Ford recently unveiled the new Kuga. The goal was to redesign the Kuga to offer customers a more technologically advanced, refined and sportier SUV.

The new Kuga comes with a host of new features to make driving simer, safer and more affordable. These features include Ford’s new SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, innovative driver assistance technologies, an ergonomic and comfortable interior and a new 88 kW 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine.

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Other new features on offer include Ford’s Perpendicular Parking technology that helps drivers park hands‑free in spaces alongside other cars, an enhanced version of the Active City Stop collision avoidance system, and Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System for optimised visibility in low light. Further sophisticated technologies include Hands-Free Tailgate and Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive.

The new SUV will allow drivers to control audio, navigation, and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple, more conversational voice commands, with Ford’s new SYNC 3 connectivity system. Ford has drawn on more than 22,000 comments, and insights gained from research clinics and surveys to ensure the new version is the most customer‑friendly system to date.

Phrases to operate the system are as simple as: “I need a coffee,” “I need petrol,” and “I need to park,” drivers can locate nearby cafés, petrol stations or car parks, and find train stations, airports, and hotels.

iPhone users can activate Apple CarPlay, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car allowing drivers to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimised for traffic conditions, and more while they stay focused on the road. Androidusers, on the other hand, can activate Android Auto. Android Auto makes apps and services that drivers already know and love, accessible in safer and seamless ways including Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play. Software can be updated over-the-air via Wi-Fi.

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“Whether you are craving your morning cappuccino on your daily commute or covering the cost of a journey by transporting a package, SYNC 3 brings to life innovative new ways of staying connected on the move,” said Christof Kellerwessel, chief engineer, Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering, Ford of Europe. “Designed to complement modern smartphones, with an intuitive 8″ touch screen, SYNC 3 understands more natural speech, is faster, and offers an easier-to-read graphical interface.”

The new Perpendicular Parking system is an improvement over the old system, which more than half of Kuga buyers opted for last year. By using additional ultrasonic sensors, the new system is activated with the push of a button, and enables drivers to locate parking spaces alongside other cars as well as parallel to the road, and steers the vehicle into them while the driver controls the accelerator and brake.

More sensors that help with the parking system include:

  • Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them. Operating with radar at a range of up to 40 metres, the system issues three warning signals if it detects a vehicle approaching from either side
  • Park-Out Assist helps drivers as they exit a parallel parking space. After the driver has chosen either the left or right hand side the system operates the steering while the driver operates the accelerator and brake

Another updated feature comes in the form of Ford’s Active City Stop collision avoidance system, which can now operate at speeds of up to 50 km/h, up from 30 km/h. Essentially, sensors at the front of the vehicle to look for stationary objects in the road ahead and pre-charges the brakes if the vehicle is approaching an object too quickly. If the driver still does not respond the system reduces engine torque and automatically applies the brakes to reduce the impact of the collision, or avoid a collision altogether.

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The latest generation Ford MyKey technology allows new Kuga owners to program a key for younger drivers that can inhibit incoming phone calls, restrict top speed, prevent deactivation of driver assistance and safety features, reduce audio system maximum volumeand disable the audio system altogether if occupants are not using safety belts. The enhanced MyKey system offers a greater number of choices in both the speed limiter and speed minder settings.

Inside, the steering wheel and air-conditioning controls are even more intuitive, and feature control that are simpler and easier to operate. A heated steering wheel is also on offer.

The new Kuga also offers Hands-Free Tailgate that can be opened or closed using a kicking motion beneath the rear bumper. This helps parents to more easily access the boot when returning to their vehicle with shopping, pushchairs or toddlers.

Beneath the bonnet, 3 motors have been made available. The new, aforementioned,1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine. The diesel is offered with FWD, asFord is targeting a fuel efficiency improvement for the new engine of about 5%. That makes for an impressive 4.4 l/100km.

Also available will be a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine, with 110 kW in front- and all-wheels drive, and an economy figure of 4.7 l/100km. A 132 kW AWD model will also be made available.

The ever-popular 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine is available with either 88- or 110 kW, along with a 134 kW AWD model.

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The new Kuga is among five all-new or redesigned Ford vehicles that will compete in the SUV and crossover space in the next 3 years.

Here are some videos on the new features available on the Kuga:

Perpendicular Parking:

Active City Stop:

Active Park Assist:

MyKey: