| 5.3°C Belfast

Ford unveils all-new version of Kuga SUV that includes a 201mpg hybrid

Ford has opened its UK order books for the all-new Kuga, the manufacturer’s best-selling SUV.

The third-generation Kuga becomes the first Ford to be offered with three hybrid powertrain options.

The most powerful of these comes with all-wheel drive and a 10.3kWh lithium-ion battery with an official range of 201.8mpg.

Unsurprisingly, this version is one of the more expensive Kugas, retailing from £33k.

The range starts from £23,995. The new car is longer, wider and has more passenger room - thanks to a 20mm longer wheelbase – than its predecessor.

The new model, which is based on Ford’s brand new C2 platform, gets a significantly refreshed and redesign exterior and interior, and a sliding rear bench for increased legroom.

It also features FordPass Connect embedded mode, wireless charging and advanced driver assistance and safety features as standard. Higher trim levels get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

The new Kuga will immediately be recognised by a softer and more streamlined visual style than the outgoing car, with changes including to the grille, lights and wheel arches amongst others.

To celebrate the launch, Ford is offering a high-spec first edition. The Ford Kuga Titanium First Edition, from £28,145, features B&O premium audio system and driver’s assistance pack as standard including front and rear-view cameras, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.

First Editions are available with all powertrains including the 2.5-litre 225PS plug-in hybrid, however, the Titanium First Edition plug-in hybrid is available for £33,995 on the road, priced the same as 2.0-litre EcoBlue 190PS engine.

Ford’s Lisa Brankin said: “The all-new Ford Kuga is our first passenger vehicle to offer plug-in hybrid technology, alongside a full line-up of other options to give our customers a comprehensive engine choice,

“Matched with a contemporary design, advanced technology, driver assistance and safety features, the all-new Kuga represents the best in one package.”

There will be up to five powertrains offered when the full Kuga range is deployed: petrol, diesel and the three hybrids.

The petrol and diesel engines will come in different states of tune, as is common with most cars.

But it’s the hybrids that are probably of most interest as Ford embraces greener engines which are both desired by the public and mandated by EU rules.

Ford says the full plug-in hybrid’s powertrain utilises a “highly-efficient” 2.5-litre Atkinson petrol engine that enables it to deliver fuel economy of 201mpg and NEDC CO2 emissions of 26g/km.

The PHEV can operate on the 14.4kWh battery pack only for around 35 miles, particularly useful for emissions-free and lower cost urban driving.

There’s also a diesel mild hybrid and a petrol mild hybrid, both reporting fuel economy of 56mpg and 50mpg respectively.

Kuga First Editions are available in Titanium, ST-Line and ST-Line X trims, adding sporty interior and exterior design cues and sports suspension, with 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Starting from £31,845, ST-Line X First Edition includes Handsfree Power Tailgate, panoramic roof and 19-inch alloy wheels.

The Kuga has been around since 2008, when it was launched using the same platform as the Ford Focus and Ford C-Max.

The second generation arrived in 2012. A very similar car, the Ford Escape, sells in America.

Belfast Telegraph