New Ford Kuga hybrid models announced

The new, third-generation Ford Kuga family SUV will be offered with mild-hybrid, full-hybrid and plug-in-hybrid powertrains

The new Ford Kuga will be offered in plug-in hybrid, mild-hybrid and full-hybrid forms when it arrives in showrooms later this year, the manufacturer has confirmed.

The Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid will combine a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to produce 222bhp. A 14.4kWh battery should return 31 miles of electric range: the charging port is mounted at the front, with Ford claiming a four-hour charge time from a 230V supply.

Official fuel-economy and emissions figures have yet to be confirmed, but the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid should deliver 235mpg and emit 29g/km of CO2.

Drivers have the choice of four modes – EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge – giving them control of how and when the battery power is used.

Meanwhile, the Kuga EcoBlue Hybrid will introduce mild-hybrid technology to the range. It combines a 2.0-litre, 148bhp diesel engine with a starter-generator, allowing energy to be recovered and stored in a small lithium-ion battery pack.

It also provides assistance to the engine - aiding acceleration - and helps run the car’s electrical components. The Kuga EcoBlue Hybrid is expected to achieve 56mpg and hit 132g/km. This will join the recently announced Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus mild hybrids in the brand's range.

The Kuga Hybrid – a ‘full hybrid’ model – will arrive in 2020, with a 2.5-litre engine working in conjunction with an electric motor. It'll be available with front or four-wheel drive, and should return 50mpg, with CO2 emissions of 130g/km.

Pure petrol and diesel versions of the Kuga will also be available, although both are set to be less efficient and more polluting than their hybrid siblings under official tests.

The new, third-generation Ford Kuga will be 44mm wider and 89mm longer than the outgoing car, with the roofline 20mm lower than before. Despite this, Ford claims headroom has improved in both the front and rear seats, with shoulder and hip room increasing too.

Based on Ford’s new C2 platform, the sleeker proportions make the Kuga more streamlined – and therefore more efficient – than previously, with the car’s weight dropping by 90kg and crash performance improving thanks to a more rigid structure.

The Kuga will be offered in entry-level Titanium, sporty ST-Line and luxury Vignale trims. The former features a ‘sporty’ front skid plate and rear diffuser, with LED running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels as standard. A set of 19-inch alloys is available as an option.

The ST-Line trim adds body-coloured bumpers and side skirts, with the grille, front skid plate and rear diffuser finished in black. A large spoiler, twin exhausts and 18-inch alloys (a 19-inch upgrade is available) complete the exterior look, while the interior gains exclusive ST-Line seats and floor mats, contrasting red stitching, alloy pedals and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Elsewhere, the Vignale trim adds ‘satin aluminium finishes’ on the roof rails and bumpers, with the grille and twin tailpipes finished in chrome. Alloy wheel size is 18 inches as standard, with 19 or 20-inch wheels available as an option. Windsor leather seats feature inside, with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and premium velour floor mats included, too.

The new Ford Kuga also benefits from a suite of technology: drivers get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a head-up display, with Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system running on an eight-inch central touchscreen.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are included as standard across the range, with wireless charging and a premium B&O Sound System available as well.

The FordPass Connect acts as an on-board wi-fi hotspot, giving connectivity to as many as 10 devices at a time, in addition to live traffic updates. Meanwhile, the FordPass app allows drivers to locate their vehicle, check fuel levels, unlock doors and start their car remotely.

Automatic safety aids include lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring and pre-collision assistance, along with adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition and stop-go functionality. Ford’s Active Park Assist 2 provides fully automated parking at the push of a button.

Prices and official on-sale dates for the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid, Kuga EcoBlue Hybrid and Kuga Hybrid will follow later in 2019.