The Ford Kuga is a compact crossover SUV manufactured and marketed by the American car manufacturer Ford Motor Company since 2008. The carmaker has been producing the model mainly for the European market. The Kuga was originally European-designed and sold in Europe and a few other markets, but beginning in 2012 for the 2013 model year it was marketed in North America as the Ford Escape.
History of the Ford Kuga
First Generation Ford Kuga (C394; 2008–2013)
The Kuga went on sale in the first half of 2008 and was built at Ford's plant in Saarlouis, Germany. In the United Kingdom, emphasizing the car's premium market aspirations, only high-end Zetec and Titanium specifications are offered. The first-generation Kuga was presented in September 2007, having its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Although it is specially designed for the European market, there were a couple of rumors indicating that Ford is considering bringing the compact crossover into the United States. This soon happened as the model is marketed as the Escape on the US market. However, Kuga has always been regarded as a potential competitor for Citroen C-Crosser and Vauxhall/Opel Antara, being available at similar prices, about 20,500 pounds in the UK, and providing almost the same engine performance and fuel consumption (rated at 44.1 mpg). By default, the Ford Kuga is fitted with an FWD system, but an intelligent All-Wheel-Drive is available to make the most out of the available engines. This, combined with a handful of AWD technologies makes the Kuga a very maneuverable and safe choice.
Second Generation Ford Kuga (C520; 2012–2019)
The second-generation Kuga was primarily developed by Ford of Europe, developed under the "One Ford" policy, which stipulates that Ford designs only one model in each segment to be sold globally. The rebadged name Ford Escape is used in North America, replacing the model of the same name there. The Kuga follows on from the Vertrek concept, developed over nine months at Ford's Cologne design studio. For the production model, designers and engineers in Cologne were responsible for the body design and C1 platform, the upper body and interior came from Detroit, and powertrains were manufactured by Ford Dagenham. Surprisingly, the new Kuga was cheaper than its predecessor, however, it was bigger and offered more technology. The new Kuga was also longer, improving the available space for the rear passengers. The trunk was a great size and could have become a completely flat load bay with the rear seats folded. The Kuga also featured an optional power liftgate. The backseats were also reclinable. Available with a front-wheel drive system or an all-wheel drive system, the Kuga performed well and was grippy. The front-wheel drive was more adequate for people looking to buy a car with reduced fuel consumption.
Second Generation Ford Kuga Update
The 2017 model received a big improvement for the second generation of the Kuga. A bigger, taller, and wider grille was adopted. It was flanked by new headlamps incorporating LED daytime running lights and complemented by fog lamps. The taillights and the rear bumper were redesigned as well. Inside, the biggest improvement was the introduction of the SYN3 infotainment unit. It was engineered to complement modern smartphones and offered a better understanding of voice commands. The 8" touch-screen display offered a better layout. It featured a parallel or perpendicular automatic parking system.
Third Generation Ford Kuga (CX482; 2019–Present)
The third-generation Ford Kuga made its debut on April 2, 2019; it went on sale in the third quarter of 2019 as a 2020 model for markets in North America (as the fourth-generation Escape for the region). There are five new engine-transmission combinations, including a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid that can go 30 mi (48 km) on electricity, as well as a conventional hybrid and two turbocharged four-cylinder engines mated to eight-speed automatic transmissions along with Android Auto. The third-generation Kuga is the company's first SUV to use the C2 platform, also found in the latest Focus, making it longer, wider, and with a more generous wheelbase. Ford claims that the new model is up to 90 kg lighter than the outgoing Kuga.
For the 2023 model year, Ford Motor Company retails the Ford Kuga in the United Kingdom with a starting MSRP of £30,755 ($37,207) for the base model, rising to £40,405 ($48,881) for the top-spec variant.
Features of the Ford Kuga
The new Kuga model benefits from the latest automotive technologies and hi-tech features like Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition, Lane-Centring, wireless charging pad, FordPass Connect embedded modem, B&O Sound System, 12.3-inch LCD, and Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system accompanied by an 8-inch central touchscreen. Parking can be done automatically through Active Park Assist 2, a useful technology that makes life easier for its users. The new Ford Kuga comes with more interior space making the car more comfortable, revised aerodynamics (thus reducing weight and fuel consumption), and augmented architecture for improved crash performance. Furthermore, due to a longer wheelbase, the stability on the road has increased, and with Post-Collision Braking technology (that reduces the impact of a potential secondary collision), Ford has made the Kuga model inherently safer. With 12 colors available, customers have a wider palette to choose from, according to their personal preferences.
Specs and Performance of the Ford Kuga
- 1.5L EcoBoost I3 turbo
- 2.0L EcoBoost I4 turbo
- 2.5L Duratec iVCT I4
- 2.5L Duratec I4
- 1.5L EcoBlue I4 turbo
- 2.0L EcoBlue I4 turbo
- 2.0L EcoBlue I4 turbo mild hybrid
The Ford Kuga's 2.0L engine delivers 118 hp (88 kW) at 3,500 rpm and 251 lb-ft (340 Nm) of torque at 1,550–2,250 rpm. Ford marketed the Kuga as a four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicle, and it was available with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Dimension-wise, the Ford Kuga measures 4,629 mm (182.2 in) long, 1,883 mm (74.1 in) wide, and 1,680 mm (66.1 in) high. Its wheelbase measures 2,710 mm (106.7 in) and has a curb weight of 3,735 lbs (1,694 kg).
Ford Motor Company has been producing and marketing the Ford Kuga since 2008. Currently, the model is in its third generation for the 2023 model year. An official unveiling of the European-spec Kuga is expected in the first half of 2023, with early models arriving in showrooms later that year.