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.

Source: Ford

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