After having dealt with the most in a hurry by importing the large American Explorer Plug-in SUV, Ford is launching its first European plug-in hybrid. And there, we can really start talking about the economy.
For this third generation, let’s start by saying that Ford continues to return to a more consensual design. Aesthetically, the new Kuga may therefore have a little less character than its predecessor. It wants to be more mature and also, according to Ford, more rewarding, almost premium.
In any case, with an increase of 9cm in length, 4.5 in width, 2 in wheelbase but 2.7 cm less in height (and even 3.7 cm in sporty ST-Line finish), it displays more dynamic proportions. . And of course, these new dimensions offer significantly more space on board, as well as a trunk of 475 liters (411 in the hybrid versions), a gain of 20 liters compared to the previous Kuga. Better still: the bench slides over 15cm, which provides a volume under the shelf of 645 liters.
Not much to say about the design of the dashboard: we are in a well-known Ford universe, with the bonus of a digital dashboard whose look varies according buy used car in kenya to the chosen driving mode. Apart from that, we find the excellent SYNC multimedia system, and the Kuga follows market trends in driving aids, allowing semi-autonomous level 2 driving on the motorway.
Light, Full or Plug-in
While some manufacturers are sacrificing classic powertrains for electrified versions, Ford continues to offer something for everyone. The catalog includes two versions of the 1.5 turbo petrol (120 or 150 hp), two different diesel units (1.5 120 hp or 2.0 190 hp), and no less than three hybrid versions. The “Full hybrid”, which allows real phases of electric driving but does not need to be connected, will arrive at the end of the year. The others are already available. First, the light hybrid, which consists of a 48V electrical system and an alternator-starter, only associated with a 2.0 diesel 150hp. This version announces a WLTP average of 5.0 l / 100km and 132g CO2 / km, which is less than the classic 1.5 diesel 120hp (5.1 l, 133g). On the road, we see that this light hybridization is no help on the highway, where the average at stabilized speed was 6.0 l / 100km. But as soon as you switch to the secondary network, the system kicks in and the average begins to descend towards 5.5 l / 100 km, or even less when you activate the eco mode. In short, it’s not bad if you are mainly in the city or on the national road, but nothing more.
The Plug-in version on the other hand… The 225hp system combines a 2.5-liter petrol engine and an electric motor, and the 14.4 kWh batteries promise a range of 56 km (WLTP). We got behind the wheel of this version after a colleague, and as it was not possible to recharge during the test, we had 49% charge left. These 49%, with a certain sense of eco-driving and a little helped by the downhill route during the first kilometers, we got… 46 km! Suffice to say that with a full charge, the 56 km seem to be within the reach of anyone, and a driver who likes to play with technology will even go beyond.
It’s already impressive, but the sequel is even more so. Because when the batteries are virtually empty, hybrid mode takes over. However, often in plug-ins, this mode is not very efficient, and the batteries then become a dead weight which causes the consumption to explode. Here, not at all. The hybrid mode is extremely efficient, so much so that at the end of a journey of 138 km, including 90 km with empty batteries, the average was 3.6 l / 100 km. Basically, even with 0% battery, the hybrid system can still drive half the time in electric mode. Finally, we should add that the 30 km motorway route, where electricity is not involved at all, resulted in an average of 6 l / 100 km. Of gasoline, let us remember it! All of these numbers are absolutely remarkable, and the Kuga is arguably the most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid SUV on the market. Us, he totally amazed us!
The new Ford Kuga starts at $ 26,600. Count $ 29,900 for the light hybrid diesel, and $ 37,100 for the excellent plug-in hybrid, a price comparable to those of competitors Peugeot or Opel for example.
Kuga 2.5i PHEV
4 cyl petrol, 2.490cc + electric motor
0-100 km / h
235 km / h
1.4 l / 100 km
Average of the test
3.8 l / 100 km
32 g / km
Electric autonomy (WLTP)
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