Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 02 Nov 2017
Ford has been working hard on efforts to improve overall customer vehicle expectations and satisfaction on our local market. The 2017 face-lifted new Kuga is a testament to the brand’s commitment to building a quality value and technologically advanced family offering.
Straight away, the new Kuga is quickly distinguishable owing its large trapezoidal grille design. This is a design characteristic which keeps this latest generation Kuga far more in-line with the Ford family model resemblance.
New & Better
The pre face-lift Kuga represented a solid platform in-terms of offering a spacious and generously specced family SUV, however, the new model takes the overall offering and improves it on so many levels. From a styling perspective, Ford has given the Kuga bolder, more-angular lights and the front and rear, as well as the new grille design.
In terms of the technological advancements, this is an area in which the new vehicle really shines. With a wealth of both passive and active safety systems, the Kuga offer the expected passive systems, including the likes of ABS, EBD and ISOFIX mounting pointings in the cabin, as well 7-airbags and a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. The Kuga additionally offers the likes of trailer-sway mitigation and a clever torque vectoring system, which ensures that the vehicle remains more planted and stable on the road at all times.
Where things really get smart, is Ford’s innovation with active vehicle safety systems. The new Kuga offers a city monitoring assistance system which monitors the vehicle’s environment continuously, to assist in mitigating a crash at speeds below 50 km/h often before the driver even has a chance to react. At speeds of between 50 km/h and 150 km/h, the vehicle also applies safety systems to assist in decreasing the severity of higher speed crashes.
A Multimedia Marvel
With the new Kuga, Ford brings SYNC 3 to the vehicle in terms of multimedia and entertainment. A large 8.2-inch touchscreen-based display offers the likes of media through conventional sources such as radio, cd, USB and auxiliary, while also offers the option to use services such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (when made available in SA).
Apart from the vibrant and easy to use layout of the SYNC 3 system, it is also further controllable owing to voice-control. While the Ford SYNC system is only touchscreen based and there is no rotary selector dial, as in a Mazda CX-5 for example, the system within the Ford remains precise and simple to use without much driver input required.
Engines within the Kuga line-up range from the entry-level 1.5-litre turbocharged engine is paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox and is only available in front-wheel-drive and starts with the Ambienté trim level. The entry spec engine produces 110 kW and 240 Nm and the automatic model increased to 132 kW and 240 Nm.
For review, I spent time driving the range-topping AWD turbo-diesel 2.0 TDCI motor, which develops 132 kW and 400 Nm of torque. Overall power delivery within this motor is impressive, with power being served-up from low within the rev-range. Over my week-long test, I averaged 8.3-litres/100km, a more than satisfactory result considering the large-size and wealth of power of offer.
The previous generation Kuga faced several issues within its lifecycle, as a result, Ford South Africa addressed the issue and have created a new Kuga model, which is better on every possible front. To further sweeten the offer, the new Kuga is also priced at a considerably lower price point than that of its predecessor and manages to offer true great value family comfort, safety, technology and efficiency in a solid SUV.
SA Pricing & Warranty (November 2017)
|1.5 Ecoboost Ambiente 6MT FWD SUV||R368 800|
|1.5 Ecoboost Ambiente 6AT FWD SUV||R381 900|
|1.5 Ecoboost Trend 6MT FWD SUV||R406 400|
|1.5 Ecoboost Trend 6AT FWD SUV||R427 900|
|2.0 TDCI Trend Powershift 6AT AWD SUV||R483 900|
|2.0 Ecoboost Titanium 6AT AWD SUV||R497 900|
|2.0 TDCI Titanium Powershift 6AT AWD SUV – AS TESTED||R506 900|