Ford South Africa on Monday announced a recall of 4 556 Ford Kugas built between December 2012 and February 2014 that have been identified as having a potential problem with their coolant system that can lead to engine compartment fires.

This after a reported 46 Ford Kuga burst into flames after drivers reported engine overheating.

READ MORE: Ford Kuga victim’s family want Ford to account

Only the 1.6-litre produced in that period have been affected – the 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre models were not.

But even if you are not driving one of the affected models, the recall has no doubt affected the brand’s reputation of the popular model with some customers reporting their cars have dropped almost 40% in value.

READ MORE: What you need to know about the Ford Kuga recall

The anxiety around the safety of the cars, and a drop in resale values, have probably made the Ford Kuga less attractive to drive. So what’s a driver to do? We’ve listed our pick of the best cars that offer the same credentials as the Kuga:

Ford Everest/Ecosport

Ford Everest
Ford Everest

Ford previews the all-new Ford EcoSport at Auto Expo 2012 in New Delhi. The compact SUV was designed to combine best-in-class design, technology, quality and safety aimed at attracting a new generation of consumers in different global markets. Ford has other fine and proven models in the harem, thus this unfortunate episodes also presents an opportunity to bump up or down the range. The Ford Everest, perhaps a fresh pre-owned one, could maybe sweeten up your life . It will offer way more than a Kuga and gift families with extra practicality and added robustness for spicier weekend trips. The Ecosport too is a tidy little option, that can lower monthly repayments and running costs if your lifestyle isn’t weighed down by a large family or a regular need to haul large items. Ford South Africa CEO, Jeff Nemeth, said at a press conference on Monday that they would engange on an individual basis with customers who no longer wanted to keep their Kuga. We reckon you’d have an easier time going into the negotiation if you wanted to stay in the Ford family.

Ford previews the all-new Ford EcoSport at Auto Expo 2012 in New Delhi. The compact SUV was designed to combine best-in-class design, technology, quality and safety aimed at attracting a new generation of consumers in different global markets. (01/04/2012)
Ford EcoSport

Start Price – R252 900 and R458 900

Nissan X-Trail

X-trail

If we are honest, the lower priced and smidgen smaller Qashqai satisfies deeply with its arsenal of practicality and capabilities. Understandably the car that Nissan wants you to buy in place of the Kuga is the Nissan X-Trail. It offers perks which are bang on with the Ford on price and size. Fresh from a radical enhancement, this SUV retains all of the key hallmarks of space, economy and a superior ride quality that made it a popular choice since introduction. Expect ample room all-round, a digitized functions service, questionable looks and a wide variety of mechanical flavour, from diesels to petrols, manual and automatic transmissions, FWD and AWD models as well as a 7-seat option.

Start Price – R370,900

Chevrolet Captiva

Captiva

Girth and price are the undisputed currency of trade in this segment and with a starting price just a notch above our Ford of the moment is Chevrolet’s Captiva. Recently improved, it too subscribes to the niche and offers seating for 7, contemporary digital interfaces, wide spaces inside, a lovely 2,2-litre diesel engine that pulls strongly and is both economic and refined. There exists a modicum of beaten track capability, but not enough to venture too deep, that adventurous families can take advantage of.

Start Price – R409,100

Mazda CX-5

CX-5

This bottleneck caused by the unfortunate incident, can work as an intervention for a number of possible arising. Perhaps you could have had a last minute change of heart and opt to look for an SUV that’s less regular in aesthetics, and perhaps more arty in appearance. Enter the Mazda CX-5. It’s always offered sober performance, good fuel economy and what are arguably the best looks in the segment. It’s no kangaroo, so it’s going to carry fewer of your babies (5 seat) than the abovementioned substitutes but it’s deceptively humongous, its curvy figure hiding incredible room for passengers.

Start Price – R363 900