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Upgraded Ford Kuga diesel makes efficiency gains

Good oil: Ford offers diesel power in Kuga Trend and Titanium, but only with an automatic transmission.

Ford Kuga's upgraded diesel engine brings more power and torque, lower fuel use

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Ford logo24 Sep 2014

FORD'S Kuga compact SUV will get an upgraded diesel engine with more power and improved fuel economy when the 2015 model rolls into local dealerships in January next year.

The updated 2.0-litre Duratorq powertrain follows confirmation earlier this week that the Kuga would benefit from a suite of new, more efficient EcoBoost petrol engines and an automatic transmission option for the front-wheel drive Ambiente.

Ford's new diesel engine, which is available in all-wheel drive versions of the mid-spec Trend and range-topping Titanium matched only with an automatic transmission, gets a power upgrade from 120kW to 132kW, while torque is up by 60Nm from 340Nm to 400Nm.

The power output eclipses that of a number of direct rivals, including the 2.2-litre 110kW/340Nm Toyota RAV4, Honda's 2.2-litre 110kW/350Nm CR-V, Subaru's 2.0-litre 108kW/350Nm Forester and Mitsubishi's 2.2-litre 110kW/360kW Outlander.

While it beats the 129kW power output of the top-selling Mazda CX-5's 2.2-litre oil-burning, the Kuga offers 20Nm less torque than the Japanese-built crossover.

Fuel use in the diesel Kuga has improved by 0.7L, down from 6.4L/100km in the current version to 5.7L/100km, which Ford says is helped by the idle-stop function standard on Trend and Titanium, as well as active grille shutters.

The Kuga is more efficient than automatic diesel all-wheel drive versions of the RAV4 (6.5L), CR-V (6.7L) and Outlander (5.8L), as well as the manual-only diesel Forester (5.9L), but it matches the figure of the Mazda CX-5.

Ford has added a tyre pressure monitoring system to the optional Technology Pack available on Trend and Titanium, and also includes Active City Stop braking, lane-keep assist, blind spot monitoring and automatic high beam.

The only other changes to the range from January are the addition of three new colours to the pallette for an extra $385, including Ruby Red, Magnetic which is a metallic mid-grey, and ‘Tiger Eye', which is a metallic golden orange.

Pricing for the 2015 Kuga range will be confirmed closer to launch.

Ford Australia marketing, sales and service vice president Graeme Whickman said the new range of engines, including the EcoBoost petrol units, should appeal to buyers looking for a fuel efficient compact SUV.

“Our upgraded 400Nm Duratorq engine offers customers the outstanding diesel fuel economy they expect whilst delivering the power and performance they want,” he said.

“The Duratorq diesel is a popular engine in the Ford Kuga and the new 400Nm unit complements the EcoBoost range to offer customers a line of high-tech engines that provide strong performance and return great fuel efficiency.”

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