Ford has made extensive changes to the new Kuga SUV. The new model brings updated driver assistance systems, a refreshed interior design and a new diesel engine to keep it competitive with the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson.
The current model has been with us since 2012 and this mid-life refresh should keep it in contention in this fiercely fought category. Before the new model arrives on the roads, the brand will be offering progressively better discounts on the outgoing model. See how much you could save by putting the Ford Kuga in our car configurator to see the deals carwow could help you get.
Ford Kuga styling
The exterior refresh brings the Kuga’s styling closer to both the larger Edge and smaller EcoSport. At the front, a large trapezoidal grille features two bold chrome bars across its centre, lending the updated car a much more substantial look. The bumper has been altered too, while the lights are now similar in shape to those found on the Mondeo.
A reprofiled bonnet isn’t just for show – the more rounded shape is claimed to reduce the risk of injury to any pedestrians unfortunate enough to come into contact with it.
The changes to the side are more subtle, while at the rear a redesigned pair of tail lights sit above a new bumper. Alloy wheels are offered in sizes ranging from 17- to 19-inches and a new paint finish – Copper Pulse – joins the range.
Ford Kuga interior
The outgoing Kuga suffered from a fussy dashboard design, overwhelmed by too many buttons. Ford designers have addressed this with the updated model, which now uses a new eight-inch touchscreen catering for most of the car’s infotainment functions.
In operation, the screen behaves much like a smartphone, offering the users the ability to pinch and swipe through menus, with large, bold icons that are easier to operate than before. Simplified air conditioning controls and a redesigned steering wheel – which is heated in some models – round off the interior changes.
Ford Kuga engine
A new diesel engine joins the Kuga range. The 1.5-litre unit produces 118hp and is claimed to return 64.2mpg making it the most frugal choice in the range. That still trails behind the 1.5-litre 71mpg Nissan Qashqai and 69mpg Vauxhall Mokka but is better than rivals form Hyundai and Kia.
Elsewhere, the existing engine lineup remains the same, but tweaks have seen fuel efficiency rise across the board. The most frugal petrol 1.5-litre EcoBoost unit now manages a claimed 45.6mpg – up from the previous 42.8mpg.
Ford Kuga specs
A whole raft of new tech has been squeezed into the latest Kuga. The latest version of Ford’s infotainment system – known as SYNC 3 – can control the car’s functions with simple voice commands, which Ford says are “more conversational” than ever.
For example, press the SYNC button and say “I need to park” and the satellite navigation will search out the closest stopping locations. The system, available on Titanium models and above, also features integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
On the safety front, those redesigned headlights now feature adaptive lighting – automatically adjusting the car’s bi-xenon headlights depending on speed, steering angle and distance from oncoming traffic. This system offers the best view of the road ahead without dazzling other drivers.
An improved version of Active City Stop, which readies and applies the brakes if a hazard is detected ahead, now operates at speeds of up to 31mph, up from 19mph previously.
Following on from Ford’s semi-autonomous parallel parking system, the Kuga now can park in bay spaces, too. The system also includes Park-Out Assist, which helps drivers leave a parallel parking space, too.
Ford Kuga prices and release date
Prices for the new Kuga, available from October, have yet to be revealed, but shouldn’t vary wildly from the current model. Expect to pay around £21,000 for the 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol in Zetec trim.
Save money on your Ford Kuga
Can’t wait for the release of the new model? Take a look at our current Ford Kuga deals page to see all of the latest offers. If you’d like to see some of the Kuga’s rivals, take a look at our car chooser.