With high-riding crossovers rocketing in popularity and Ford hogging the top two spots in the list of bestselling cars in the country, it’s no surprise that the Blue Oval’s take on the 4×4 – the Kuga – is a popular choice with buyers.

With prices starting from just under £21,000 and rising to more than £33,000, there are plenty of models to choose from, with frugal petrol and diesel engines and two and four-wheel drive versions on offer.

We’ve trawled through the Kuga range to fish out the most appealing models to buyers on a tight budget, those after the cheapest model to run and those who are happy to part with more cash in exchange for the best equipped model in the range.

The smart choice for those on a budget: 1.5T 150 FWD Zetec – £20,995

This petrol Zetec model may be the most affordable Kuga you can get, but with Ford ditching its most Spartan trim levels for its pricier models like the Kuga, even this car offers more than enough kit for most buyers. 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, a digital radio, cruise control, a heated windscreen and a hill start assist system all come as standard, meaning that opting for the cheapest Kuga shouldn’t leave you feeling short changed.

Meanwhile, the turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine provides plenty of punch – powering the Kuga to 62mph in a reasonable 9.7 seconds – though claimed economy is strong at 45.6mpg. CO2 emissions of 143g/km mean that this Kuga slots into the £145 CO2 band, so annual tax bills shouldn’t break the bank either. Throw in a saving of £1,700 over an identically equipped diesel model and unless you cover many thousands of miles every year the petrol could be a better value option.

The smart choice for low running costs: 2.0 TDCI 150 FWD Titanium – £24,345

If you are after the most economical model for your money, however, the 2.0-litre 148bhp front-wheel drive Kuga is for you, returning claimed fuel economy of 60.1mpg. CO2 emissions are equally competitive at 122g/km, placing this diesel model into the £110 tax band.

Performance from the diesel motor compares closely with the petrol above, with the Kuga accelerating to 62mph in an adequate 10.1 seconds, while offering more low down punch than the petrol – meaning that it should cope better with heavy loads. In Titanium trim this Kuga offers all the same kit as the car above plus part leather trim, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers plus two-zone climate control, with additional air vents for passengers in the rear seats.

The smart choice for technophiles: 2.0 TDCI 180 AWD Titanium X Sport – £32,045

Up the budget, however, and Titanium X Sport models are stuffed with high-end equipment including sat nav, a rear view camera with all round parking sensors, 19-inch alloy wheels and a full body kit for sporty styling. Buyers also get heated leather seats, an electric driver’s seat and electrically operated tailgate, powerful xenon headlights, a panoramic opening glass roof and tray tables for passengers in the rear.

In 178bhp diesel form – and with four-wheel drive – this Kuga accelerates to 62mph in a reasonably sprightly 9.2 seconds. Claimed economy of 54.3mpg means that fuel bills should prove reasonable too, with annual car tax setting buyers back £130.

Picture: Ford