2019 Ford Kuga unveiled: mild, full and plug-in hybrids

2019 Ford Kuga unveiled: mild, full and plug-in hybrids

While Ford has seen fit to abandon its sedans and hatchbacks – at least in the United States – it’s been churning out SUVs at an unabated pace. Just three months after the Blue Oval introduced the all-new Explorer, the company has now unveiled the third generation of its midsize Kuga (known as the Escape in North America), with a whole host of new technologies and powertrains.

The new Kuga is the first SUV to ride on Ford’s new global C2 architecture, enabling a weight saving of up to 90 kg model for model whilst delivering greater interior space, improved crash performance, more efficient aerodynamics and a 10% increase in torsional rigidity.

With the new platform comes a new, more sculptural design language with simplified surfacing, taking a lot of inspiration from its sibling, the Focus. The longer wheelbase and bonnet, fast rear windscreen rake and lower roofline provide a more streamlined look, while the trapezoidal headlights and grille are part of Ford’s latest corporate identity. The tail lights are broader and feature L-shaped graphics.

As with the Focus and Fiesta, the European-market Kuga is now available in luxurious Vignale and sporty ST-Line variants. The former adds unique front and rear bumpers with a chrome mesh front grille and twin tailpipes, paired with satin aluminium accents on the roof rails, bumpers and side sill inserts. Inside, you’ll find Windsor quilted leather seats, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel and premium velour floor mats.

2019 Ford Kuga unveiled: mild, full and plug-in hybrids

The ST-Line, meanwhile, gains body-coloured cladding and a more aggressive front bumper with a black grille and triple downturned air intakes. At the rear, there’s a larger tailgate spoiler and a diffuser with gloss black highlights. Dark headlining, exclusive seat designs with contrasting red stitching, alloy pedals, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and ST-Line floor mats and scuff plates are thrown in.

The interior has been lifted almost wholesale from the Focus, with a horizontal dashboard design and a high-mounted eight-inch freestanding touchscreen. The latter is linked to Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, along with FordPass Connect that adds live traffic info, remote control of various features via a smartphone app and turns the car into a WiFi hotspot for up to 10 devices.

Elsewhere, the new 12.3-inch instrument display is claimed to be the first to use what Ford calls free-form technology, allowing it to be shaped differently from the usual rectangle. Other new features include Qi wireless smartphone charging, a head-up display, a 10-speaker, 575-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system and active noise cancellation.

Measuring 44 mm wider and 89 mm longer, with a 20 mm longer wheelbase, the Kuga gains 43 mm in shoulder room and 57 mm in hip room in front (20 mm and 36 mm respectively at the rear); despite being 20 mm lower, it also has 13 mm more headroom in front and 35 mm more at the back. The rear seats slide fore and aft to provide either a class-leading 1,035 mm of rear legroom or an additional 67 litres of boot space.

2019 Ford Kuga unveiled: mild, full and plug-in hybrids

Speaking of which, the boot can be accessed via a handsfree opening tailgate and features a remote release for the folding rear seats and a reversible floor mat to prevent wet or muddy items from soiling the interior.

Safety-wise, the Kuga is available with the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assists, including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring, and the new, combined Lane-Keeping System with Blind Spot Assist.

Also fitted are Evasive Steering Assist, Lane-Keeping Aid and Wrong Way Alert, plus adaptive headlights with auto high beam and a new Post-Collision Braking that applies moderate brake pressure after an accident to reduce injuries and further damage from a potential second collision. Active Park Assist 2 for parallel and perpendicular parking is also available.

Ford claims that the new Kuga is its most electrified product yet, with no less than three hybrid offerings. European and North American markets will share the parallel and plug-in hybrid versions, both utilising a 2.5 litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine. The former adds an electric motor, a generator and a lithium-ion battery to deliver a total system output of 201 PS and a fuel consumption figure of 5.6 litres per 100 km.

