Adds a series of cosmetic embellishments. No power boost, though.
At first there was the Fiesta and Focus ST-Line and then the Mondeo ST-Line came along. Now, Ford is launching the fourth all-show-without-the-extra-go ST-Line for the facelifted Kuga which some of you may know as the Escape for U.S. market. As it’s the case with the other three, the Kuga in this new trim brings an assortment of styling upgrades that will trick non-car folks into believing you’re driving a full-blown Kuga ST. As if there were such a thing.
It comes with a high-gloss dark finish for the front grille and rear skid plate, matched with a black beltline and 18- or 19-inch wheels featuring a similar finish. Ford is painting the front skid plate, mirrors, door handles, and side skirts in the same color as the rest of the body which hosts a bunch of “ST-Line” badges to denote it’s not an ordinary Kuga.
Even though it does not have any power upgrades, the midsize SUV does have some mechanical improvements, like the thicker anti-roll bars, stiffer suspension bushes, and a sportier suspension setup lowering the Kuga by 10 mm compared to the standard version. In addition, the spring and damper rates have been adjusted to offer the perfect balance between performance and comfort, while the electronic power-assisted steering gets a new calibration for more agile handling.
Buyers get to select from all the engines available for the regular Kuga, kicking off with a 120-hp 1.5-liter diesel or the larger 2.0 TDCI available with 150 and 180 hp. If you would rather have a gasoline engine, our top pick would be the 182-hp 1.5-liter EcoBoost which can be had in lesser states of tune with 120 hp and 150 hp. Depending on engine selection, an all-wheel-drive layout is available for extra grip.
If you would rather have something more luxurious, the Blue Oval has got you covered thanks to the recently introduced Vignale trim. As for a fully-fledged Kuga ST, Ford was considering it almost a year ago, but we haven’t heard anything new since then.
Ford Kuga ST-Line
FORD EXPANDS SUV LINE-UP WITH SPORTY NEW KUGA ST-LINE MODEL; EXTENDS ST-LINE RANGE EVEN FURTHER
- Sporty new Ford Kuga ST-Line SUV offering bold styling and sporty driving dynamics inspired by Ford Performance models will go on sale later this year
- Kuga ST-Line to feature among comprehensive Ford SUV line-up alongside technologically advanced new Kuga, upscale Ford Kuga Vignale, compact EcoSport and all-new Edge
- Ford expands SUV offering in Europe as sales expected to increase from 23 per cent of total passenger car sales in 2015 to 27 per cent by 2020
- Ford Performance-inspired Kuga ST-Line joins Fiesta ST-Line, Focus ST-Line and Mondeo ST-Line models that offer sports styling, powerful and efficient engines, and great value
Ford of Europe today announced that a new Kuga ST-Line version of the popular mid-size sports utility vehicle (SUV) will go on sale later this year, offering sporty styling inspired by Ford Performance models alongside powerful and efficient EcoBoost petrol and TDCi diesel engines, and sports-tuned driving dynamics.
The new Kuga ST-Line will feature among Ford’s expanded SUV range and the most comprehensive Kuga line-up ever, including the sophisticated new Kuga and the upscale Ford Kuga Vignale, as well as the compactEcoSport and large all-new Edge.
Kuga ST-Line delivers bold exterior and interior styling including unique alloy wheels and sport seat designs; powertrains including Ford’s 182 PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol with Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive (AWD); and a sports chassis with specially tuned suspension and steering.
“With our sporty Kuga ST-Line joining the new Kuga shown for the first time earlier this year at the 2016 Mobile World Congress and our upscale Ford Kuga Vignale, Ford will offer a Kuga model to suit every lifestyle,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “We predict sales of 200,000 Ford Kuga, EcoSport and Edge SUVs in Europe this year – up by 200 per cent from 2013.”
