£20,845 - £32,245 Price range
38 - 64 MPG
To do it, the Kuga has been kitted out with updated driver assistance systems, a refreshed interior design and a new ultra-frugal diesel engine that promises a five per cent improvement in fuel economy compared to the old model.
Where the old Kuga felt its age the most was in the interior – the design was fussy and overwhelmed by too many buttons. Ford has addressed this with a new eight-inch touchscreen that caters for most of the car’s systems.
That touchscreen has much of the functionality of your smartphone, meaning you can pinch and swipe through menus and choose from large, colorful icons. The Sync 3 infotainment system can also be operated by voice commands that, according to Ford, are more conversational than ever before, so if you say ‘I need to park’ the sat-nav will, with a bit of luck, search for a nearby bay.
Meanwhile, a new diesel engine means you’ll be able to go further without stopping at all. The 1.5-litre unit produces 118hp and is claimed to return fuel economy of 64mpg – beating its rivals from Kia and Hyundai and making it the most frugal choice in the Ford range. Shop elsewhere, though, and you can do better – the clever people at Nissan manage to eek out 71mpg from the 1.5-litre Qashqai.
Elsewhere, the existing engine lineup remains the largely the same, so you get a 2.0-litre diesel with either 148 or 178hp – capable of returning up to 60.1mpg – or a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol offering 118 or 148hp that manages up to 45.6mpg.
Changes to safety are more significant, newly available is adaptive lighting that automatically adjusting the car’s bi-xenon headlights depending on speed, steering angle and distance from oncoming traffic. Furthermore, an improved version of Active City Stop operates at speeds of up to 31mph, up from 19mph previously.
Order books are open now with the first cars delivered to customers by the end of 2016.