It looks kind of like a tank. A mean tank. Under the bonnet, there have been some changes too, with this model gaining stiffer suspension and damper rates aimed at reducing body roll, while the steering has been tuned and thicker anti-roll bars installed to give a much more planted and responsive drive. Extras that increase the kerb appeal of this car have been added such as the larger alloys, tinted lights, part leather sports seats and a 10mm ride height reduction and a black grille for extra measure.
There is quite a nice choice of ST-Line engines to fit the Kuga with entry level beginning with the 1.5 TDCi 119bhp diesel, claiming to achieve 64.2mpg and emitting 115g/km of CO2. As well as that there is a 1.5 EcoBoost petrol engine on offer and the usual 2.0 TDCi which has either 148bhp or 178bhp and a choice of front wheel-drive or Ford's intelligent AWD system. This clever system improves the vehicles safety credentials substantially along with the addition of an Adaptive Front Lighting system which reads the road ahead and monitors vehicles in front and adjusts the lights accordingly, so you can always see properly even when going round bends. As well as that there is torque vectoring, 'Curve Control', Cross Traffic Alert and Active City Stop auto braking. Now we don't know which of these features come as standard and which are options, so don't get your hopes up too high, but normally from Ford options aren't extortionate.
Prices for the car itself are quite reasonable too, starting from £25,845 here in the UK, which is sure to attract new buyers away from the likes of other popular SUVs such as the Nissan X-Trail and Kia Sportage. After thinking about where the new Kuga might sit in the marketplace, it became difficult to really find a place for it. It used to compete with the likes of Kia, Nissan and Hyundai, but now it's become more upmarket with higher quality build materials which ultimately put its price bracket above these manufacturers. I want to say it competes with Infiniti or Mazda now, but something still holds me back from that, it just doesn't seem to match their level of quality build inside and out. Maybe I'll be proved wrong. But what made them decide to create a Kuga ST-Line before they made a Kuga ST? It seems quite a sudden decision from Ford, as implementation of a new model range like this normally starts with the ST and works its way down through the variants to mix it up, but this time they've just jumped straight into the middle with this car and just plonked ST-Line engines in it, job done. It's difficult to really give a reason why because the Fiesta and Focus are the 1st and 3rd most popular cars in the country respectively, so there isn't a problem with sales.
Maybe they're predicting a new competitor or a more improved competitor coming to market in the near future? The MINI Countryman, possibly? Well Ford have introduced some quite clever things into this car, even if we're stuck about where to put it. One thing that looks quite obvious to me is that this car hasn't been rushed. Although it's been introduced the wrong way around, it's very thoughtful.
Without knowing if the features are standard or optional spec, it has the new Ford SYNC 3 infotainment system which provides a sleek, simplified interface enabling it to connect to Spotify, AccuWeather for the latest forecasts and even install updates by connecting to your home wifi. There is an 8" touchscreen with the pinch-to-zoom functionality along with having Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities which are all controlled by the new 'more conversational' voice commands. You can say things like 'I need petrol' and the nav will direct you to the nearest or most appropriate filling station. Simples.
So, this car is out this month for general sale and lease, if you'd like more information or want to make an enquiry, please call our team now on 01565 880880, or alternatively place an enquiry through the Ford Kuga ST-Line deal page on our site. To view our very best deals and Manager's Specials, click here. Headline image accredited to www.ford.co.uk and does not belong to All Car Leasing.