Ford’s all-new Kuga mid-size SUV arrives next month priced from $27,990 – that’s $11,000 less than the current model.
Powered by either a 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine or a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, the Kuga is a creation of Ford Europe and that ultra-sharp pricing heralds a much more competitive position for Ford against the likes of Mazda’s slick CX-5.
Like the CX-5, Ford’s Kuga will be available in both front0wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants. Kuga adopts the normal Ford model lineup – entry-level Ambiente, mid-grade Trend and range-topping Titanium.
All-new Ford Kuga is the most technically-advanced Ford ever seen in Australia with European-developed technologies available including ‘Active City Stop’, ‘Adaptive Cruise Control’, ‘Blind Spot Information System’, ‘Lane Keeping Aid’, ‘Lane Departure Warning’, ‘Auto High Beam Control’ and ‘Driver Impairment Monitor’.
This technology reflects Kuga’s status as a key global product for Ford with sales in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.
Under the bonnet are ultra-modern high-tech powerplants which are 25 per-cent more fuel efficient (petrol) and 10 per-cent more efficient (diesel) than the outgoing Ford Kuga (which arrived in Australia late in its model life to launch the name ahead of the introduction of the better-equipped and better-priced all-new version which goes on-sale next month.
The 1.6-litre petrol engine with direct injection and turbocharging is available in two guises – 110kW/240Nm (2WD Ambiente) and 134kW/240Nm (AWD Ambiente, Trend and Titanium). Both have active grille shutters for improved aerodynamics at speed and the lower-powered version, driving through the six-speed manual transmission has fuel-saving auto start/stop.
The 110kW petrol engine returns combined cycle fuel consumption of 6.7l/100kms while the higher output version is good for 7.7l/100kms (Ambiente AWD) and 8.0l/100kms (Trend and Titanium AWD).
Ford’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel is good for 120kW/340Nm and fuel consumption as low as 6.3l/100kms.
Like the manual transmission, Ford Kuga’s automatic is a six-speeder.
Looks are an evolution of Ford’s Vertrek concept car. Somewhat evolutionary of the current Kuga, Ford’s newcomer adopts a contemporary European design and is 81mm longer but slightly narrower and lower. Ford says most of that extra length is in more rear-seat legroom and 46-litres more cargo space.
There are also hidden storage bins under the second-row floor and even umbrella holders in the front seat trim panels.
At the rear all-new Ford Kuga introduces an innovative automatic opening tailgate which is actuated by a kicking motion under the rear bumper which trips sensors to initiate opening or closing (very handy when loaded with groceries, sporting goods, luggage and toddlers). Rear seats also enjoy a recline function up to 10 degrees for extra comfort.
Ford is also trumpeting new technology for the Kuga with the introduction of the innovative Ford SYNC system with Emergency Assistance and ‘intelligent’ all-wheel-drive with Torque Vectoring Control.
Car Showroom will put the all-new Ford Kuga through its paces at the national media launch on 15 April so check back for the full story and our driving impressions.
The full range is:
Ambiente FWD manual 1.6-litre EcoBoost $27,990
Ambiente AWD automatic 1.6-litre EcoBoost $31,490
Trend AWD automatic 1.6-litre EcoBoost $36,240
Trend AWD automatic 2.0-litre TDCi $39,240
Titanium AWD automatic 1.6-litre EcoBoost $44,740
Titanium AWD automatic 2.0-litre TDCi $47,740
‘Trend’ and ‘Titanium’ models can add a $2,650 ‘Technology Pack which brings ‘Active City Stop’, ‘Adaptive Cruise Control’, ‘Blind-Spot Information System’, ‘Lane Keeping Aid’, ‘Lane Departure Warning’, ‘Auto High Beam Control’ and ‘Driver Impairment Monitor’.