With modernization Ford Kuga received luxury and sports versions
At first glance, the mid-range Ford Kuga intended for test driving, along with the usual front end changes and bumpers typical of such updates, impresses with a special version with sophisticated styling, bearing the logo of the once famous body company Vignale.
A radiator grille with a fine mesh instead of horizontal ribs, special bumpers and side skirts, and inside - a luxurious steering wheel and full leather upholstery mark this version as the highest level of equipment and at the same time a declaration of heightened claims and ambitions in positioning Ford as a "world SUV".
Following the strategy of unification of their models, the employees of the concern released the main models Kuga II and Escape III in 2012, which, although with different engines, compete for customers in markets around the world. In this regard, they are following the fate of the Focus platform donor, which in recent years has become the best-selling model on the planet.
The next step in unification is seen in inline gasoline engines. In fact, only one engine is available - the 1,5-liter EcoBoost, but with three power levels: 120, 150 and 182 hp. But for diesels, the 1,5-liter monopoly is now broken by the 120 hp 270-liter TDCi. and XNUMX Nm of maximum torque. Traction is sufficient given the fact that this unit is only available with front-wheel drive and is not expected to perform off-road feats and towing heavy trailers.
However, if this is exactly your intention, it might be better to pay an additional 1200 USD. for a two-liter diesel version with a capacity of 150 hp and 370 Nm. Apart from improved dynamic performance and increased traction, this amount will give you a choice that no other version offers.
Only the 2.0 TDCi can be ordered with both front and dual transmissions ($ 4100 surcharge), six-speed manual transmission, or Powershift dual-clutch transmission ($ 2000).
Otherwise, the two weaker petrol engines and the 1,5-liter diesel are currently only available in Europe with front-wheel drive and manual transmission, and the most powerful EcoBoost with 182 hp. - only with double transmission and automatic with torque converter; 2.0 TDCi 180 hp - only with double gear.
The interaction with the Focus has brought the Kuga very good handling, stable cornering behavior without unnecessary shaking, and when combined with some of the accessories, it is a source of driving pleasure. In a test drive on a snow-covered road at the foot of Pirin, a diesel version with a capacity of 150 hp showed adequate behavior in winter conditions, the dual transmission did not allow to feel the lack of traction, and in the spacious cabin the heating created pleasant coziness and comfort.
Good dynamics and controllability were inherent in the model before the modernization, so it is worth focusing on the innovations. They are mainly associated with driver assistants and multimedia and communication systems.
The semi-automatic parking system now also includes perpendicular parking. When reversing out of a parking lot, a radar-based system warns of traffic on both sides of the vehicle. The adaptive cruise control already warns of the danger of a collision with the front vehicle.
The Active City Stop system for emergency braking in urban conditions now works up to 50 km / h instead of 30 km / h. Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition are available.
The next generation Ford SYNC 3 Connectivity System allows drivers to control the audio system, navigation and smartphone with simple voice commands. In developing SYNC 3, experts used information from 22 user comments and other research to tailor it to customer needs.
Now, simply by pressing a button and saying, for example, “I need coffee,” “I need gas,” or “I need to park,” the driver can get information and directions to the nearest cafes, gas stations or parking lots.
The SYNC 3's eight-inch screen can sense gestures, and via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, users can access apps such as Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play in the car in a convenient and safe way.
The sports version of the STLine, which is priced higher by $ 4000, includes dedicated suspension, keyless entry, active parking assist, 18-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and partially leather upholstery, and a number of design elements.
The top-of-the-line Vignale, which costs BGN 13 more than the Titanium, enhances the car with some STLine options, as well as an infotainment system with an 800-inch screen and nine speakers, bi-xenon headlights, Windsor leather upholstery, heated seats and a special design package.
In fact, excluding equipment options, the price of the car has practically not increased since the upgrade. The base petrol and diesel front-wheel drive versions are priced at $ 23 and $ 25, respectively, making the spacious and extremely fun-to-drive Kuga well positioned in the compact SUV segment.
The redesigned Ford Kuga retains the positive aspects of the model and brings the support and connectivity systems in line with the latest advances. The Vignale variant combines good road dynamics with a more sophisticated design. However, fuel consumption could be less.