20 February 2008

Kuga attack

Ford announces prices for its Focus-based SUV ahead of June launch

Ford Kuga

We've seen design concepts. We've seen sketches. We've even seen a 'production preview', and we still don't know what that means.

But now the real, proper production Kuga is here. Nearly. And, for an SUV set to get head to head with dull-as-Antiques-Roadshow-repeats softroaders like the VW Tiguan and Mitsubishi Outlander, it looks rather good.

The Kuga is Ford's first foray into the tumescent 'compact crossover' market, and is based on the Focus platform. Although later versions may be offered with two-wheel drive, the launch models - coming to the UK this June - feature permanent all-wheel drive with a clever Haldex clutch system.

There'll be just the one engine to start: Ford's two-litre turbodiesel developing 134bhp and a useful 236lb ft of torque. No word on performance yet, but the Kuga will return over 44mpg and, says Ford, a class-leading 169g/km of CO2.

Prices, as you might expect, are bang in line with the Vauxhall Antara, Tiguan and Toyota RAV-4, starting at £20,495 for the Zetec edition.

We'll see the production-production Kuga in the flesh at the Geneva show next month.

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