Ford Motor Company South Africa has released the new Kuga locally in an initial seven-model lineup with three engine options.
“We are thrilled with the new Kuga offering,” says Tracey Delate, General Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “With stunning new design inside and out, smart technologies, fuel-efficient yet powerful engines, and five-star safety, it’s a vehicle that will stand out for our customers.”
Buyers have the choice of two petrol engines in the 1,5-litre and 2,0-litre EcoBoost petrol units, as well as the 2,0-litre TDCi turbo-diesel engine. Depending on model, there is the option of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive models and manual or automatic transmissions.
As before, three specification levels are available, starting off with the value-oriented Ambiente, the mid-level Trend and the range-topping Titanium.
The new Kuga features Ford’s latest design language shared with other Ford SUVs. Its large upper trapezoidal grille and a smaller lower grille are flanked by new headlamps complemented by fog lamps.
At the rear, the Kuga’s stance is emphasszed by the redesigned light clusters and new tailgate design, along with the purposeful twin exhausts. A new range of standard and optional alloy wheel designs are available, spanning 17-inch to 19-inch sizes.
“We know from customer feedback and research vehicle design and style are key factors in the car buying decision process,” Delate says. “In many cases, it’s actually the top consideration which is why we’re particularly excited about the new Kuga. In addition to being a very capable, functional SUV with a fantastic suite of smart technologies, it’s also a vehicle that will turn heads wherever it’s driven.
“Our designers went to great lengths to ensure the vehicle and its many different features, large and small, are smart yet provide welcome benefits to even daily routines,” Delate adds. “The Hands-Free Power Tailgate, for example, is something customers have really grown to appreciate. No matter what you might find filling your arms, from sports gear to shopping bags or a toddler or two, the Power Tailgate can make your life easier.”
Kuga drivers will find an array of convenience features including ISOFIX anchorage-points, an electronic parking brake, improved storage in the centre console, as well as rear tray tables and rear air vents on the Trend and Titanium models.
The new Kuga offers up to 1 603 litres of cargo space with the rear stadium seating folded. In addition, the Kuga steering wheel and air-conditioning controls operate through fewer and more easily distinguishable buttons and switches, making the controls easier to recognise and navigate.
All Kuga automatic models include paddle-shift controls that enable drivers to manually select gears, adding to Ford’s fun-to-drive ethos.
The new Kuga will allow drivers to control audio functions plus connected smartphones using simple, more conversational voice commands, with Ford’s new SYNC3 connectivity system, which is standard on the Trend and Titanium derivatives.
SYNC3 with Navigation is optional across the Kuga range, featuring embedded navigation, which provides a full 3D experience with elevated map view, enhanced full colour graphics and point of interest (POI) building images. When driving, the navigation map displays a raft of information, including the next manoeuvre, current speed limit, current GPS speed and a choice of estimated time of arrival, time to reach destination, or distance to destination plus highway services information such as rest stops and garages.
SYNC3 incorporates Apple CarPlay allowing drivers to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimised for traffic conditions, and more while they stay focused on the road.
AndroidT users can activate Android AutoT, which makes apps and services that are already widely used accessible in safer and seamless ways in the Kuga, including Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play – both the Apple and Android apps available only when licencing for the Sub-Saharan region is finalised.
Standard safety features across the range include seven air bagsas well as anti-lock brakes with Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Trailer Stability function, Hill Launch Assist and Rollover Mitigation.
An enhanced version of Ford’s Active City Stop with low-speed collision mitigation and avoidance has been introduced, which can be specified as with the Driver Assistance Pack available as an option on the Trend and Titanium models. This pack also includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Aid, as well as Advanced Active Park Assist.
The new Kuga now offers Perpendicular Parking functionality, in addition to the semi-autonomous Active Park Assist technology. Using additional ultrasonic sensors, Perpendicular Parking at the push of a button enables drivers to locate parking spaces alongside other cars as well as parallel to the road, and steers the vehicle into them while the driver controls the accelerator and brake.
With the 1,5-litre EcoBoost engine, two output levels are offered, comprising a unit with 110 kW and 240 Nm of torque in the front-wheel drive six-speed manual derivative.
A 132 kW version is provided on the models equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission – available in front-wheel drive guise and with Ford’s Intelligent All Wheel Drive.
The petrol engine line-up is topped by the 2.0 EcoBoost, which produces 177 kW and 340 Nm, and is available exclusively with all-wheel drive and the six-speed torque-converter automatic.
For diesel fans, the impressive 2.0 TDCi turbo-diesel engine remains, producing 132 kW and a 400 Nm torque peak. Power is delivered to all four wheels through the PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Recommended Retail Prices:
Ford Kuga 1.5 EcoBoost Ambiente 6MT FWD R368 800
Ford Kuga 1.5 EcoBoost Ambiente 6AT FWD R381 900
Ford Kuga 1.5 EcoBoost Trend 6MT FWD R406 400
Ford Kuga 1.5 EcoBoost Trend 6AT FWD R427 900
Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi Trend 6AT AWD R483 900
Ford Kuga 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT AWD R497 900
Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi Titanium 6AT AWD R506 900
All models come standard with Ford Protect, including a four-year/120 000 km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A five-year/90 000 km service plan is included on the TDCi models, with 15 000 km service intervals. The petrol Kuga models have 20 000 km service intervals, and are sold with a four-year/80 000 km service plan.