Meet the updated Ford Kuga, though, technically, you already knew what to expect, as the Blue Oval showed us the North American version of the SUV with the facelifted 2017 Escape in Los Angeles last year.
For its mid-life makeover, the Kuga gets a more masculine nose job that draws on the latest Ford Edge, with a large six-point grille, accompanied by a redesigned bumper and new bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights. At the back, Ford’s designer revamped the tail lamps and re-trimmed the bumper.
There’s also fresh range of 17-, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs, a new vibrant exterior shade named Copper Pulse, with Ford adding a retractable tow bar that automatically stores itself out of sight below the rear bumper when not in use, plus a hands-free tailgate.
The most visible change inside is the bigger 8-inch touchscreen for the new SYNC 3 infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality and which enables pinch and swipe gestures for the first time. Ford also replaced the conventional handbrake with an e-brake, while there’s a newly designed steering wheel optionally offered with heated leather, and fewer and “more easily distinguishable” buttons and switches across the dash.
A new 1.5-liter TDCi turbo diesel engine producing 120PS (118hp) joins the range in front-wheel drive only, offering a combined fuel economy of 64.2mpg UK (4.4 l/100km or 53.5mpg US) with CO2 emissions of 115g/km.
Also available are a 150PS (148hp) 2.0-liter TDCi diesel in both FWD and AWD versions, a 180PS (178hp) 2.0-liter TDCi diesel with Ford’s Intelligent All Wheel Drive, and a 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbo petrol in 120PS (118hp) and 150PS (148hp) with front-wheel drive, and a 182PS (180hp) version of the same unit with AWD.
Sales of the updated Kuga are expected to start in Europe in the fourth quarter of the year.