The new Ford Kuga is now on sale in Ireland
The new Ford Kuga is now on sale in Ireland

The new Ford Kuga 2020 model has arrived in Ireland. In this article we are going to take a closer look at what’s new for the latest generation of Ford’s popular family SUV. We will also share Irish market specific information such as pricing, engines and equipment.

The new Kuga continues the Ford brand’s journey towards electrification, and will feature a plug-in hybrid for the first time! An all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-e is expected in Ireland before the end of the year. While earlier in 2020, we had an opportunity to drive the new Ford Puma and experience the brand’s mild hybrid technology for the first time.

Ford is committed to offering an electrified version of every passenger vehicle it brings to market in Europe and will grow its range of electrified vehicles in Europe to 18 on sale before the end of 2021. The all-new Kuga is the first Ford vehicle to be offered with plug-in hybrid, mild hybrid and full hybrid powertrain technology.

Engines for the new Ford Kuga

Ford has developed a number of powertrains for the new Kuga including 3 hybrids – the Kuga EcoBlue mild hybrid, Kuga Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) and by the end of 2020, the Kuga Hybrid. The brand also fits the Kuga with 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engines, and the 1.5‑litre EcoBoost petrol engine. Transmissions include a six-speed manual and new eight-speed automatic.

At launch in Ireland, the range is based around the 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel with 120 hp and the new 2.5-litre petrol electric plug-in hybrid with 225 hp.

The Kuga PHEV can be plugged in and charged like an electric vehicle. On pure electric power it can be driven up to 56 km (WLTP) and CO2 emissions are from 32 g/km. Ford says it will take less than 6 hours to fully charge. Drivers can choose when and how to deploy battery power using EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge modes. When the battery reaches its lowest state-of-charge, the Kuga automatically reverts to EV Auto mode. This supplements petrol engine power with electric motor assistance to reduce fuel consumption.

Ford’s 1.5-litre EcoBlue engine quotes fuel efficiency from 5.1 l/100 km and CO2 emissions from 133 g/km (WLTP).

Inside the new Ford Kuga
Inside the new Ford Kuga

How much will it cost?

In Ireland the new Ford Kuga range kicks off from €33,358 for the Titanium model, from €35,985 for the ST-Line, from €38,321 for the ST-Line X and from €41,317 for the Vignale. Those prices are quoted for the 1.5-litre diesel model. The Kuga plug-in hybrid range starts from €35,433, including €7500 in grants and VRT relief.

What’s new for the 2020 Ford Kuga?

The new Kuga is based on Ford’s new global front-wheel drive vehicle architecture that is more aerodynamic for better fuel efficiency. Weight compared to the outgoing model has been reduced by up to 80 kg when comparing equivalent powertrain variants. Crash performance has also been improved and contributes to Kuga’s Euro NCAP 5-star safety rating. 10 per cent more torsional stiffness is said to improve driving dynamics.

Visually the car has a much sleeker and more sculpted appearance. The longer wheelbase creates a larger footprint on the road and improves ride and stability.

The Ford Kuga 2020 model is 44 mm wider and 89 mm longer than the outgoing model. Ford says that there is more shoulder room, hip room and headroom inside for front and rear seat passengers. This is despite an overall height that is 6 mm lower than the outgoing model. The second row of seats can be moved backwards to improve legroom or forwards to increase boot space (maximum 645 litres). A handsfree tailgate is also available.

The Kuga is available in four trim lines in Ireland
The Kuga is available in four trim lines in Ireland

New equipment for Ford Kuga 2020

For the first time, Kuga is offered with FordPass Connect modem technology. This allows customers to remotely control a selection of vehicle features from any location with a mobile data signal. Other modern technologies include a wireless charging pad and Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system supported by an 8‑inch central touchscreen. Ford’s impressive 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster also debuts for the first time in the Kuga, as does a head-up display.

Safety equipment includes a new BLIS Assist that combines Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Lane-Keeping Aid to monitor the driver’s blind spot for vehicles approaching from behind. Counter-steering is applied to warn the driver the control system senses a lane change or the driver signals one and there’s a car approaching in the blind spot. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane Centring helps the vehicle maintain a comfortable driving distance from vehicles ahead.

Kuga also offers for the first time selectable Drive Mode technology. Each mode adjusts throttle response, steering weight and traction control and gearshift timings for automatic models. Modes for Kuga include Normal, Sport, Eco, Slippery and Deep Snow/Sand.

What are my options?

Each of the trim lines will also have a ‘different’ character. Kuga Titanium is the entry model in Ireland and dubbed as the stylish one. Highlights include a sporty front skid plate and rear diffuser, body-coloured mirrors, side cladding and door handles, LED daytime running lights and standard 17-inch alloy wheels.

The Kuga ST-Line is the sporty one with styling inspired by Ford Performance models includes body-coloured bumpers and side skirts; and a grille, front skid plate, rear diffuser and roof rails finished in black. A large rear spoiler, standard 18‑inch and twin sports exhausts add to the sporty character. Inside there is a dark headliner, exclusive ST-Line seat designs with contrasting red stitching, alloy pedals, flat-bottomed steering wheel, and ST-Line floor mats and scuff plates.

The Kuga Vignale sits at the top of the range and has satin aluminium finishes for the roof rails, bumpers and rocker inserts, as well as unique, elegant front and rear bumper designs. The exterior also features signature Vignale chrome finished front mesh grille and twin tailpipes, alongside standard 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside there are leather seats with an exclusive Vignale hexagon design, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel and velour floor mats.

The new Kuga available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time
The new Kuga available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time