Ford Kuga first look review

Ford Kuga first look review

The Ford Kuga is a compact SUV from the American manufacturer. Launched in 2008 it is based on the C1 platform and shares its underpinning with the Ford Focus and Ford C-Max.

Ford recently introduced the second generation which has seen the car get many technological features as well as refreshed exterior styling and new engine variants.

On the outside, Ford has refreshed the exterior with a tweaked trapezoidal grille and redesigned LED lights all around making it on par with the bigger Ford Endeavour. There are reshaped bumper and fog lamps at the front, while at the back, there are now wrap around the tail lamp. The faux diffuser on the rear bumper coupled with twin exhaust completes the rear. Ford has also added two new colours – the guard grey and the copper pulse.

There are options of three alloy wheels sizes – 17, 18, 19-inches, finished in lustre nickel. Over to the side, the car looks large enough with long overhangs, and taller rear section. The sleek C-pillar with flared wheel arches lends a character to the vehicle’s SUV personality with the high ground clearance adding to the affects.

On the inside, the Kuga now gets an eight-inch touchscreen which incorporates Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system. This system provides services such as voice commands, navigation functions, Smartphone interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and over-the-air software updates. The dashboard mounted gear lever, steering mounted controls, twin instrument cluster with soft touch panels all around makes the car appear premium on the inside. Ford says it that with this new design philosophy, it has decluttered the dashboard of the many buttons. The addition of an electronic parking brake has also freed up space in the centre console for a bigger storage compartment added with a new USB charging point.

The feature list continues with hands-free lift tailgate, a ‘perpendicular parking’ function enables a semi-autonomous parking, cross traffic alert, ‘park-out assists’ helps to exit a parallel parking space, an ‘active city stop’ provides autonomous braking up to speeds of 50kmph, and the Ford’s MyKey function as well.

The Kuga can be had with three diesel and two petrol engine options. Diesel power plant includes two 1.5-litre and a 2.0-litre unit making 118bhp, 147bhp and 178bhp respectively. The EcoBoost units of 1.5-litre petrol put out between 120-180bhp. All the engine are mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission sending power to two or all four wheels.

Considering the demands for SUVs in the Indian market and looking at the performance of the EcoSport, Ford is likely to consider the Kuga for the Indian market. Slotting in between the EcoSport and the larger Endeavour, the Kuga is likely to be priced in the range of Rs 12-20 lakh. This place it a part of the market where it will take on the Hyundai Tuscon as well as the other D-segment sedans.  Internationally the Kuga goes against the likes of Volkswagen Tiguan, Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sportage.