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