Global Hire – Ford Kuga

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Global Hire – Ford Kuga

Car Rental Company: Global
Company for Purchase: Expedia
Location: FRA – Frankfurt Car Centre Terminal 2

Unfortunately, I landed at terminal 1 and the car hire Centre for Global Rent-a-car is in Terminal 2. No hassle there is a sky train that take about 10-15 minutes to get say from arrivals to the car hire place in the different terminal. Global Rent – A – Car was easy to locate with a decent amount of staff so there was no waiting time. Welcome was a little sultry, he initially offered me a Audi A3 then said it would be 30 Euro upgrade charge (my booking was for a Polo or equivalent which he said he had a Skoda Fabia. I believe but kept pushing the A3 explained that the diesel and fuel efficiency is much better. I was driving nearly 800km so this was welcomed and always wanted to drive an A3. He explained that they will take an 800 Euro Deposit for damage and any damage occurred has an excess of 1200 Euro etc with this. However for 25 Euro or around that he offered me full protections explaining even with a scratch or full damage to car I would not be liable not to pay anything. The deposit would also only be 300 Euros. I thought this was attractive so went with it as well most of my journey would be on a Auto Bahn etc. He also said the Global charge 26 Euros for a cross-border fee which I found very expensive, I think another company at Frankfurt – perhaps Euro car or National charge 8 Euros.
My main concern was that the car had either Bluetooth or a USB connection so I could listen to my music etc from my phone. He confirmed the A3 had this but was unsure of the Skoda. So I went with A3.

However after arriving at A3 downstairs. The car was a dated A3 and was shocked to see no USB or Blue tooth connection. I therefore requested to change car. After come complaining I was then upgraded to the Ford Kuga. A Smart SUV with free GPS and blue tooth connection etc.

Car Selection

The initial car offered at the booking rate was a Skoda Fabia, then was offered a cheap upgrade of Audi A3. In the end due to issues with A3 ended up with a Ford Kuga.

Car Review – Ford Kuga
The car was a nice product, a comfortable smart SUV with great console monitor screen and computer driver experience controls by Ford Synch, good speed/acceleration and control handling. Great sound quality and smooth driving in a decent sized and quite nice smart looking SUV. Long distance Autobahn driving was fine, just be careful on corners when accelerating. Car does not handle too well. Clutch was just a bit loose on the gear box in lower gears.

Seating

Seating is very comfortable with electronic controls that adjusted well even when driving. I noticed this was only for driver though. However, arm rests do offer comfort for arms. The seat was definitely well thought out ergonomic, since I drove over 700km in less than 24-hour period with 3-hour stretch’s and felt no discomfort at all.

Controls

The controls were comprehensive with a very clear computer console monitor that offered the Ford SYNC system. Various options and included GPS as part of the deal. This worked fairly well with clear display of distance zoom in/out function of map, ahead roads but did not show say traffic or live congestion etc. However very easy to using touch controls.

This computer was also easily able to connect to phone via Bluetooth and easy to select music on the touch screen. Source button exist for radio options, Line in, Bluetooth and USB. Plus what was very impressive is a separate sound button to tweak the sound controls such as bass and mids etc but did not offer sound positioning in car. Phone function though was nicely synched up with contacts making easy to use touch controls on the screen and made a couple of phone calls. Sound was very good and clear. The screen also had rear cameras and beeping system for parking- very handy and clear.
This area also had a clear hazard button, great for auto bahn when suddenly traffic emerges and everyone behind is at high speed. An auto lock button is also offered. Below very easy to use AC system for each side of car using dials plus front and back window heaters, auto stop options and park button as well as boot button to open. Temperature both inside and outside is also shown.
The steering wheel controls did offered a clear display between the rev and speed counter. This combine the GPS for next turning etc and distance to- which was most helpful as well as a trip computer and distance until re-fuel.

The steering wheel controls were mixed, no auto lighting but when on lighting was very clear and strong and no auto wipers. The wipers in general were confusing especially the rear wipers which I struggled to figure out how to turn off for a while. I also found the cruise control hard to actually activate. Phone controls though were very easy to use as was the volume buttons and skip track etc.
The gear box and reveres was also easy to use but I found I stalled the car a lot between 1st and 2nd gear- it seemed clutch was a little loose for what I am used to and though my Japanese car auto boots up when on clutch, the ford you have to re-start the engine. This is a button key less control which was slow to react. Annoying in slow moving traffic.

However, the display behind the steering wheel does indicate when to go up gear clearly in case you’re in 4th not 6th etc.
Overall the controls were good and smooth when flat out and not having to change the gear too much. Not so great in slow moving traffic but nice displays and easy to use fairly quickly, only cruise control and wipers were confusing. Reverse parking was very easy and safe to use with a very clear camera and beeping alert system.

Space and Storage
Lots of space in the back with cover plus tinted windows so good for privacy and safety of your suitcases being not visible. Also cup holders and storage box.

Driving
Very comfortable SUV, nice arm rest and seat ergonomics – making driving for long distances not an issue Handled great acceleration at the high end, so slow to start but depends what gear and style you are driving. However, in 6th gear got car up to 210kmph max on Auto Bahn and did not shake handled it well. Seems to be max speed it can get to. I would say wide corners felt a bit unstable so go easy. I didn’t like driving in slow moving traffic due to the clutch being loose and stalled a few times because of this.

Audio

Audio was very good the car offers line in/USB and Bluetooth – easy to connect. Highlight was separate sound button enabling you to customize the treble, mids and bass. Sound was overall good standard offered by Sony for classical, rock to drum and bass. Techno was slightly harder to perfect but still sounded ok. You can use balance and fade but unlike US cars you cannot pin point sound positioning which I always find very helpful.

Fuel Efficiency

I drove around 700 km and it cost me 51GBP which considering distance and the fact I was going at high speeds, as you do on German Autobahns quite efficient. That mileage before fill up had the tank about ¼ left- or 160km until empty.

Verdict

Quite an expensive hire due to the add-ons with a total price of £105. This is due to the 30 euro upgrade (originally for A3), 25 Euro damage waiver and 26 Euro cross border fee. The last of which I found well over priced when compared to Enterprise and Sixt. However according to staff I was freely upgraded from A3 level to this premium vehicle but still Frankfurt is not a cheap place to hire a car when compared to Brussels or the US. Saying that I enjoyed driving the Ford Kuga, it was comfortable and somewhat fuel efficient – it also included a free GPS system built in and very good sound quality by Sony. It was just slightly over my budget for car hire. However the damage waiver meant the deposit was lower and it didn’t matter if someone crashed into my car in a car park or scratched it- I was not liable so always think this is easier option in the long run, because well let’s face it you never know what may happen.

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