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Ford on prowl with $28K Kuga

Prowling Kuga: Ford has added an entry-level Ambiente variant to its 2013 Kuga range that will kick off from $27,990.

Sharp $27,990 Kuga entry price finally gives Ford true compact SUV contender


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20 Mar 2013

FORD’S all-new Kuga will provide the Blue Oval with better ammunition in the booming compact SUV segment when it goes on sale in May priced from $27,990 plus on-road costs.

Kicking off the range is the two-wheel drive manual Ambiente, pitched to steal sales from rivals like the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander.

But the Spanish-built Kuga is still priced slightly higher than Asian rivals like the Honda CR-V, which retails for $27,490 in base VTi form, while the popular Mazda CX-5 is $27,880 in FWD Maxx guise.

The Ambiente will be the only FWD Kuga and the only variant offered with a manual gearbox, as the rest of the range is fitted with Ford’s “intelligent” all-wheel drive system and automatic transmissions.

Manual Ambiente variants are powered by a 110kW/240Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine, but a more powerful 134kW/240Nm version of the same engine is fitted to all-wheel drive automatic variants.

The AWD Ambiente comes with a six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission and costs $31,490, while moving up to the mid-spec Trend costs $36,240.

Adding an automatic transmission to the Ambiente costs $3500.

Opting for the 120kW/340Nm 2.0-litre Duratorq turbo-diesel engine, matched with a six-speed dual-clutch Powershift automatic transmission, ups the price to $39,240.

Range-topping Titanium models are $44,740 in petrol guise or $47,740 for the diesel.

The pricing marks a saving of $2750 over the outgoing Kuga Trend that retails for $38,990, while the petrol Titanium is $250 less expensive than the equivalent outgoing model.

Ford has not yet announced equipment levels for each Kuga variant, but confirmed the Trend and Titanium will be the first Fords in Australia to come with DAB+ digital radio.

There is also a hands-free tailgate that can be operated by a kicking motion under the rear bumper to open and close it.

A $2650 optional technology pack on Trend and Titanium models includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and automatic headlights.

All second-gen Kugas come with seven airbags, stability control, trailer stability function, hill start assist, brake assist, rear parking sensors and it has already been awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP.

The Kuga premieres an emergency assistance function in Australia, as part of the SYNC connectivity system.

Using a mobile phone paired by Bluetooth, it contacts emergency services in the event of airbag deployment or the activation of the emergency fuel shut off and advises them of the car’s GPS coordinates.

Ford Australia general manager of marketing, David Katic said the technology will be a welcome addition to the local Kuga range.

“The Ford Kuga is the first Ford vehicle in Australia to feature Emergency Assistance across the range,” he said.

“This technology has already proven a life-saver in North America. It provides our Ford Kuga customers with peace of mind.”

Although it maintains the same 2690mm wheelbase as the outgoing model, the 2013 Kuga is 81mm longer, with Ford claiming improved interior space and luggage capacity that has increased by 46 litres.

Claimed improvements to road and wind noise were achieved through the use of elliptical acoustic mirrors to measure exterior elements that can impact vibration and noise in the car.

Ford claims fuel economy improvements of 25 per cent in petrol guise and 10 per cent for the diesel over the outgoing model.

Official figures are 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle for the 110kW petrol manual and 7.7L/100km for the automatic, while the more powerful 134kW petrol uses 8.0L/100km.

Diesel variants sip 6.3L/100km in Trend guise and 6.4L/100km for the Titanium.

Ford Kuga Pricing*
Ambiente 2WD 1.6L EcoBoost$27,990
Ambiente 4WD 1.6L EcoBoost (a)$31,490
Trend 4WD 1.6L EcoBoost (a)$36,240
Trend 4WD 2.0L TDCi (a)$39,240
Titanium 4WD 1.6L EcoBoost (a)$44,740
Titanium 4WD 2.0L TDCi (a)$47,740
*Plus on-road costs

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