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Ford presented at LA Auto Show 2011 the Fiesta ST Concept, the Flex Facelift and most importantly: 2013 Ford Escape is the series version of Vertrek Concept and will be offered on the European market as the new Ford Kuga. In terms of aesthetic elements, chances are that the 2013 Ford Kuga European version to look almost the same as the 2013 Ford Escape American version.
WHEN the previous-generation Ford Kuga arrived in South Africa in 2011, it didn’t make much of an impression because it was an unproven product in the market and in the twilight of its model life. The newcomer is built in Spain on the Focus C-segment hatchback platform and has increased in overall length compared with the previous model. Although four-wheel-drive models are available, our road-test unit was the 1,6 EcoBoost Trend with a front-wheel-drive setup.
Families benefit from a more-than-useful 376 dm3 of luggage room and utility space balloons to 1 408 dm3 with the 60:40-split rear seats folded down. Fuel efficiency is what all manufacturers are sweating over and Ford has chosen the 1,6-litre route with turbocharging for this very reason. The steering is now electrically assisted, yet provides very natural weighting, making it one of the better designs of this ilk.
Fortunately, the Trend spec dons the standard 17-inch wheels, although some models have 18 inchers and a 19-inch set with low-profile tyres is an optional purchase.
The Ford Kuga is set for an overhaul of upgrades, the biggest being the addition of the most powerful diesel engine the vehicle has used to date. The previous-generation Kuga was an undeniably good-looking SUV, so much so that even a very late local introduction did not make it look out of place in South Africa.
Ford Motor Company South Africa has announced that the all-new Kuga will be available next month. Ford prefers to describe the Kuga as a ‘crossover’ rather than an SUV, and this accounts for some of its shortcomings in terms of practicality.
The diesel-engined Ford Kuga is one of the cleanest and most economical compact SUVs on the market, which means lower Road Tax and less frequent trips to the filling station pumps than in rivals.
Unlike many of its off-roader-inspired competitors, the Kuga handles with unusual precision, making it the keen driver’s choice.
The Ford Kuga is more driver focused than its rivals, but that’s not at the expense of comfort on the road. Practicality is what ultimately lets the Kuga down, because it serves up less boot space than the Focus hatchback. Every member of the Kuga family comes equipped with traction control and electronic stability control as standard, as well as front, side and curtain airbags. At its launch, Ford boldy announced that the Kuga would be aiming squarely at the Volkswagen Tiguan – and it priced the lifestyle off-roader accordingly. There is normally a key to the fuse layout inside the fuse box lid or if its behind the glove box, on the rear of the glove box. Hi Zippy Glad to be of assistance, I've just come in to thaw out but will venture out in a bit to retrieve the manual and get a pic for you. IIRC the cig lighter socket normally runs off a 15 amp fuse so if push comes to shove then just check all 15 amps fuses to see which has blown. I've swapped the this fuse a few times now as a result of phone chargers breaking in the socket and shorting it out. This particular Fiesta is equipped with the cold-weather package, which provides heated mirrors and seats.
The Titanium trim level still appeals to me because it includes the push-button start and automatic dimming rearview mirror.
Rounding out the nice changes list, the 2014 Fiesta also includes a coolant temperature gauge in the instrument cluster. My Fiesta is an automatic-equipped vehicle (because I wanted more gears for better fuel economy), and I typically see 36mpg or better cruising at the same speed.
My observed fuel economy after a week of driving in a mixed-environment with the Fiesta manual.
Also, the Fiesta feels much more alive in manual-transmission guise that mine ever has felt as an automatic. A note to people used to driving a 6-speed manual: It appears that there is not a shift-lockout for reverse, which is located where 6th gear would be located if the vehicle had it.


