KILDARE MOTORING REVIEW: Kuga keeps an eye on low running costs and efficiency

The all-new, third-generation Ford Kuga SUV offers the most electrified powertrain options of any Ford, improving efficiency by up to 30%.

The new Kuga is now available for the first time as a petrol/electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and as a full hybrid electric vehicle (FHEV). It lets drivers choose when and how to deploy battery power, while 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbodiesel engines are also offered. Featuring a sleek new exterior design, with premium proportions for improved space and comfort, the new Kuga also adds sophisticated infotainment and connectivity technologies to the mix.

Global Architecture

The new Kuga is based on Ford’s new flexible global front-wheel drive architecture which supports improved aerodynamics for better fuel efficiency and helps reduce the Kuga’s weight by up to 80 kg compared to the previous generation. This new architecture is designed to improve crash performance and contributes to the Kuga’s five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, while 10% more torsional rigidity improves driving dynamics.

Low running costs

Powered by a relatively large 2.5-litre petrol engine and a 14.4 kWh battery-powered electric motor, the Kuga PHEV promises low running costs and the ability to travel up to 64 km on a single charge. electricity. Drivers wishing to use the Kuga PHEV as a company car will experience the greatest savings, as its low emissions (just 32g/km) give it an attractive Benefits-in-Kind (BIK) tax rating.

Being able to charge the Kuga PHEV from a Home Wallbox EV charger really makes sense, as the charging process is effortless and an empty battery can be fully charged in as little as three and a half hours.

Currently, a SEAI home charger subsidy of up to €600 is available for private customers, resulting in a cost to the customer of around €300 – depending on the type of charger chosen. Other plug-in charging options include those found at public charging stations, with an ever-increasing number of locations around the island of Ireland, or at home (or work) using a 230 V household electrical outlet. However, this last process will take the longest to charge the Kuga’s battery (about six hours for a full charge), but it is an option that will appeal to a certain segment of drivers of the Kuga. PHEV and EV.

Four trim levels

The all-new Ford Kuga PHEV is available in Titanium, ST-Line, ST-Line X and premium Vignale trim levels, with a CVT (automatic) transmission and front-wheel-drive format across the board.

Thanks to a high output of 225 hp (222 hp), the Kuga PHEV can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 9.2 seconds, reach a top speed of 201 km/h and consume as little as 1.1 liter of fuel for every 100 km traveled in a combined drive cycle when each trip begins with a full battery charge.

Test car

My test car was a Ford Kuga ST-Line X, which looked super sleek in its Chrome Blue metallic paint with contrasting 18-inch Rock metallic alloy wheels. The standard ST-Line X specification includes key features such as full LED headlights and front fog lights with forward bends, automatic high/low beam control, black roof rails, full ST-styling kit Line, a large rear spoiler, red brake calipers, premium Sensico partial touch sports seats with red stitching, B&O premium audio system (575 watts), driver impairment monitor, wireless phone charging, fully digital instrument panel, Lane Keep Assist, alloy pedals and multiple airbags, plus a host of safety, infotainment and connectivity features.

The new Kuga PHEV comes with numerous riding modes to suit a variety of riding styles. Not only are there the usual Normal, Eco and Sport settings, there’s also a Slippery Deep Snow/Sand mode – even though the Kuga PHEV is only offered with front-wheel drive.

In addition, there are four settings for the electric transmission. ‘EV Charge’ recharges the battery using the motor, while ‘EV Now’ prioritizes any remaining electric power. ‘EV Later’ retains charge status for a later drive, and ‘EV Auto’ uses the car’s electronics to determine the most efficient combination of fuel and electric power.

With a full battery, the Kuga PHEV will start in near silence, while the elevated driving position and good visibility of the Kuga make city driving easier.

The level of brake regeneration can be increased by pressing the ‘L’ button on the rotary gear selector and, although it won’t allow one-pedal driving, it helps to make urban journeys as efficient as possible. As long as the PHEV battery is sufficiently charged, the Kuga can drive at speeds of up to 136 km/h without the engine intervening.

By injecting some of the dynamic appeal of the original Kuga into the new Kuga, it’s safe to say that Ford’s latest midsize SUV is poised to reclaim its crown as one of the best. SUV on sale.

The all-new Ford Kuga PHEV is priced at €41,480 with my test car spec priced at €45,690. Plus, a host of additional options and value-priced “packs” are available for ultimate customization. The all-new Ford Kuga range is on sale now.

About Leah Albert

Check Also

LDLR, LRP1 and Megalin participate redundantly in Clostridium novyi alpha-toxin uptake

Materials HeLa (H1, CRL-1958) and MCF-7 (HTB-22) cells were originally obtained from ATCC. MEF (CTCC-003-0036), …