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Ford Kuga gets extra grunt and entry auto

People power: The new line-up of higher out-put and more efficient petrol EcoBoost engines follows feedback from customers who said they liked the dynamics of the Kuga but wanted more oomph.

Buyer feedback prompts more power and auto FWD variant for Ford Kuga

Ford logo22 Sep 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

IN RESPONSE to customer feedback, Ford will introduce more powerful and efficient EcoBoost petrol engines to its Kuga range next year, plus an automatic front-wheel drive variant.

The new engine line-up will see the 2015 petrol Kuga further increase its output and fuel efficiency superiority over entry-level versions of its compact SUV rival – the 2.0-litre Toyota RAV4, while a new 2.0-litre turbo variant will stay ahead of the 2.5-litre RAV4.

Ford Australia’s brand communications associate Martin Günsberg said the new line-up of petrol powertrains follows a response from buyers asking for more grunt and an entry variant with automatic transmission.

“Our Trend and Titanium customers were asking for a more powerful engine to complement the driving dynamics and premium feel of the Ford Kuga and the 176 kW EcoBoost certainly ups the stakes in terms of power output,” Mr Günsberg told GoAuto.

“We also had feedback from customers looking for the convenience of an SUV that didn’t necessarily need all the benefits of AWD. We’ve added a two-wheel drive automatic variant to the Ambiente Ford Kuga to better meet the needs of this customer.”

The Ambiente front-wheel drive manual entry variant will have its 110kW/240Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine swapped for a 1.5-litre turbo-four cylinder, which produces the same output, but cuts fuel use by 0.4 litres per 100km to 6.3L/100km.

The front-wheel drive Kuga will come with a six-speed automatic transmission for the first time too, powered by a 134kW/240Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder, which returns 7.0L/100km.

That same engine replaces the old 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder in the all-wheel drive petrol Ambiente and while there’s no change in output, fuel economy is reduced by 0.1L/100km to 7.6L/100km with the six-speed automatic transmission.

The top-of-the-range all-wheel-drive Trend and Titanium variants will get a 176kW/340Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine making 42kW and 100Nm more than the 1.6-litre unit it replaces. Fuel consumption is up by 0.6L/100km at 8.6L/100km with the six-speed auto.

The engine line-up will be available in the Kuga from January with pricing to be announced closer to the on-sale date.

The current Kuga line-up starts at $27,990, excluding on-road costs, for the petrol Ambiente front-wheel drive manual and tops out at $47,740 for the Titanium all-wheel drive diesel.

Ford Australia confirmed diesel variants of the Kuga will continue to be available.

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