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.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.
Pics would be goodRight, 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.
What size tyres did you end up going for? They look a bit higher in the sidewalls than a stock sized 235/55R17?
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.That’s great, can’t beat a bit of sidewall for peace of mind kerbside parking
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.What size tyres did you end up going for? They look a bit higher in the sidewalls than a stock sized 235/55R17?
I think you are just starting in the wrong place, it's an SUV !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 would have agreed until I drove my colleagues Porsche Macan diesel which felt more like the Focus than my Focus-based Kuga.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.
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.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.
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 GLOBALI 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.
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 !Ignore the haters on here- you can massively improve the stock handling without ruining the ride quality.