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Is the upgraded Ford Kuga the smart-choice SUV?

Ford Kuga greener & more feisty for fun-loving families

Everybody loves driving a big SUV. But nobody loves the way it guzzles petrol and pollutes the air we breathe. So what if we could have even better performance but less Co2 emissions, not to mention saving a few bucks at the petrol station? ‘Doable’, says Ford. ‘Plus, we’ll throw in more tech and convenience features.’ Enter the new Ford Kuga Range.

There are now 3 engines in our local line-up: The updated 2.0 TDCI turbo-diesel unit, the new 1.5 EcoBoost petrol engine and the brand spanking new 2.0 EcoBoost powertrain which is found in the fiery Focus ST. To introduce the downsized, yet more powerful new 1.5 litre turbo-petrol engine, Ford loaned us a Kuga 1.5 EcoBoost Trend AT FWD to go picnicking in Kirstenbosch with. They also supplied snack packs, a designer picnic basket, pillows and blankets that would put a Roman party to shame. And of course they managed to fit all of this into the Kuga’s majestic 456 litre boot.

The Kuga is highly comfortable, and we were impressed with the high level of workmanship in its thoroughly modern and rather luxurious cabin. Beautiful black leather seats with white stitching are standard in this trim level, which isn’t far from the bottom in the seven-model line-up. The standard specification level really is excellent, and it’s superbly geared towards families. The kids even have little aeroplane trays for snacking or drawing on long journeys and there’s a multitude of storage compartments in which to hide your valuables.

One of the Kuga’s strongest selling points is most certainly its comprehensive list of standard safety features, such as seven airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, stability and traction control, Hill Launch Assist, Roll Stability Control, and Ford’s SYNC system with hands-free Bluetooth so Mom & Dad don’t get distracted.

Top-of-the-line Titanium derivatives get even more technical with their safety features. If one opted for the Driver Assistance Pack in these models, Active City Stop with Low Speed Collision Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Park Assist, Lane Keeping Aid and Ford’s Blind Spot Information System would all form part of this package. And it’s not even that expensive at R15 450.

So how efficient are these new engines? Our Kuga 1.5 EcoBoost Trend Auto FWD with 132 kW and 240 Nm, managed 9.1 litres per 100 kilometres in Cape Town’s traffic between the city bowl and Kirstenbosch, which is pretty good for an SUV of these dimensions. I would love the give the new two-litre petrol and diesel engines a go in the near future, as they’ve seen quite considerable increases in power too: The 2.0 TDCI engine is up 12 kW to 132kW, and torque is up from 340Nm to 400Nm. The new 2.0 EcoBoost will blow your proverbial hair back with 177 kW and 340 Nm.

Each Ford Kuga comes with a 4 year / 120 000km warranty, a 4 year / 80 000 km service plan, 3 years of roadside assistance and a 5 year / unlimited km corrosion warranty.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 09:07

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