Ford Kuga launches

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The new Ford Kuga has been launched and prior to taking it for a test week we’ve been for a short hour long spin in the new SUV.

The all new Kuga gets a sharper look, a sliding rear seat bench, better connectivity and for the first time a plug in petrol hybrid version.  This makes the Kuga ford’s most electrified model to date. Titanium, Kuga ST‑Line and Kuga Vignale are the grades offered. Under the bonnet the line-up includes: Kuga Plug-In Hybrid, Kuga EcoBlue Hybrid (petrol mild hybrid) and Kuga Hybrid (full hybrid) variants, alongside Ford’s 1.5‑litre EcoBlue diesel manual. Ford claims its advanced range of hybrid powertrains deliver best-in-class fuel efficiency with the range average improved by up to 28 per cent like-for-like compared with the outgoing model.

New safety systems include: BLIS Assist, new Intersection Assist 1.0. Also Kuga has Speed Sign Recognition and Lane Centring technologies. Predictive curve light and sign-based light help drivers see the road ahead in the dark. Head-up display technology and Active Park Assist 2 enables fully automated parking manoeuvres at the push of a button.

Kuga is Ford’s best-selling SUV in Europe and the No. 3 best-selling Ford vehicle in the region after the Fiesta and Focus.

We drove the PHEV and were impressed by its ‘Fordness” – it felt good and solid on the road and with selectable EV/Hybrid modes the car worked really well in an urban environment. We’ll tell you more when we test it fully.

“The all-new Kuga is our best example yet of Ford’s human-centric design approach; developed in close collaboration with SUV customers to deliver distinctive style, unprecedented powertrain choice, premium comfort and advanced technologies that make life easier for owners inside and outside of the car,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.

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Michael Sheridan

Michael is Motorhub's Editor. Well known from TV and radio, Michael has been writing, presenting and judging cars since the mid 90's. He is a renowned Producer/Director and documentary film maker. Dozens of credits include: The Whole Way Round (Gay Byrne), The Shamrock Run (Alan Shortt), The Viking Run (Clodagh McKenna) and The Irish 66ers (David Mitchell) and The Climb for Kids (Colin Farrell). Print credits include: the RTE Guide (motoring editor 1999-2003), many national daily papers and Sundays including The Irish Times (freelance) plus other magazines. National radio credits include multiple at RTE Gerry Ryan show, the Mooney Show, The Dave Fanning Show, Drivetime etc. TV credits as a motoring expert include RTE's flagship current affairs show Primetime and TV3's Ireland AM. Michael also presented RTE's car show Drive! in the late 90s and directed some items in MPH2 on TG4. Michael contributes weekly on motoring issues to The Last Word show with Matt Cooper on Today FM. Michael has represented Ireland's motoring journalists in Motorsport at the International Mazda MX-5 endurance race series in Italy and the Arctic Ice Race. He has been a Car of the Year Judge for 20 years, more recently a judge for Van of the Year. Michael is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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