Ford’s all-new Kuga Facelift is for the trendy consumer

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 23, 2016

Ford Motor Company recently launched the all-new and advanced Kuga, boasting a stronger athletic appeal. Equipped with better technology and systems, the Kuga promises a better and safer driving experience at a reasonable cost. The new features include driver assistance technologies, Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system, 120PS 1.5-liter TDCi diesel engine, and an ergonomic interior.

Moreover, the new Kuga comes with Ford's Perpendicular Parking technology, which allows hands-free parking in spaces alongside other vehicles, Ford's Adaptive Front Lighting System, which provides improved visibility in low light, Hands-Free Tailgate system, Ford's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, and an enhanced Active City Stop collision avoidance technology. The new Ford Kuga is set to have its global premiere at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The launch of the vehicle, together with the Ford Edge SUV, comes after unveiling a new EcoSport last year. Ford is boosting its lineup of SUV offerings as IHS, an industry sales analyst group, made a forecast that the SUV segment's sales will surge 27 percent in the Eurozone by the end of the decade. The Kuga and Edge are just two of Ford's five all-new vehicles that will be launched in the next three years under the SUV and crossover segments.

Kuga, which rolled out in the markets beginning 2008, led Ford's SUV expansion in the United Kingdom (UK). In 2015, full-year sales of the vehicle were up by 35.20 percent from the previous year, with a total of 32,936 units sold. Sales of the EcoSport also jumped last year with a total of 11,315 units sold, ranking fourth among other small SUVs. In the UK, Ford predicts sales in the SUV segment to triple this year from 2013.

Ford SYNC 3 Technology

The Ford SYNC 3 allows drivers to control audio, climate, and navigation functions. The new infotainment system also comes with smartphone connectivity, allowing voice command features. To ensure that the new technology is highly user-friendly and up to date, Ford has sought help, relying on over 22,000 insights and feedback from surveys and research clinics. SYNC 3 promises reliable and simplified performance and even supports five more languages aside from English.

Voice command features allow you to locate the nearest parking spaces, hotels, gasoline stations, coffee shops, and many more. The eight-inch touchscreen of the SYNC 3 works like a smartphone. The new interface comes with larger buttons and all-new pinch and swipe gestures.

Furthermore, the Ford SYNC 3 is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, giving drivers ultimate access to the features of their smartphones to enhance the overall driving experience. The software can also be updated seamlessly over-the-air with the improved WiFi connectivity. The SYNC 3 also provides SYNC AppLink to enable voice-activation with a number of mobile apps including HearMeOut, MyBoxMan, AccuWeather, Los 40 Principales, and Cadena Ser.

Ford Europe's Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering Chief Engineer Christof Kellerwessel said that the SYNC 3 was made to improve day-to-day living with strong connectivity while people are on the go. The Ford SYNC 3 was specifically designed to complement smartphones, making the whole experience more convenient and comfortable. Parking Assist Features Parking is made easier with the Kuga's new and innovative parking assist technologies.

The Perpendicular Parking technology improves the semi-autonomous Active Park Assist, as suggested by nearly half of Kuga buyers last year. The technology is equipped with a number of new ultrasonic sensors, allowing drivers to find parking spaces beside other vehicles and even those parallel to the road. The Perpendicular Parking system then steers the vehicle into the parking space automatically while the driver is in charge of the accelerator and the brake.

Additional sensors include Cross Traffic Alert and Park-Out Assist. The former gives drivers warning about a car that may cross behind when reversing out of a parking space. It provides three warning signals if it detects an approaching car from either side. Its radar operates up to a range of 40 m or 131 ft. The Park-Out Assist, on the other hand, makes exiting a parallel parking space easier. Once the driver has decided which side to exit, the Park-Out Assist system steers the vehicle automatically while the driver works on the accelerator and the brake.

