While the new Ford Ranger has become an instant hit in this segment, Ford SA is under no illusion that the Kuga – its latest offering on SA soil – will top the sales chart. But make no mistake, this crossover ticks all the right boxes. It’s athletic, dynamic, stylish and technologically advanced.

Manufacturers say the Kuga’s intelligent AWD (all wheel drive) system uses an “on demand” rear-wheel-drive system. The electronically controlled intelligent AWD system transmits as much torque to the rear wheels as needed to ensure the best traction under all possible cornering and accelerating conditions, while being careful to avoid a negative impact on the fuel consumption.

Not only does the Kuga hug the road surface, it’s also swift as a shadow. But what would you expect from a car that’s fitted with a 2.5 Turbo engine lifted straight from the iconic Ford Focus ST? It zooms from 0-100km/h in less than 9 seconds – quite impressive for a mini SUV. If you didn't get an ST, here’s one disguised in a SUV shell.

Other than the quick reflexes, the Kuga is packed with a myriad of standard features, including full leather upholstery, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and auto headlamps, sporty twin exhausts and a push start button.

However, the fact that Ford enters the saturated SA crossover segment with a model that was launched in Europe three years ago may play against them. In fact, markets that have had the Kuga since it first came into production are already bracing themselves for an upgrade. But who am I to say anything? Ford SA sold a staggering 111 units in December.