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Ford Kuga (TE Kuga)

TE Kuga

Make: Ford

Model: Kuga

Released: Jan 1970

Discontinued: Apr 2013

Ford logo1 Mar 2012

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

A late and short-lived modern entry to Australia's booming compact SUV market came in the shape of Ford's Kuga, introduced just before its successor was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva motor show.

Still, the Kuga remained well regarded in its European domestic market, where it sold so well that Ford Australia had to wait almost four years until it could get its hands on limited supplies, and then only the top two variants were available with the flagship five-cylinder turbo-petrol engine.

Sold here in well-equipped Trend and Titanium specification, the Kuga came standard with keyless start, cruise control, air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, voice activation, multi-function steering wheel, an eight-speaker sound system with MP3-compatible CD player and USB/iPod auxiliary inputs.

The Trend variant rode on 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and manually-adjustable, cloth-trimmed front seats.

Titanium flagship models upgraded to 18-inch wheels and a leather interior with six-way electric adjustment for the driver's seat, extra adjustability for the front passenger seat and heating for both. Rear passengers gained flip-down tray tables plus a central armrest with internal storage and integrated cup-holders.

A heated front windscreen, panoramic glass roof and rear privacy glass were also added, along with dual-zone climate-control, automatic headlights and wipers, reversing sensors, a set of floor mats and stainless steel front scuff plates.

A five-star ANCAP safety rating was catered for with safety equipment including six airbags, electronic stability control with roll-over mitigation, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, emergency brake assist and automatic hazard light activation, and front fog lights.

The 147kW/320Nm 2.5-litre turbo-petrol engine – a slightly de-tuned version of the one used in Ford's Focus XR5 hot hatch – could haul the 1653kg Kuga to 100km/h in 8.8 seconds and consumed 10.3 litres of 95 RON premium unleaded per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

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