The new 2013 Ford Kuga will certainly have brought massive sighs of alleviation at the auto manufacturer’s regional HQ in Broadmeadows, Victoria.
Ford Australia has actually been uncompetitive for many years in the ever-growing mid-sized SUV section– for the majority with the ageing and slow-selling Escape, then from 2012 just a single, overly costly version of the previous Ford Kuga.
The second-generation 2013 Ford Kuga is basically assured to end up being a much more considerable gamer against a remarkable collection of famous and prominent nameplates such as the Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail.
A $27,990 sticker for the entry-level Kuga Ambiente (over) is a good beginning factor, as is a prominent integrated advertising area on TV’s The Voice and some headline products of innovation.
For the last, we’ll kick off– essentially– with an automatic tailgate that opens up and shuts if you flick your leg below the back bumper.
It could sound like a trick, but it’s undoubtedly beneficial for any kind of owner (with the keyfob on their individual) who is approaching their Kuga with both hands active holding bags or various other products.
At launch, nonetheless, only the range-topping Ford Kuga Titanium– valued from $44,990– is provided with the technology that uses two sensing units underneath the rear bumper to find a kicking leg (and not animals running underneath).
It’s not offered even as a choice on the entry-level automobile or the mid-trim Kuga Trend– from $36,240– though Ford Australia claims it is keen to alter that.
A rear-view camera and parallel parking aid modern technology are various other innovation only discovered on the 2013 Ford Kuga Titanium.
All Kugas, however, come with a system that could utilize your Bluetooth-paired mobile phone to immediately dial 000 and give GPS co-ordinates for emergency situation solutions in the event of a mishap.
You could read more details regarding the Ford Kuga rates and specifications in our different write-up, though normally the SUV is well geared up throughout the array– with each greater trim level validating its added premium.
The flagship Ford Kuga Titanium, for instance, costs $8500 greater than the equivalent Trend however mixes in popular products consists of 19-inch alloy wheels, breathtaking sunroof, LED daytime running lights, front and rear sensing units, car fronts lights, heated front seats, a 5-inch color display, and picnic tables affixed to the front seatbacks.
The Titanium we examined was also further overflowed with a $2650 Technology Pack including active trip extermination, blind spot/lane keeping/lane separation alerting systems, automobile higher beam, and a motorist alert system that keeps an eye on for sleepiness.
Lots of gear, however, could cause a heavy car, and the new Ford Kuga shows up as one of the heaviest in the course.
Evaluating 1550kg in front-wheel-drive manual-only Kuga Ambiente trim, mass rises to 1652-1662kg for the all-wheel-drive auto-only fuel Kuga Trend and Titanium. All 3 spec degrees get a 1.6-litre turbocharged petroleum ‘EcoBoost’ engine, creating 110kW as a manual, 134kW as an automobile, and 240Nm in both states of tune. Yet that mass has a detrimental result on the Kuga– particularly in the AWD designs which most obviously really feel hefty and counter their additional energy.
The six-speed torque converter car is the primary culprit, even if there are reducing circumstances with just what is perhaps inadequate torque for an automobile of this weight.
Upshifts are smooth on light throttle application, kickdown response is tardy and the auto is as well busy– eager to find a higher equipment simply when it needs to hold it or also downshift.
Concerns improve little with the Sport method that intends to hold gears longer, while the thumb button hand-operated change buttons on the side of the lever are much from perfect ergonomically.
Ford points out a fix for the fuel’s automobile gradation is in spot, and should be used in time for Kugas coming on later shipments in the second fifty percent of 2013.
The upshot is a Ford Kuga that doesn’t feel specifically fast, a seat-of-the-pants feeling that was assisted by a timed 0-100km / h run in a Trend AWD that took 12 secs. (Ford does not give performance data.).
In-gear feedback was likewise leisurely, with 80-120km / h taped at 8.6 secs.
