Ford's new Kuga arrives with green credits
The new Ford Kuga arrives here this month, and the carmaker claims it is set to shatter the myth that an SUV cannot be green, high-tech, capable and exceptional all in one.
Ford says the new Kuga is the centre-piece of its strategy to expand in the fast-growing European SUV market and it offers a surprising array of features and technologies, including Ford’s all-wheel drive system, including exclusive curve control.
Ford plans to leverage its global leadership in SUVs to deliver a comprehensive lineup of smarter vehicles to Europe. New Kuga will be followed by the modern and innovative EcoSport, Ford’s entry into the small SUV segment, and the Edge – a larger, more premium crossover that is a success in North America and other markets.
“Kuga has proved a popular vehicle with Irish motorists and, indeed, right across Europe,” Eddie Murphy, managing director of Ford Ireland told the Advertiser.
“The new Kuga retains the charisma of the previous model and adds remarkable new technologies, features, and capability. In fact, it has the most technology we have ever offered with a Ford car in Europe and this helps new Kuga become a better car right across the board, and delivers a smarter SUV.”
Ford expects to sell more than one million SUVs in Europe in the next six years, accounting for 10 per cent of all Fords sold in the region by 2016. Since launching the first generation Kuga in Europe in 2008, Ford has sold more than 300,000.
Class-leading driving ability
The aforementioned smart AWD system pre-emptively reassesses conditions 20 times faster than it takes to blink an eye, readjusting the AWD power split to give the driver the best blend of handling and traction.
The primary goal of the AWD system at low speeds is traction; at speeds above 30 km/h the AWD system is tuned to improve driving feel, handling and responses. A unique cluster display shows drivers the torque demand of each wheel at any moment.
In addition, Ford curve control acts as a safeguard for drivers who have entered a bend with too much speed. The system mitigates against severe understeer by aggressive braking and can, if the driver is still pushing his/her foot down on the accelerator, also reduce engine torque.
Innovation inside and out
In addition to style, the new Kuga offers great functionality. There is space for more luggage than the current car and a luggage compartment that can be accessed more easily. Ford’s hands-free tailgate can be opened or closed simply by a kicking motion beneath the rear bumper, and new Kuga offers 46-litres more luggage space than the current model, while the rear seats fold flat in one movement.
Ford says the new Kuga will also deliver class-leading fuel economy through significantly improved fuel efficiency. Diesel engine fuel consumption has been improved by 10 per cent.
In Ireland, Kuga is available with a 2.0-litre TDCi Duratorq diesel engine with 140PS in front-wheel drive and AWD versions offering from 5.3 l/100km and 139g/km CO2; and a 163PS version that achieves from 5.9 l/100km and 154g/km CO2.
New Kuga was awarded the maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP after achieving an overall protection score of 88 per cent, the highest for a mid-sized SUV.
The independent vehicle safety organisation awarded new Kuga an 'Advanced' reward for Ford SYNC with emergency assistance. Upon detecting airbag deployment or activation of the emergency fuel shut-off within the car, emergency assistance uses the on-board GPS locator and Bluetooth-paired device to set up an emergency call and provide GPS co-ordinates in the local language. It is included in the second specification level.
In Ireland, the Kuga will be offered in two series, Zetec and Titanium. The entry level specification list for Kuga Zetec includes 17” alloy wheels, front fog lights, heated windshield, cruise control, daytime running lights, a colour coded body, twin exhausts, driver’s knee airbag, Thatcham alarm, fold flat rear seats, trip computer, and a leather steering wheel with remote audio controls.