The Ford Kuga has been comprehensively facelifted for 2016. The popular family SUV looks to address many of the old model’s shortcomings with improved styling, cabin design and infotainment functions. The changes are aimed to help it compete with rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan.
There are a variety of changes to get your head around, so we’re comparing the new model side-by-side with the car it replaces. If you’re sold on this practical family car, put the Ford Kuga in our car configurator to see the deals carwow could help you get.
Ford Kuga old vs new – styling
The revisions to the Kuga’s exterior bring the big-selling crossover more closely in line with the rest of the brand’s SUV family, including the upcoming Edge, EcoSport compact crossover and Ranger pickup truck.
The slim grille of the older model is replaced by a bolder, trapezoidal chrome design. featuring a much more prominent Ford logo. The new headlights are slimmer and squarer than before, while the xenon units are adaptive – adjusting in real time to offer the driver the best possible view at night. The bumper has also been tidied up, lending the front end a more cohesive look overall.
Save for a couple of new alloy wheel styles, little has changed along the sides, but at the back some details have been revised. The redesigned set of taillights are squarer than before, while the bootlid and number plate surround have been adjusted. At the bottom, the bumper’s diffuser has been subtly tinkered with.
Ford Kuga old vs new – interior
The Kuga’s interior has always been fairly accommodating for passengers in all seats and, in this regard, the new car is no different. The major changes, however, have taken place ahead of the driver. The old model suffered from a very fussy dashboard – a small screen sat above a fiddly audio system (especially so on models fitted with the upgraded sound system) and the buttons for the air conditioning unit were small.
Thankfully, Ford has listened to these complaints and improved things dramatically. A new 8-inch infotainment system controls the navigation and audio functions, and removes much of the clutter from the cabin. The heating controls are more tidily laid out than before and a new three-spoke steering wheel helps to freshen things up further. While some buyers might still prefer the more conventional look of the Volkswagen Tiguan, it’s clearly a massive improvement over what was offered before.
Ford Kuga old vs new – driving
On the road, the new model shouldn’t feel significantly different from before. Buyers are offered a choice of Ford’s four-wheel-drive system on top-spec models while, elsewhere, the range is front-wheel drive only.
The four-wheel-drive system is designed to help drivers in tricky conditions – it’s able to measure the levels of grip available at each individual wheel and make adjustments in less than 20 milliseconds to ensure optimum grip and traction.
Ford Kuga old vs new – engines
The one new addition to the Kuga’s engine range becomes the most efficient unit available. The 1.5-litre diesel engine isn’t new to the Ford lineup – it’s already available in the Focus and C-Max – but it now allows the Kuga to achieve a claimed 64.2mpg, 10.9mpg better than any previous model.
Of the remaining engines, efficiency has been improved across the board. The 148hp 2.0-litre diesel has seen fuel consumption reduced from 53.3mpg to 60.1mpg and petrol fans will be pleased to hear the 148hp 1.5-litre turbocharged model is 2.8mpg more frugal than it used to be.
Ford Kuga old vs new – specs
A range of all-new or upgraded technologies should ensure the new Kuga is both more entertaining and safer than ever.
Emergency city braking scans the road ahead for potential hazards. Should it detect one, it can perform an emergency stop if necessary and operates at speeds of up to 31mph compared to 19mph in the old version. Meanwhile, cross traffic alert informs drivers reversing out of tricky parking spaces about any oncoming traffic.
Ford’s self-parking system now offers the ability to semi-autonomously drive into an empty bay parking space if required – the system takes care of the steering while you control the pedals. The same tech also aids drivers when leaving a parallel space, too.
The infotainment system housed within the new 8-inch touchscreen interface has improved voice command compared to the previous model, with the aim of responding to more conversational commands. The screen behaves much more like a smartphone in operation – bigger icons are easier to use on the move, while scrolling through menus and adjusting the zoom on maps can be achieved with gesture controls like swiping and pinching the screen.
Save money on your Ford Kuga
Think this family SUV might be the car for you? Our Ford Kuga deals page will help you find the best savings from the best Ford dealers. If you’d like to see what the Kuga’s rivals have to offer, our car chooser is here to help.