Ford has announced today that it is expanding the current range of its mini 4×4, with the introduction of models at the top and bottom of the range.
Slotting in as the base model is a 2wd 2.0 TDCi which has a Co2 output of just 159g/km. This is a crucial point for businesses when the regulations change in April 2009. By coming in at under 160g/km the new Kuga will be eligible for a 20% writing down allowance, as opposed to the 10% for cars over 160g/km. It will also mean a drop in VED costs.
At the top end things get more interesting (from a performance point of view). A new Ford Kuga sporting the 2.5 Duratec engine as used in the Focus ST, together with intelligent 4WD is to be built. With 200PS the new Kuga will do the 0-60 sprint in around 8 secondsand on to a top speed of almost 130mph. There will be the option of a 6-speed manual of 5-speed auto.
The Kuga appears to be falling in to the ‘Acceptable Downsize’ category, a bit like the Mini does. People are perceiving it as an acceptable compromise in these pretty tough economic times, and the new model at the top will give more people the push to make the move.
Good little 4×4, the Ford Kuga. You can do a lot worse if you need a versatile, economic 4×4. Not terribly exciting, but good at what it does.