Ford’s expanded range of SUVs in Europe meets increasing demand among European car-buyers. The percentage of SUVs sold in Europe compared with total car sales has grown from 6 per cent in 2005 to 23 per cent in 2015.* This is expected to increase to 27 per cent by 2020, according to industry sales analyst IHS, fuelled by growing popularity with an unusually diverse group of buyers, according to a recent Ford survey.
Nearly one in three “Modern Mums”, mothers with young kids, are considering an SUV for their next car, as are one in four Millennials, 17- to 34-years-olds; and one in five “Quintastics,” a media buzzword for active and youthful 50 somethings, according to the Ford Motor Company-sponsored survey of 5,000 people in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. who own a car or who intend to buy one in the next 12 months.**
New Kuga ST-Line
The new Kuga ST-Line joins the Fiesta ST-Line, Focus ST-Line and Mondeo ST-Line as part of Ford’s new range of ST-Line models that offer bold styling, sporty driving dynamics and great value.
Kuga ST-Line delivers Ford Performance-inspired styling that includes:
- Upper grille finished in high-gloss Ebony Black; honeycomb design for the lower front grille in high-gloss Ebony Black with unique, matching sports mesh finish on the fog lamp bezels
- Front skid plate, side-skirts, mirror caps, door handles, door cladding, rear roof spoiler and wheel arches in body colour; high-gloss Ebony Black rear skid plate; black roof rails; tinted front and rear lights; and privacy glass
- A black beltline beneath the windows and ST-Line exterior badging on the front fenders
- A choice of unique new 18-inch high-gloss black alloys wheels with a bright machined surface or 19-inch alloy wheels in Ebony Black
- Unique sport seat design in partial leather; contrasting stitching for the seats, gear lever gaiter and steering wheel; special two-layer metallic-effect Deep Space paint on the centre console; and black headliner
The new Kuga ST-Line will offer the sportiest Kuga driving dynamics yet, with chassis enhancements including thicker anti-roll bars and a 10 mm lower ride height for reduced body roll and sharper responses.
Stiffer suspension bushes – the same specification as those used in the Ford Focus – help to reduce unwanted movement in the suspension system, while spring and damper rates are fine-tuned to deliver comfort and performance. Ford’s Electronic Power Assisted Steering system also features a revised calibration to deliver a tighter, more responsive and sporty feel.
“Ford ST-Line models are designed to deliver a fun to drive experience, and we placed a strong focus on ensuring that Ford’s first performance-orientated SUV in Europe offered the same driving characteristics as the Fiesta ST-Line, Focus ST-Line and Mondeo ST-Line models,” said Frederick Vrancken, Kuga ST-Line vehicle dynamics engineer, Ford of Europe.
The full range of Kuga powertrains will be offered, including Ford’s 120 PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine that replaces the outgoing 120 PS 2.0-litre TDCi diesel – expected to enhance fuel efficiency by about 5 per cent to 4.4 l/100 km (64.2 mpg) and deliver 115 g/km CO2.***
Also available will be a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine with 150 PS and either front-wheel drive or Ford Intelligent AWD, offering from 4.7 l/100 km (60.1 mpg) and 122 g/km CO2; and 180 PS with Intelligent AWD offering from 5.2 l/100 km (54.3 mpg) and 134 g/km CO2.
Ford’s 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in 120 PS or 150 PS front-wheel drive form is expected to achieve from 6.2 l/100 km (45.6 mpg) and 143 g/km CO2; and a 182 PS Intelligent AWD version from 7.4 l/100 km (38.2 mpg) and 171 g/km CO2.
In addition to the new Kuga ST-Line, SUV customers in Europe will later this year be able to order the stylish and sophisticated new Kuga that offers technologies and updates to make driving simpler, safer, more enjoyable and more affordable, including Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system.
A new upscale Ford Kuga Vignale also will be offered for the first time. The production version of the meticulously crafted SUV recently was revealed in pearlescent-metallic Vignale Milano Grigio exterior colour with Cashmere leather interior trim as part of an exclusive specification.