GO THE GROWL

There’s a lot more to Ford’s Kuga, the new com­pact SUV con­tes­tant, than du­bi­ously funky spell­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - STU­ART MARTIN stu­art.martin@cars­guide.com.au

THE col­lec­tive ap­petite for SUVs seems in­sa­tiable. Ford’s new dish – the Kuga – will make the menu de­ci­sion harder.

The name­plate turned up here in Fe­bru­ary in the form of a cameo by the out­go­ing model. The new gen­er­a­tion Euro Ford adds a front-drive en­try-level model and a diesel to the line-up. On sale next month, it also brings more space within a stronger struc­ture and new safety equip­ment.

VALUE

The Kuga Am­bi­ente fron­twheel drive petrol six-speed man­ual starts from $27,990 ris­ing to $31,490 if you want the more pow­er­ful en­gine with all-wheel-drive and a six-speed au­to­matic.

Stan­dard fare in­cludes cloth trim, stop-start and brake en­ergy re­cov­ery fuel-sav­ing sys­tems, 17-inch steel wheels, fog lights, a fully ad­justable leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel, Blue­tooth phone link, heated ex­te­rior mir­rors and rear park­ing sen­sors.

The Trend range brings stan­dard auto and AWD, start­ing at $36,240 for the petrol, ris­ing to $39,240 for the tur­bod­iesel. The ex­tra out­lay brings 18-inch al­loys, leather trim, power driver’s seat ad­just­ment, auto-dim­ming rearview mir­ror, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol with rear vents, au­to­matic head­lights and the Sync nine-speaker sound sys­tem with dig­i­tal ra­dio.

At the top, the Ti­ta­nium flag­ship re­tains the same driv­e­train. The ask is $44,740 for the petrol and $47,740 for which you get 19-inch al­loys, sun­roof, bi-xenon head­lights with LED run­ning and tail­lights, leather, front seat heaters, hands-free tail­gate, front park­ing sen­sors, fold­down ta­bles for rear oc­cu­pants, key­less en­try and ig­ni­tion, satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion and a re­vers­ing cam­era.

Trend and Ti­ta­nium buy­ers can op­tion the Tech­nol­ogy Pack for $2650. That adds the Ac­tive City Stop which brakes au­to­mat­i­cally at up to 30km/h, adap­tive cruise con­trol, blind spot and lane de­par­ture warn­ing and auto high beam. The driver im­pair­ment de­vice mon­i­tors driver be­hav­iour to de­tect fa­tigue.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The new Kuga petrol models drink be­tween 6.7 litres and 8 litres/100km by way of the 1.6-litre Eco­Boost di­rect­in­jec­tion turbo petrol en­gine.

The en­try-level car gets a 110kW/240Nm tune, the AWD

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