Currently reading: New Ford Kuga brings big upgrades and lower price
Revised family SUV, priced from £32,080, gains efficiency and majors on towing credentials

The facelifted Ford Kuga will go on sale in the UK imminently, more than a year after it landed in the US as the latest Ford Escape.

The headline change is the introduction of Ford’s Sync4 infotainment system. As in the Ford Focus and Ford E-Transit, this uses a landscape-oriented 13.2in touchscreen and is said to offer double the computing power of the outgoing Sync3 system.

It offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

All physical climate controls except for the front-window demister have been moved to the touchscreen. In turn, the other physical controls that were situated on the Kuga’s centre console – for the driving modes, rear-view camera and 360deg camera – have been moved to sit alongside the demister button. In their place is a small storage cubby.

As well as the interior changes, the facelifted Kuga also gains a new four-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain. It makes the same 180bhp as the front-wheel-drive hybrid (down 7bhp on the old car) but cuts the 0-62mph sprint time by 0.8sec to 8.3sec.

Ford Kuga Active dashboard

The rest of the family SUV's engine line-up is otherwise intact, with small improvements to fuel economy and CO2 emissions. The entry-level 1.5-litre Ecoboost and the front-wheel-drive hybrid both yield an additional 2mpg compared with previously.

Ford has emphasised the Kuga’s towing performance, claiming it to have a best-in-class capacity of 2100kg (in four-wheel-drive hybrid and front-wheel-drive plug-in-hybrid guise). For reference, the new Volkswagen Tiguan can tow up to 2000kg, while the Kia Sportage can tow up to 1500kg.

New sat-nav functionality also allows drivers to enter the dimensions of their car and trailer, plotting a route that avoids tight turns and low bridges that could prove troublesome.

Ford Kuga Active towing


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Despite the industry trending towards increased prices, the new Kuga is actually marginally less expensive than before.

The entry-level Titanium model is priced from £32,080, which is £1300 less than previously.

A new Active trim joins the SUV's line-up, providing a more rugged look alongside the sportier ST-Line.

The range-topping Vignale has been axed.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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ianp55 17 January 2024

The Kuga never really been that much to shout about, basically it's an SUV version of the soon to be canned Focus and even with this mild refresh it's really starting to show it's age. It's sad to see the retreat of Ford from the European market place, in the past few years we've seen the cancellation  of the Ka+,Fiesta,Mondeo & Edge ranges only the EcoSport has been sort of replaced by the Puma. Not sure what's happening with the Tourneo Courier is the petrol version of that on sale? the electric version has been put back to the end of the year. As for the Explorer it's just a Ford body on a VAG platform and that has been delayed for a year for somewhat dubious reasons. The future doesn't look to rosy for the company in Europe will it go the same way as Vauxhall/Opel when GM flogged it to Stellantis or will they just shut down the whole manufacturing operation here.  

alfie4 17 January 2024
I seriously believe that Ford in Europe at least is f@*ked! As you've correctly stated, they've put all their eggs in one basket.
Focus following the Mondeo, Fiesta stage left this year. Only 2 real models to choose from (Puma & this dressed up turd) Mustang out of the reach and the common working "man"....
Nicely dressed up VW ID4 clone delayed until later this year but £40k +...
Certain loyalty in the UK will help them survive perhaps and the Yanks love of trucks but otherwise their screwed me thinks!
scrap 17 January 2024

If you tow regularly then an SUV makes sense. 

Of course, the vast majority will never do such a thing.