It also does some to address the fuel effectiveness problem of the previous Kuga’s bigger, 2.5-litre turbo. Our travel computer system in a Titanium EcoBoost read through as high as 14.2 litres of fee unleaded per 100km prior to settling at 13.7 L/100km after a long stint that involved some push-on driving however mostly a mix of speeds and urban/suburban roads where the vehicle would typically invest most of its time.
For a costly, $3000 premium on the Trend and Titanium models, a far more easy drive is given by the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel that has less power (120kW) yet most importantly an extra 100Nm of torque (340Nm). It’s quickly enough to conquer the even heavier 1731-1738kg curb weight.
It gels perfectly with a six-speed car that for the diesel is a dual-clutch device as opposed to a torque converter plan. Changes are quicker, much more instinctive and more invisible than the restless automobile of the petrol.
We invested less time with the diesel Ford Kuga Titanium, a getaway pc readout average of 6.4 L/100km on a country/suburb/city stint gave a sturdy sign of better genuine world gas cost savings over the petrol.
Formally, there’s a 1.6 L/100km distinction over 100km for the integrated fuel usage amounts of the fuel (8.0 L/100km) and diesel (6.4 L/100km) Titaniums.
A consistent string throughout the Ford Kuga assortment is great steering and tight body control that is the most effective opposition we’ve attempted recently for the standard Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan.
The most nimble handling comes in the most effective gas model– the front-drive Ambiente with six-speed guide that’s not together the lightest of all Kugas. The more you rise the array the a lot more the weight and larger, grippier tyres combine to water down the fun.
The Ford Kuga drives just like a taller-riding version of the Focus– the little car with which it shares its system.
That consists of a car-like driving placement that is backed by very comfortable seats.
The cockpit might feel a bit on the close side for drivers taller compared to six feet, though passengers of similar height will certainly find good legroom in the back seat (a location much boosted from prior to). Headroom is additionally numerous in the Ambiente and Trend designs, however is clearly reduced in the Titanium that features a typical sunroof.
Ford’s base model 2013 Kuga misses out on rear air vents, though.
Open up the Kuga’s tailgate– a selection of 4 means: the kick, keyfob, dash panel button or latch– and there’s 406 litres of boot space that has to do with average for the class.
It’s not particularly vast but high rear seatbacks permit a nice payload elevation and there’s additionally a usefully low filling lip (aided by a short-term spare wheel).
There’s an absence of brilliant thinking for the cargo location, nonetheless. Unlike opponents such as the CX-5, CR-V … there aren’t any levers in the boot to automatically lower the back seatbacks.
Neither exist release levers on top of the seatbacks so you cannot fold up down the back seats from the boot– you need to open the back doors and draw a lever there instead.
The Kuga likewise asks you to by hand lift the back cargo floor part and area it onto a ledge below the (now folded) rear seatbacks to develop a flat cargo part as much as the front seatbacks.
Storage options are good throughout the cabin, consisting of plenty of areas for coffee cups or water bottles.
Just like the Focus, the dashboard layout of the Kuga depends upon design. The base model acquires the Nokia-phone-inspired center stack first seen in the Fiesta city auto, with the Trend and Titanium acquiring a much more exceptional, gloss-black treatment with (strong-sounding) Sony sound.
The higher-spec infotainment control panel is much less user-friendly, though, with the huge selection of little buttons taking plenty of familiarisation.
The Ford Kuga beings smarter with its Sync system that permits dwellers to make use of just their voice to make telephone call or choose popular music.
A broader option of variations additionally makes the new design a smarter buy compared to its predecessor, though there are concessions throughout the array.
The front-wheel-drive Kuga is the most engaging to steer however isn’t available with an automatic. The Trend and Titanium gasolines obtain a much more effective engine, much more attractive touch and functions line-up yet are obstructed by an improperly calibrated automobile.
Turbo diesel variations offer better real-world performance and gas effectiveness, yet ask a minimum of $39,990.
Whichever Ford Kuga design you choose, though, you will certainly discover an SUV that’s at the end when it pertains to accomplished driving potential.