The Mondeo? Discontinued! Production of the Fiesta? Finished! The end of the Focus? Foreseeable! There are not many classic cars left for Ford to retread. One model that will survive the reorganisation of the brand for the time being is the Kuga. And it is now getting a comprehensive update after the third generation was launched on the market in 2020. What's changing? Let's delve into the matter together ...

The design

On the outside, Ford has decided to make only subtle tweaks to the Kuga. Visually, the compact SUV follows the Focus, which is technically related to it. The US version of the Kuga called Escape already anticipated the facelift. And the front end has been given a much more striking facelift than the rear. The individual equipment lines (Titanium, ST-Line, Active) stand out more clearly from one another.

Ford Kuga Facelift (2024)
Euro NCAP, October 2020

The Active gets different badges on the body and in the interior, and specific body protection devices and bumpers are added. The ground clearance has also been increased: Ten millimetres at the front and five millimetres at the rear (although not on the plug-in hybrid). The ST-Line includes changes to the radiator grille and front bumper as well as a small splitter, side skirts and a unique rear bumper with diffuser.

Ford Kuga Facelift (2024)

In terms of body colours, the new colours "Desert Island Blue" and "Bursting Green" join the familiar options. And what about the alloy wheels? The sizes range from 17 to 20 inches with five new designs.

The dimensions

  length width Height Wheelbase Boot
Ford Kuga (old) 4,614 mm 1,883 mm 1,661 mm 2,710 mm 411 to 475 litres
Ford Kuga (new) 4,604 mm (Titanium)
4,615 mm (ST-Line)
4,645 mm (Active)
1,882 mm 1,679 mm (Titanium)
1,651 mm (ST-Line)
1,683 mm (Active)
2,711 mm 412 to 553 litres

Ford does not explicitly mention it in the information about the new model, but it is to be expected that the new Kuga will continue to use the modular C2 platform due to the lack of a generation change.

Ford Kuga Facelift (2024)
Ford Kuga Facelift (2024)

This can also be seen in the dimensions, which have hardly changed. Only the boot has grown significantly. Especially in terms of maximum capacity. This is due to the fact that the rear bench seat can now be moved by 150 millimetres. If the backrests are also folded down, the volume increases to a maximum of 1,534 litres. 

The interior

In the cockpit, the dashboard has been significantly slimmed down, thanks in part to a new 13.2-inch touchscreen as standard, which runs the SYNC 4 multimedia system with cloud navigation and voice control including natural recognition in 15 European languages. From now on, the climate control will also be controlled via this screen. Whether this works well remains to be seen in practice.

Ford Kuga Facelift (2024)

Another detail is the round gear selector lever, which tidies up the centre console. And let's not forget things like the wireless integration of smartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as Ford Pass 5G connectivity, which, among other things, ensures that the car is always up to date.

The engines

We start the engine chapter with a swan song. The new Ford Kuga will be getting rid of its last diesel engine. In other words, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel with 120 PS is history. Instead, the complete electrification of the model is gaining momentum.

The 1.5-litre EcoBoost turbocharged petrol engine with 150 PS, front-wheel drive and 6-speed manual transmission will be the first in the drive portfolio. This entry-level version consumes 44.8 to 39.2 mpg-UK (6.3 to 7.2 litres per 100 km) according to the WLTP cycle, reaches 121 mph (195 km/h) and accelerates to 62 mph in just under 10 seconds. Above this is the 2.5-litre hybrid version, which has different performance and consumption figures depending on the type of drive: 180 PS and 53.3 to 45.5 mpg-UK (5.3 to 6.2 l/100 km) in the FWD version and 183 PS and 49.5 to 44.1 mpg-UK (5.7 to 6.4 litres) with all-wheel drive.

Ford Kuga Facelift (2024)

The range is rounded off by the plug-in hybrid version, which is also based on the 2.5-litre petrol engine and in this case is only available with all-wheel drive. The update increases the power output from 225 to 243 PS and makes it the most powerful version in the range: 124 mph (200 km/h) top speed, 7.3 seconds from 0 to 62 mph and an electric range of up to 43 miles (69 km) are also on the data sheet.

An interesting detail on the Kuga Plug-in Hybrid and Kuga Hybrid AWD (FHEV) is a new automatic transmission that allows the towing capacity to be increased by 30 per cent to 2,300 kg.

Prices, market launch, competition

Ford says the Kuga goes on sale in the UK this month with a starting price of £32,080 which is £1,300 less than the current model's entry-level price of £33,380. 

In view of the competition, the Volkswagen Tiguan, which has also just been completely revamped, is probably the most important of them at the moment. But wherever you look, there are rivals of all kinds: whether from volume manufacturers, premium carmakers or small import brands. Will the updates be enough to keep the Kuga competitive in this shark tank? We are already looking forward to the first test drive ...