The facelifted Ford Kuga SUV features a new diesel engine, along with more technology and connectivity, and will arrive in showrooms in October.
The new 118bhp 1.5-litre TDCi diesel is available in front-wheel-drive versions of the SUV only, and compared to the unit is replaces is said to improve combined cycle fuel economy and CO2 emissions by around five per cent to 64.2mpg and 115g/km.
The other engine choices remain the same in the updated Ford Kuga, the 147bhp 2-litre diesel in either front or all-wheel-drive format and efficiency from 60.1mpg and 122g/km, and 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engines of 118, 147 or 179bhp, the most frugal being the 118 with 45.6mpg and 143g/km.
Prime change to the cabin is the addition of Ford’s latest Sync 3 infotainment system. Updated on the basis of what the brand says were more than 22,000 comment son the previous version, Sync 3 allows drivers to control audio, navigation and climate functions connected smartphones using simple, more conversational voice commands.
The system is based around an eight-inch colour touchscreen that can be operated in similar way to a smartphone or tablet, with larger buttons and for the first time pinch-and-swipe operation. It is compatible with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems.
The latest Perpendicular Parking driver aid is now available for the Kuga, as is an enhanced version of the Active City Stop collision avoidance system; and Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System for improved visibility in low light.
Styling changes are included bringing the Kuga into line with other Ford products. The recipe ranges across a large upper trapezoidal grille and a smaller lower grille flanked by new headlamps incorporating LED Daytime Running Lights and fog lamps, restyled tail lamps, new alloy wheel designs and a new exterior colour, Copper Pulse.
Inside there are subtle modifications adding to the look and comfort for occupants, including a reduction in buttons and additions such as a new electronic parking brake.
The new Ford Kuga will arrive in showrooms in October, just as Ford will also be launching its new larger sister, the Edge. With the smaller EcoSport updated last year, the brand feels it is now best placed to take its share of an SUV market expected to treble in 2016 compared to 2013. Such vehicles have been predicted by one industry analyst to take 27 per cent of the entire car market by 2020.