GLOBAL

That should improve turn in on corners and make it more "hot hatch" like in corners. I'd say it was the best value in my extensive mods.

I did measure the bars on an ST Line - I think I posted the info on here somewhere? IIRC there wasn't much difference to my Titanium. You can also get hollow and solid bars, so the external measurements sometimes don't mean much.

PS: I think the ST Line is lowered more than 10mm compared to the stock models. Ignore the haters on here- you can massively improve the stock handling without ruining the ride quality.
 

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Ignore the haters on here- you can massively improve the stock handling without ruining the ride quality.
The trouble is both 'handling' and 'ride' compromises are very subjective and the more extreme you go the less people will like it. Don't forget some on here complain the standard ST Line setup is too stiff and sporty !
 
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