The Ford Kuga is also designed with Ford's Active City Stop collision avoidance system, which can operate at a top speed of 31 mph, well above the previous 19 mph. The system is built with sensors located at the front to detect obstacles ahead, pre-charging the brakes if the car is approaching a stationary object too quickly.

If the driver does not respond to the alert, the Active City Stop functionality minimizes the torque and automatically operates the brake system, reducing or avoiding collision impacts.

Meanwhile, the new generation of the Ford MyKey, which is specifically designed for younger users, allows drivers to program a specific key that inhibits incoming phone calls, prevents the deactivation of driver assistance and safety functionalities, limits top speed, minimizes the maximum volume of the audio, and disables the entire audio system if the passengers are not using seatbelts. The new MyKey technology comes with a variety of options in both speed limiter and speed minder settings.

Exterior Design

For a sportier and bolder appearance, the new Kuga comes with Ford's newest styling cues similar to those of the EcoSport and Edge. The Kuga features a large upper trapezoidal grille, a smaller lower grille, headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights, and stylish fog lamps.

Completing the exterior are the revamped taillights and a new set of 17-inch, 18-inch, and 19-inch alloy wheel designs.

Kuga comes in a number of vibrant finishes such as Luster Nickel and Copper Pulse. Enhancing the overall athletic appeal is the power-operated retractable tow bar that automatically stores below the rear bumper when not used.

Interior Design

The Kuga is built with more intuitive air conditioning and steering wheel controls as well as simplified switches and buttons, making the overall communication system easier to use. Furthermore, the steering wheel is made with heated leather to counter low temperatures.

New automatic models are also equipped with paddle-shift controls, allowing drivers to manually select gears while their hands remain on the wheel. Other key improvements on the Kuga include an electronic parking brake, larger center console storage space, and a door lock indicator.

The Hands-Free Tailgate, which was recommended by over 33% of Kuga buyers last year in Europe, can be opened or closed by simply using a kicking motion located under the rear bumper. It is a parent-friendly feature that provides convenient access to the boot.


Ford's Kuga is powered by a new 120PS 1.5-liter TDCi diesel engine with a front-wheel drive feature. Producing just the same power, the new engine offers a 5% fuel efficiency improvement to 64.20 mph and 115 g/km carbon emissions.

Kuga will also be available with a 150PS 2.0-liter TDCi diesel engine in front-wheel drive and Ford Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, which boasts a fuel economy rating of 60.10 mpg and 122 g/km emissions; and a 180PS Ford Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, which achieves 54.30 mpg and 135 g/km carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, the 1.5-liter EcoBoost petrol engine is available in either 120PS or 150PS front-wheel drive versions, returning 45.60 mpg and 143 g/km CO2; and in 182PS Ford Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, delivering 38.20 mpg and 171 g/km emissions.

Press Release


Ford Motor Company today revealed the new Kuga, offering customers a more technologically advanced, refined and sportier redesign of one of Europe’s favourite sport utility vehicles.

The sophisticated new Kuga will offer technologies and updates to make driving simpler, safer, more enjoyable and more affordable. These include Ford’s new SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, innovative driver assistance technologies, an ergonomic and comfortable interior and a new 120PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine.

The bold and sporty new Kuga debuts at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The new Kuga also will offer Ford’s Perpendicular Parking technology that helps drivers park hands‑free in spaces alongside other cars; an enhanced version of the Active City Stop collision avoidance system; and Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System for optimised visibility in low light. Further sophisticated technologies include Hands-Free Tailgate and Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive.

“New Kuga offers cutting-edge new features and technologies that will help drivers stay connected, comfortable, safe and stylish on the road,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “The sophisticated redesign has given Kuga a fresh and modern feel, while SYNC 3 enables drivers to communicate with their vehicle and connected devices in seamless ways that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago.”

Ford is launching the new Kuga and the larger Edge SUV this year, after introducing an updated EcoSport last year. Ford is bolstering its SUV line-up just as it has been predicted by industry sales analyst IHS that sales in the SUV segment are poised to increase to 27 per cent of all vehicle sales in Europe by 2020.