2019 Ford Kuga unveiled: mild, full and plug-in hybrids

The PHEV, meanwhile, packs a larger 14.4 kWh battery for a total of 225 PS and a targeted pure-electric range of over 50 km, plus an expected fuel consumption of just 1.2 litres per 100 km. Europe also gets a 48-volt mild hybrid variant that pairs the 150 PS version of Ford’s new 2.0 litre EcoBlue single-turbo diesel (the same one you’ll find on the Ranger) with a belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG) to deliver a fuel consumption figure of 5.0 litres per 100 km.

This EcoBlue oil burner is also available without the mild hybrid system, making 190 PS and delivering an anticipated 5.7 litres per 100 km in fuel consumption. A smaller 1.5 litre diesel produces 120 PS and allows for a fuel consumption figure of 4.8 litres per 100 km.

On the petrol side, there’s the 1.5 litre EcoBoost turbocharged three-cylinder with cylinder deactivation and either 120 PS or 150 PS in Europe and 182 PS in America. The latter also gets a 2.0 litre four-cylinder producing 253 PS. Regular and mild hybrid versions get an eight-speed automatic gearbox, with Europe also receiving the option of a six-speed manual. All-wheel drive is also offered as an option.

GALLERY: 2019 Ford Kuga (European market)


GALLERY: 2020 Ford Escape (US market)

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.

 

Comments

  • The old gen Ford Kuga masculine af, took too many female hormon jabs. Ford Pusikat SUV

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
    • Fordist on Apr 03, 2019 at 3:49 pm

      Except for the pickups, SUVs, and Mustang, the rest of the model range looks too bland.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • YB Kunta Kinte on Apr 03, 2019 at 8:24 pm

      Ford cars are so low in quality. To be honest, although I hantam Proton X70 a lot, I rather get the Proton X70 than a Ford Kuga

      Ford cars non stop breakdown and give problem after problem.

      I take the Proton X70 anytime

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8
      • Fordist on Apr 04, 2019 at 9:52 am

        You can take that fake news and shove it up the rear. Ford cars are reliable but many owners skipped vital servicing due to lack of service centers. When it breaks down due to no maintenance, they gripped on the car itself and not their own fault for skipping maintenance. The current worldwide Fords are no longer based on Korean models, now they are global models. So reliability are in no doubts.
        Stop this fake news when you never owned a Ford.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  • James on Apr 03, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Geely Boyue nicer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
  • seancorr (Member) on Apr 03, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Dunno what Ford Malaysia thinking now. Looks like they only want to sell the Ranger and nothing else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • Not just Ford Malaysia but Ford USA. Malaysia branch just following the direction from head office.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • lee han on Apr 04, 2019 at 7:58 am

      because all the kuga and car got problem…try go n see at their workshop….semua tersadai…even my kuga in workshop almost 4 months…without any replacement car….got to pay all parts and services some more….gaduh2 pn still they dont want to cover…HQ also not helping…please dont buy this crap car!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10
  • Wilson on Apr 03, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    LOL…China is way better than US in making cars now.
    Im not only saying the X70/Boyue, look at the lynk & co, BYD Tang and others.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
  • Slumber on Apr 03, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Hmm….. Got CX-5 cue here and there

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • when Fiesta merge with Focus, it will look like a Kuga

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Malcolm Edwards on Dec 12, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    in my experience over 32 years as a ford owner (many models all from new) IU have never had a breakdown and service has been good and reasonable. I presently own an SMax Vignale and am thinking of moving on to a Kuga. Long live Fords.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Malcolm Edwards on Dec 12, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    in my experience over 32 years as a ford owner (many models all from new) I have never had a breakdown and service has been good and reasonable. I presently own an SMax Vignale and am thinking of moving on to a Kuga. Long live Fords.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Raqunathan on May 29, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    Why in Malaysia don’t hve new facelift ford kuga I’m interested to try new model

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
 

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