Subtle changes, like the addition of a glasses holder, are really nice upgrades on the new Fiesta. For many Americans, they would skip on the Fiesta because 120hp means that the vehicle cannot be that fast in a straight line, and it isn’t. The rear-seat room is acceptable for a supermini, but one nice change is the rear headrests fold down to improve visibility. I do not find it uncomfortable on long journeys, but I have been in more comfortable vehicles on long trips.
Most features can be recognized as an evolution to what is Ford Kuga at the moment and the front side has a strong resemblance with the overall look of the new Ford Focus. For now, there is no information on the diesel range or EcoBoost engines offered for 2013 Ford Kuga as on the European market might have different specifications. This situation is now rectified with the introduction of the new range soon after its European debut.
This means there’s quite a bit more luggage space – a high priority when buyers of do-it-all softroaders. It also missed out on the fancy Titanium pack which, for R35 000, gives you a whole load of extra kit including a self-parking feature. The touchscreen of the infotainment system is small and cluttered, navigation is not available and the audio system, with its plethora of small buttons spread out over the shiny black facia, is finicky to operate. Turbo lag is all but absent, which should be to the liking of the majority of drivers because the power delivery is linear rather than exhibiting a surge of torque that can catch you during cornering.
The crash-safety box received a five-star tick from EuroNCAP and, of course, Isofix seat-mounting points are a standard feature. With more space than before, great looks and class-leading comfort, it would be difficult not to be impressed by this new Ford. Function dictates form in this segment and, at best, designers are able to only soften the box-like shape a little. The petrol-powered model is fast but thirsty, so the better choice is the 2.0 TDCi turbodiesel with its rounded, economical performance.
Sensible servicing prices help, too, as will the expected high residual value when you come to sell it. The 2.5-litre petrol engine offers performance to rival a hot hatch, although you pay for that with poor fuel consumption. The rear seats aren’t especially generous on room, either, with taller passengers finding they are short of legroom. It hasn’t been in showrooms for long enough to have featured in many owner satisfaction surveys, although the huge-selling Focus – on which the Kuga is based – has performed well in such reports. There is an optional 6-speed automatic, but in a vehicle like this, the manual transmission really is the gearbox to go with. Heated mirrors are a must-have for anyone in cold climates, and if someone is looking at a Fiesta, the odds are less that they own a garage and park in a parking lot or on the street.
It is only a single-zone on the Fiesta, but being able to set a temperature and forget it is nice. My 2011 does not have that, so I have no idea when the engine is warmed up enough to turn on the heater without freezing. The Fiesta is often used as a benchmark for small car driving dynamics (the Mazda2 might be slightly better), and it is important to note that Ford has changed nothing in that department.
Five gears is just unacceptable in a modern vehicle (automatic or manual), and I believe the Fiesta’s fuel economy suffers as a result.
Little things like a sunglasses holder and the redesigned 4″ screen area show that engineers really paid attention to the little things. But by no means is it not drivable, and makes up for the lack of power in other, more clever ways.
I wish they included a physical traction control button like they do on the ST, but the system can still be disabled by the car’s computer should the vehicle get stuck. The automatic is a perfectly fine transmission, but if you want to have fun and save money, the manual is the only way to go. Now that I can get a lot of the features I have for less money, that makes the car an even better bargain.


The news was confirmed by the official press release from Ford, which announced that that the 2013 Ford Escape model will be sold in Europe and many other auto-markets as the 2013 Ford Kuga.
The structure of the front seats was relieved, and they have more features – electrically adjustable, electrically adjustable lumbar support and adjustable headrests in four directions.
The stylists have managed to improve even on the great looks of the outgoing design, putting the Kuga high up in the cool fashion stakes. Still, at a price of R324 900, this Trend package offers quite an impressive level of features, including a 230 V charging outlet, seven airbags, twin exhausts, fold-up trays for the rear passengers, leather upholstery and an electrically adjustable driver’s seat. There’s plenty of leg- and headroom, while the spaces under the front seats afford added foot space for rear passengers and the fold-up trays conjure thoughts of picnics in the countryside. For those who wish to tow a boat or caravan, the Kuga has a respectable braked tow rating of 1 500 kg.
The interior is well designed up front, with supportive seats and an easy to read, clearly laid-out dashboard.
If carrying capacity is a priority, SUV competitors like the Nissan X-Trail will make a great deal more sense. Smart items like keyless starting, an MP3 audio connection and alloy wheels feature as standard on all versions, while high-spec Titanium models add luxuries such as leather upholstery and dual-zone climate control. In fact, skipping the automatic can save enough money that the more expensive Titanium trim level is easily obtainable for the same coin.
The gear changes are normal for a front-wheel drive car (but not short like a Honda S2000 or Mazda MX-5).
It is almost like a Ford engineer got inside my head and fixed all the little things I did not like about the Fiesta for the new version. The new 2013 Ford Escape (or the 2013 Ford Kuga if you prefer) comes with many improvements, all in favor of the customer. Apart from our narrowed-down choice in the Match-up section on page 86, the segment also boasts contenders from Japan (Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail), Korea (Kia Sportage and Hyundai ix35), France (Peugeot 4008 and Citroen C4 Aircross) and, of course, Germany (VW Tiguan). A front-wheel-drive version is also available; this is good to drive and lowers running costs further still. What’s more, if you choose the front-wheel-drive model, and you’ll improve that by around 2mpg, although you may regret it when the snow starts falling in winter. Ford has even cut out a portion of the top of the door trim to make resting your arm on it comfortable. I knew that Ford had made some positive changes to the vehicle, but what really surprised me is how much kit the Fiesta comes with at a much lower price point than what I paid for mine! All interior lighting, including the center-mounted 4″ display, is now blue in color.
As I mentioned, I would go for it, but if the point of a small car is to save some cash or if you do not like the system it would be okay to skip it. The fuel economy does suffer with the manual-equipped vehicle, but the automatic transmission is an expensive option on such an inexpensive vehicle that it may take awhile to make up that price difference in fuel economy.
While I really like the changes in 2014, it is not a big enough change to get me out of my 2011. It also comes equipped with all of the options a normal person would want without any of the extra fluff. Yes, it costs more for the hatchback but it looks a lot better and the hatch provides more storage space. Buyers are spoilt for choice, but the Ford Kuga is good enough to deserve a spot on any short list. It’s sometimes nice to be able to dive nose-first into a parking spot instead of having to mess around with parallel parking.
It would be a great car to send off to college with a freshman, or just a good all-around vehicle for the day-to-day.



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