• All-new mid-sized 4×4 from Ford
• Safest car in its class
• Up to 25 per cent more efficient than the previous model

All the details of the new Ford Kuga mid-sized 4×4 have been revealed, including price and technical details.

Inside, the new Kuga is more spacious than its predecessor, offering 46 litres extra boot space over the previous model and features an ingenious, hands-free way to open the boot. Just wave your foot beneath the tailgate and the boot will open – useful if you are laden with Christmas shopping. Ford’s Kuga will also come equipped with the company’s SYNC infotainment system, which enables voice activation for the driver’s ‘phone and music (which can be connected by either Blutooth or USB) as well as including Emergency Assist, which helps the driver to call the emergency services should an accident occur. Ford says that the interior materials have been upgraded as well, with extensive use of soft-touch plastics.

Styling-wise, the new car is an evolution over the old model, retaining the chunky 4×4 silhouette of the first Kuga but with more angular detailing. Panel gaps have been reduced and specially shaped door mirrors have helped to reduce wind-noise at high speed, as well as improving perceived quality.

Under the bonnet, the petrol engine is a 148bhp version of the 1.6-litre Ecoboost four-cylinder engine. This is only available with front-wheel drive and it achieves 42.8mpg, emits 154g/km of CO2 and it comes with a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes. Cars equipped with the 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine can be had with both two and four-wheel drive and are available in two states of tune. The lower-powered unit produces 138bhp, averages 53.3mpg and emits 139g/km of CO2, while the more powerful 160bhp version returns 47.9mpg and 154g/km of CO2. These can be had with either manual or automatic gearboxes.

Europe’s safety authority, Euro NCAP, says that this is the safest car in its class, awarding it a five-star rating with an overall score of 88 per cent – better than its rivals from Honda, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volkswagen.

The Kuga will be priced from £20,895, which is competitive compared to its rivals; the VW Tiguan costs from £20,615, the Honda CR-V from £23,030 and the Toyota RAV4 from £24,340. The car will go on sale in January, with first deliveries expected in late February 2013.

By James Richardson

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