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Tyres /  Tyre News4x4 & SUV / Ford Kuga facelift

New Ford Kuga boasts powerful PHEV and Escape-esque styling

Ford Kuga

Ford has put Kuga back on the map with a plethora of upgrades and revisions — including punchier performance and a class-leading towing capacity. And the best news? It’s £1,300 cheaper than before. 

It’s rare for any product these days (let alone a car) to buck the inflationary trend. Yet that’s exactly what Ford’s facelifted Kuga promises — albeit to the tune of a modest £1,300. However, a more competitive price is just the start of the story, with the Blue Oval adding polish to all areas of its popular SUV.  

Straight away you’ll notice the Kuga now bears a striking similarity to the North American Ford Escape, and that’s because the two are actually the same car — save for a few finer details. This means the Kuga now sports a new face with a full-length lightbar, reshaped grille, and more curvaceous full LED headlights as standard. It’s a sharp new look and one which, we think you’ll agree, moves the game on from the old car’s strangely pinched nose.  

Inside, the latest Sync4 infotainment system incorporates 5G connectivity, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and even features a ‘Trailer Connection Checklist’ to aid drivers looking to exploit the Kuga’s impressive 2,100kg towing capacity. Moreover, Ford has also included its newest generation of Adaptive Cruise Control, as well as a 360-degree aerial-view camera setup. Those are some seriously grown-up, executive features for a middleweight 4x4.

Ford Kuga Interior
Trailer Tow mode suggests sat-nav routes which avoid sharp turns and low obstacles.
Image credit: Ford

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The new hybrid powertrains are equally likely to steal headlines, as both plug-in and full-hybrid configurations offer strong performance and improved efficiency. In the case of the PHEV unit, drivers can expect up to 43 miles of electric-only range, and both engines will reportedly deliver quicker acceleration and lower emissions.  

Those with a keen eye will have spotted the welcome addition of standard-fit Continental Premium Contact 6 tyres on all four corners. With the added pep available from the upgraded engines, this versatile high-performance rubber should offer the best of both worlds — maximising both grip and range.  

It’s easy to see why John Williams, General Manager, Ford Blue, Europe, is calling the new Kuga the “best ever.” Adding that the facelift “…moves the game forward with new levels of capability, connectivity and comfort.”  

Ford Kuga PHEV rear
The PHEV’s 43-mile electric range should be plenty for shorter commutes.
Image credit: Ford

Helping to reinforce Williams’ sentiment, the new range kicks-off at a competitive £32,000 for the entry-level Titanium (a badge which used to be reserved for the upper echelons of the line-up). A new Active trim is an intriguing addition and caters to those with off-road pretensions, while the former top-spec Vignale has been dropped — likely because lesser models already came with everything most buyers wanted.  

As mid-cycle facelifts go the new Kuga’s is one of the most comprehensive we’ve seen. So, if you’re in the market for an SUV, it’s well worth waiting until it lands in showrooms later this month. 

Does the new Kuga look like a more appealing proposition than Honda’s CRV or BMW’S X1? Let us know if Ford’s latest offering makes it on your shortlist.

Hero image credit: Ford

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