2020 Ford Kuga SUV: price, specs and release date
New family SUV offers frugal hybrid options and a high-tech interior...
On sale: Early 2020 | Price from: £24,000 (est)
The new Ford Kuga will arrive next year with plug-in, hybrid and mild hybrid options, plus conventional petrol and diesel offerings.
As a result, Ford should beat many rivals to get these hybrid options on sale in its family SUV, as it bids to attract new customers eager to adopt new electrified technology and win sales from the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.
2020 Ford Kuga engines
The plug-in hybrid delivers particularly eye-catching fuel economy and emissions figures, although no pricing has been revealed. Powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, it can cover up to 34 miles on electric power alone, giving it an official combined economy figure of 235.4mpg and a CO2 output of 29g/km on the old NEDC tests. It’s worth noting, however, that since those tests are outdated you won’t see fuel economy that impressive in real-world conditions.
Buyers will also be able to choose a self-charging hybrid, which doesn’t need plugging in and uses technology similar to the Toyota Prius’s hybrid system. It links the 2.5-litre petrol engine to an electric motor to deliver 50.4mpg and 130g/km.
The final hybrid model – a so-called mild hybrid, which also doesn’t need to be plugged in – uses 48V electric technology to lightly boost the efficiency of the car’s 2.0-litre diesel engine to deliver 56.5mpg and 132g/km of CO2.
Conventional 1.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel variants will also be available, linked to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. Two and four-wheel drive options are available, delivering a range of economy figures from 36-50mpg.
2020 Ford Kuga styling
Ford designers have heavily restyled the new Kuga over the outgoing model, giving it a far less boxy look despite it being more spacious and practical inside.
“When we started the project, we asked existing and potential customers what they wanted, and they gave us clear themes,” says George Saridakis, Ford’s director of exterior and interior design. “They wanted a larger, more practical car that allowed them to stand out. If they just wanted space, they’d buy a van; the message was to design a car that was a bit more outgoing in nature.
“You could say it’s a more feminine look. It’s called an SUV – but the clear message was that buyers don’t want to feel that they are buying a utility vehicle. They want something that looks a bit more sophisticated and desirable.”
Likewise, the interior is also influenced by the less cluttered designs of the latest Ford Fiesta and Focus models, with an emphasis on what Saridakis describes as “providing a far more calming, upmarket feel” to the car.
The sweeping dashboard is also notably more upright and set back than on previous-generation Ford models, opening up more passenger room and giving the interior a greater sense of spaciousness.
2020 Ford Kuga interior
The Kuga sits on the same underpinnings as the new Ford Focus, and is longer, wider and has a larger wheelbase than the outgoing car. That means it has more interior space and should have improved stability and handling.
Most notably, the new Kuga has more interior space than ever, including what Ford claims is class-leading space for rear seat passengers.
Thanks to its new, lighter underpinnings, passengers in both the front and rear of the new Kuga get more shoulder and hip room than before, while the seats also split and fold to increase boot capacity should you need it. We’ve sat in the front and rear of the car, and it does feel notably more spacious than some rivals.
Boot space is also good, despite the sloping roofline behind the rear passenger compartment. There is also more headroom, even though the new Kuga is 20mm lower than the current model.
2020 Ford Kuga technology
Ford has long claimed to “democratise technology” by offering gadgetry to make life simpler and safety aids available to buyers as standard or at affordable prices.
Technology – some of it optional – that is new to this Kuga includes FordPass Connect, which can provide wi-fi connectivity for up to 10 devices, a head-up display, wireless charging for a phone, a system that automatically brakes the car if it drives forwards or backwards into crossing traffic and a self-parking system that can parallel park or drive into an end-on space at the push of a button. A hands-free boot opening system, which is operated by waving your foot under the rear bumper, is also available.
Ford is making considerable use of new radar and camera-guided systems, too. The car detects slower-moving and stationary vehicles, for instance, sending signals to allow the car to automatically steer around them to avoid a collision if necessary.
Other functions using the technology are lane-keeping assistance, which can nudge the steering to keep the car between white lines, plus side-angle cameras to aid front and rear visibility and Wrong Way Alert, which works with the sat-nav to warn if the car is being driven the wrong way down a road.
2020 Ford Kuga pricing
UK buyers will have four trim levels to choose from: entry-level Trend, high-end Titanium, sportily styled ST-Line and luxury-focused Vignale.
No official prices are available yet, but they are expected to start from around £24,000 – less than £1000 more than the current starting price, despite the significant uplift in standard kit.
However, most interest will centre on the pricing of the hybrid models, because buyers will have to weigh up whether the fuel and tax savings and potentially better residual values they offer will offset higher asking prices.
Until the new Kuga goes on sale, we won’t get an indication of potential Target Price savings, although the fact that Ford has announced this new model at least nine months ahead of it going on sale is likely to mean savings on the current car will increase in the interim. Don’t forget to check out our New Car Buying service for more details.
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