New Ford Kuga breaks cover with rugged looks and £32k price tag

The Ford Kuga lineup gets a new rugged Active model for the first time, plus a hybrid-focused engine range

Pricing for the updated Ford Kuga has been revealed, with the tweaked model range kicking off at £32,080. Ford’s big-selling Kuga has been given a thorough overhaul for 2024, with the new four-tier lineup offered with a range of four powertrains. Key changes include a new exterior design, with the addition of a rugged Active model for the first time. 

The headline-grabbing £32,080 price point applies to the sole, petrol-powered Titanium model fitted with a manual transmission. In order to access the hybrid models you’ll need to upgrade to either the ST-Line, Active and top-spec ST-Line X trim lines, starting at £38,955 for the former. The top-spec Kuga ST-Line X fitted with the plug-in powertrain tops the price list at £42,455.

The Active model leads the updates, ushering in a similar look to that found on existing soft-roader models like the Focus Active. There’s a set of silver scuff plates and extra cladding, plus a new grille design with vertical bars and a gloss black finish. Inside, you’ll find unique seat trim and floor mats, and a wood finish for the dashboard.

But Ford says the Kuga Active isn’t just a styling pack, claiming the car is “more capable” than the standard model thanks to a ride height that has been raised by 10mm at the front and 5mm at the rear. An additional Trail Mode apparently alters the traction control and throttle response to allow users to maintain progress on different surfaces.

Other Kuga models feature a similar exterior design, with sharper headlights and a reprofiled grille. Titanium gets more chrome trim, while ST-Line features body-coloured accents and a slightly sportier bodykit. ST-Line X brings red brake callipers and branded scuff plates.

There are also new colours including Desert Island Blue and Bursting Green, as well as Agate Black, Solar Silver, Frozen White and Lucid Red. Buyers can also choose from five new alloy wheel designs.

But that’s not all, as Ford has upgraded the interior with a new 13.2-inch central touchscreen – addressing one of the outgoing car’s common criticisms in the process. The bigger display is flanked by fewer physical buttons and runs the maker’s latest-generation Sync 4 technology with ‘cloud-connected’ navigation. 

Ford says key controls – such as those for the heating and ventilation – are always present at the base of the screen, while wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also feature. A 5G data connection enables over-the-air (OTA) updates which Ford says “improve the vehicle over time”.

Behind the steering wheel sits a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The graphics change depending on the selected drive mode, but Ford says “high priority information” such as for the driver assistance technology, features most prominently when activated.

The engine range is largely unchanged, but small tweaks have been made to improve performance and efficiency. A 148bhp 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol will be offered alongside a  Hybrid (FHEV) and Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), the former also being offered with an optional all-wheel drive system. The electrified models get a larger motor and upgraded transmission, which boosts towing capacity to 2,100kg (up more than 30 per cent) on both models.

With this in mind, the new Kuga now features Trailer Tow Navigation, which can avoid routes with particularly tight turns, low bridges and other hazards. A Trailer Connection Checklist can also be accessed via the infotainment system or Ford Pass app.

Small changes mean the PHEV will now accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds – almost two seconds faster than before. The 14.4kWh battery now allows for a range of almost 43 miles, for a competitive Benefit-in-Kind rating of just eight per cent. Homologated CO2 emissions for this model stand at 20g/km.

As well as the advanced interior tech, Ford is making a lot of noise about the SUV’s lighting set-up. Aside from the new design, the Kuga will be available with Dynamic Pixel LED headlamps, which can shut off individual bulbs to prevent blinding oncoming traffic. These units can also use navigation data to “illuminate the inside of curves in the road” while also changing the beam pattern in adverse weather. 

Other driver assistance systems available on the new Kuga include an upgraded Adaptive Cruise Control setup now with Predictive Speed Assist, which can adjust the car’s speed for upcoming corners or limit changes. Reverse Brake Assist works in conjunction with Cross Traffic Alert to warn drivers of stationary objects when backing up, and can apply the brakes if needed.

Prices and specs for the new Kuga will be announced in due course, but we expect the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage rival to go on sale in the UK in the coming weeks. 

Click here for our list of the best-selling cars in the UK...

Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the our team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

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