New Kuga and the Edge are among five all-new or redesigned Ford vehicles that will compete in the SUV and crossover space in the next three years.

Kuga spearheaded the company’s SUV expansion in the UK after first going on sale in 2008. 2015 sales for the full year were 32,936, up 35.2 per cent, compared with 2014. EcoSport sales also grew to 11,315 in 2015, securing 4th position in the small SUV segment. Ford expects SUV sales to treble in the UK in 2016 compared with 2013.

“Ford is delivering a European SUV line-up that offers the stylish design, car‑like dynamics, and sophisticated technologies that consumers desire,” Bakaj said. “Demand for SUVs is stronger than ever, and Ford is expanding its range to offer everything from rugged models with true go‑anywhere ability to sporty models designed to suit urban lifestyles.”


The new Ford Kuga will allow drivers to control audio, navigation, and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple, more conversational voice commands, with Ford’s new SYNC 3 connectivity system*. Ford has drawn on more than 22,000 comments, and insights gained from research clinics and surveys to ensure the new version is the most customer‑centric system to date.

SYNC 3 delivers faster performance, simplified commands, and supports five additional languages.** Simply by pushing a button and saying “I need a coffee,” “I need petrol,” and “I need to park,” drivers can locate nearby cafés, petrol stations or car parks, and find train stations, airports, and hotels.

Kuga drivers can operate SYNC 3’s 8-inch touchscreen in the same way that they use their smartphones. A new interface features larger, easier to operate buttons and enables pinch and swipe gestures for the first time.

iPhone users can activate Apple CarPlay, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car allowing drivers to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimised for traffic conditions, and more while they stay focused on the road. Android™ users can activate Android Auto™. Android Auto makes apps and services that drivers already know and love, accessible in safer and seamless ways including Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play. Software can be updated over-the-air via Wi-Fi.

SYNC 3 also delivers SYNC AppLink for customers, enabling voice-activation from the driver’s seat of a range of smartphone apps that for the first time now includes MyBoxMan,HearMeOut, AccuWeather, Cadena Ser and Los 40 Principales.

“Whether you are craving your morning cappuccino on your daily commute or covering the cost of a journey by transporting a package, SYNC 3 brings to life innovative new ways of staying connected on the move,” said Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer, Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering, Ford of Europe. “Designed to complement modern smartphones, with an intuitive 8-inch touch screen, SYNC 3 understands more natural speech, is faster, and offers an easier-to-read graphical interface.”

Sophisticated technology for simpler parking

The new Ford Kuga will make driving and parking simpler for customers, using sophisticated Ford driver assistance technologies. New Perpendicular Parking functionality enhances the semi-autonomous Active Park Assist technology specified by almost half of Kuga customers last year. Using additional ultrasonic sensors, Perpendicular Parking at the push of a button enables drivers to locate parking spaces alongside other cars as well as parallel to the road, and steers the vehicle into them while the driver controls the accelerator and brake.

Additional sensors enable technologies that also help Kuga drivers as they manoeuvre out of parking spaces:

Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them. Operating with radar at a range of up to 40 metres (131 feet), the system issues three warning signals if it detects a vehicle approaching from either side
Park-Out Assist helps drivers as they exit a parallel parking space. After the driver has chosen either the left or right hand side the system operates the steering while the driver operates the accelerator and brake
New Kuga offers an enhanced version of Ford’s Active City Stop collision avoidance system, which now operates at speeds of up to 31mph, increased from 19mph. Active City Stop uses sensors at the front of the vehicle to look for stationary objects in the road ahead and pre-charges the brakes if the vehicle is approaching an object too quickly. If the driver still does not respond the system reduces engine torque and automatically applies the brakes to reduce the impact of collisions, or avoid them altogether.

