Ford officially launched the Euro-styled Kuga to the Australian media today. New to the local market, the Kuga has been sold in foreign climes for over three years now. The compact SUV arrives here very late in its model life, with a new-generation model due here next year.
When the car goes on sale, it will bring with it a price tag of $38,990 for the Kuga Trend, or $44,990 for the Kuga Titanium. Both grades are powered by the same turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine, driving through a five-speed automatic transmission and Haldex coupling to all four wheels. Power (147kW) and torque (320Nm) are balanced by fuel consumption of 10.3L/100km in the ADR81/02 combined-cycle test. The Euro 5-compliant engine emits 244g/km of CO2.
On its release in Europe, the Kuga scored highly for pedestrian safety. Local crash safety authority, ANCAP, has given it a five-star safety rating. Dual front airbags are complemented by side-impact protecting front-seat airbags and side-curtain airbags. Active safety is enhanced by ABS, stability control, anti-roll mitigation, traction control, Brake Assist and emergency brake hazard warning system.
A monocoque structure, the Kuga rides on MacPherson struts at the front and Control Blade multi-link IRS behind. Steering is an electro/hydraulically-assisted setup and the braking is handled by four-wheel discs.
In length the Kuga measures 4443mm, versus 1842mm wide (without mirrors). The wheelbase is 2690mm and the ground clearance is 188mm. Ford claims a wading depth of 450mm and approach/departure angles of 21 and 24 degrees, respectively. The Kuga's fuel tank will take 66 litres and the luggage compartment holds up to 360 litres.
Standard features for the Kuga Trend include: start button, trip computer, voice control, follow-me-home lighting, cruise control, front sports seats, leather-bound steering wheel, air conditioning, electric windows/heated mirrors, puddle lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, headlight levelling, capless refuelling system, dual exhausts, silver-finish roof rails, infrared-reflecting windscreen, three auxiliary power outlets, eight-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, prestige paint and green-tinted glass.
Adding to this list, the Kuga Titanium comes equipped with Napoli leather seat trim, heated front seats, six-way electrically-adjustable driver seat, leather gear shifter, fixed-glass panorama roof, rain-sensing wipers, auto-on/off headlights, electrochromatic mirror, dual-zone climate control, rear privacy glass, 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and rear parking sensors.
Ford Australia President and CEO, Bob Graziano sidestepped suggestions Australia was excluded from Kuga in 2008 because it didn't participate in the original right hand drive business case.