The New Ford Kuga: Equipped for an Active Lifestyle

new ford kuga

The new Ford Kuga, longer, lower and narrower is one of the smartest SUV’s currently on the market. From safety to technology the new Ford Kuga is where it’s at!

I recently got to drive the new Ford Kuga and was extremely impressed. Here are my favourite features:

ALL WHEEL DRIVE

The new Ford Kuga’s all-wheel-drive system offers drivers a little extra traction in slippery and snow-ridden conditions. Advanced Ford-developed software behind the new Kuga’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system pre-emptively reassesses conditions about 20 times faster than it takes to blink an eye, readjusting the power split to give the driver the precise blend of handling and traction at all times. If, for example, the front of the vehicle is on a slippery surface and the rear is on pavement, the all-wheel-drive system can send all the torque the powertrain can produce to the rear, putting power where the driver needs it. Using advanced software and sensors, the system gathers data from 25 external signals, including wheel speed, accelerator pedal position and steering wheel angle, to deliver outstanding driving performance in both wet and dry conditions as well as excellent off-road traction. Greater confidence when entering and driving through turns is enabled by the technologies Torque Vectoring Control and Curve Control, which are available together for the first time in an SUV in the new Ford Kuga.

new ford kuga

SAFETY

The new Ford Kuga comes with 7 airbags, even in the entry level models in its all turbo line up. The new Ford Kuga has the highest protection rating for a mid sized SUV, making it the safest SUV you can buy. Pedestrian safety was also taken into consideration in the new model. Trailer sway control improves trailer stability and the belt minder tell you who has and hasn’t buckled up in the car, great for multi-tasking moms!

Then there is also the lane departure warning and lane keeping aid, which if you change lane without indicating, the car actually pulls you back into the correct lane thereby preventing an accident – great for tired drivers as well. The new Ford Kuga also has Active City Stop. Active City Stop is a system which helps to avoid or to mitigate accidents at low speeds. At speeds up to 30km/h, a lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) sensor positioned at the top of the windscreen scans the area up to around 7.6m ahead of the vehicle for possible obstacles. If the vehicle detects a braking, slower-moving or stationary vehicle in front and it determines that a collision is likely, the brakes are pre-charged. If the driver remains inactive (no steering or braking input), the car applies the brakes automatically and reduces engine torque.

At relative speed differences less than 15 km/h then Active CityStop may help the driver to entirely avoid the collision with the obstacle in front. If the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is between 15 and 30 km/h the impact is unavoidable through braking alone but Active City Stop will aim to reduce speed prior to the impact.

If the driver intervenes to try to avoid the accident, either by accelerating hard or by steering , Active City Stop will deactivate. Active City Stop is unusual for an autonomous emergency braking system in that it does not give the driver a warning of the impending collision, and brakes very hard, very late. This is intentional: the way in which the system intervenes is not comfortable and drivers will not become reliant on it to avoid around-town accidents.

It’s really cool to finally see all the technology we saw at Ford HQ in Detroit last year, hitting SA shores.

Watch this video to see how it works:

[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/vyhXbBsoATo” title=”active%20city%20stop”]

ACTIVE PARK ASSIST

The new Ford Kuga literally parks itself! I love this feature as it takes the stress out of parallel parking. All you do is activate park assist then when you are driving along searching for parking the car detects a space that it WILL fit into, all you need to do is indicate and then control the brakes, the Kuga does the rest for you. What a pleasure!

new ford kuga
Don’t forget the essential coffee cup holder!

HANDS-FREE TAILGATE

Another one if my favourite features. Ladies, how many times have you had about 10 shopping parcels in your hands while at the same time trying to dig around your handbag blindly for your keys to open up the boot? Well with the new Ford Kuga this is no longer an issue.

A gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the tailgate when the driver has the Kuga key fob in their hand, pocket or bag. This allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without needing to set down packages or dig around for keys. The same motion closes the hatch. Clever huh?! Worried that someone else may be able to “kick” the door open? Don’t be. Besides Mother Nature, the system was also tested numerous times against errant shopping trolleys hitting the rear of the Kuga, a bouncing basketball going under the tailgate, a dog running underneath the bumper and someone polishing the rear bumper. None of these scenarios caused the tailgate to open. “The system is very robust,” Nical noted. “It is designed to detect a kicking motion without deploying when other scenarios occur, making the customer confident in the technology.” In fact, Ford engineers even employed individuals passing by on the street in Dearborn to help the calibration process by providing “sample kicks”, Nical added. The secret lies within how the software is calibrated, according to engineers who designed the system. The sensors, located between the tailpipes, detect both the shin and kicking motion of the key holder. The combination of that motion and the signals sent between the vehicle and the key fob activates the system.

The tailgate is also height adjustable so that it fits into your garage without dinging the door each time you open the boot.

SYNC

Sync comes standard across the entire range.

ECOBOOST: MORE WITH LESS

Our favourite feature has to be the new ECOBOOST engine in the new Ford Kuga. Ford’s new EcoBoost petrol turbo direct-injection engines can help provide up to 20 percent better fuel economy without sacrificing power that drivers want.

EcoBoost philosophy:

  • Delivers significant Fuel Economy and CO2 emission improvements
  • Enhanced Performance
  • No Compromise for customers

PRICING

Starting at R289 900 the pricing of the new Ford Kuga is pretty accessible for the amount of safety and technology included in the price. Option packs on the Titanium models come in at R35 000 so in terms of added extras that’s a pretty good deal as well.

Another thing I noted with the new Ford Kuga is how quiet the car is, at one point we were not actually sure whether the car was turned on or not, it’s that quiet. I love the new Ford Kuga, for anyone currently in the market for a top quality, SAFE, ECO-CONSCIOUS SUV, I would definitely say take a look at the new Ford Kuga, you won’t be disappointed.

ford kuga
New Ford Kuga Highlights
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