The latest generation Ford MyKey technology allows new Kuga owners to programme a key for younger drivers that can inhibit incoming phone calls; restrict top speed; prevent deactivation of driver assistance and safety features; reduce audio system maximum volume, and disable the audio system altogether if occupants are not using safety belts. The enhanced MyKey system offers a greater number of choices in both the speed limiter and speed minder settings.

Stylish Kuga

The new Kuga features Ford’s latest design language for a bold and sporty look that is shared with the EcoSport compact SUV and all-new Edge large SUV. A large upper trapezoidal grille and a smaller lower grille are flanked by sleek new headlamps incorporating LED Daytime Running Lights and complemented by stylish fog lamps.

Restyled taillights complete the sporty look, while a new range of 17- 18- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs also will be available in variety of finishes including Luster Nickel. One new colour, the vibrant shade Copper Pulse, will be offered throughout the range. A power-operated retractable tow bar automatically stores itself out of sight below the rear bumper when not in use, to retain the new Kuga’s sporty looks.

The new Kuga’s meticulously crafted interior has been refined to offer a more ergonomic, stylish and comfortable experience for occupants.

The steering wheel and air-conditioning controls are even more intuitive, and feature fewer and more easily distinguishable buttons and switches, making the controls easier to recognise and navigate. The steering wheel is also offered with heated leather to improve comfort in cold weather, while all automatic new Kuga models will feature paddle-shift controls that enable drivers to manually select gears while keeping their hands on the wheel.

New convenience features make Kuga even more user-friendly; an electronic parking brake is effortless to operate and frees room for improved storage in the centre console, while a door lock indicator will tell drivers at a glance whether the doors are locked.

The New Kuga also offers Hands-Free Tailgate that can be opened or closed using a kicking motion beneath the rear bumper. The technology, which was specified by more than 1-in-3 Kuga customers in Europe last year, helps parents to easily access the boot when returning to their vehicle with shopping, pushchairs or toddlers.

Powerful and fuel-efficient engines

A new 120PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine is introduced, offered with front-wheel drive, Ford is targeting a fuel efficiency improvement for the new engine of about 5 per cent to 64.2mpg and 115g/km CO2*** while producing the same power.

Also available will be a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine with 150PS in front-wheel drive and Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive versions that achieve from 60.1mpg and 122g/km CO2; and a 180PS Intelligent All Wheel Drive version that delivers from 54.3mpg and 135g/km CO2.

Ford’s 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in 120PS or 150PS front-wheel drive form achieves 45.6mpg and 143g/km CO2; and a 182PS Intelligent All Wheel Drive version delivers from 38.2mpg and 171g/km CO2.

Enhanced visibility and safety

The latest Ford technologies and sophisticated body engineering help drivers see more clearly and enhance safety on the road for new Kuga occupants and other road users.

Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System is available for the first time on Kuga and monitors ambient light conditions and automatically optimises visibility by adjusting the beam angle of the new bi‑xenon headlights to one of seven settings depending on the vehicle’s speed, steering angle and distance to an object in front.

The new Kuga’s sculpted bonnet features a wider, uninterrupted central dome that not only serves to complement Kuga’s sporty new looks, but also incorporates a structural design that more closely controls deformability and flexibility of the bonnet, improving pedestrian protection in an accident. The bonnet and rear tailgate also have been re-engineered to help mitigate damage to more expensive-to-replace components following a collision.

New Kuga also offers advanced Ford technologies, including:

Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive, which adjusts the amount of torque sent to each wheel, optimising handling and traction especially in slippery conditions
Curve Control, which mitigates against loss of control should a driver enter a bend with too much speed
Torque Vectoring Control, which enhances the driving experience by applying a small amount of braking to inside wheels to assist traction and stability when cornering
“Sophisticated technologies like our Intelligent All Wheel Drive enhance safety and confidence for our customers,” Bakaj said. “Intelligent All Wheel Drive measures how the car’s wheels are gripping the road surface and can make adjustments in less than 20 milliseconds – 20 times quicker than it takes to blink.”

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