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Ford Kuga has ‘best in class’ CO2

Ford is promoting its all-new Kuga, the company’s first entry into the growing crossover segment, as having class-leading levels of CO2 at 169g/km (with combined fuel consumption of 44.1mpg).

This certainly beats the 43.5mpg of the best direct competition such as the BMW X3 2.0d and the Honda CR-V, however it doesn’t quite match the 48.7mpg and 153g/km CO2 of the recently announced Subaru Legacy Outback diesel.

Anyway, it’s great to see that the Kuga has such good economy and emissions figures even if Ford sees it in a different class to the Outback. The Kuga’s full vital statistics are urban 34.9mpg, extra urban 52.3mpg, and combined 44.1mpg.

The Kuga also has great looks, although the standard showroom models with the 17 inch wheels don’t quite have the same muscular appearance as the show cars with the 19 inch alloys. However the Titanium spec has the option of the 19 inch alloys, and the Zetec can be specified with 18 inch wheels.

And there is the promise of substance as well as style – Ford promises that the Kuga, based on the Focus and the C-MAX, but with an intelligent electronic Haldex all wheel drive system with electronically controlled, variable torque distribution up to 50:50, will have impressive on-road driving dynamics with substantial off-road ability – although it is unlikely that many will ever venture far off-road.

The Kuga is powered by the Euro 4 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi 136PS diesel engine with standard particulate filter and six-speed manual transmission, mated to the full-time AWD system.

It’s available in two specifications – Zetec and Titanium. Standard features include keyless start, 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Ford Easy fuel, Thatcham category 1 alarm and MP3 connector.

The Titanium spec adds rain sensing wipers, blue tinted glass, partial leather trim, cruise control, automatic headlights and dual electronic air temperature control. Additional premium options available include rear facing camera, panoramic roof, USB connectivity and DAB radio.

The Kuga comes with a feature more common on Range Rovers, a dual split-tailgate design with separate access to either the glass upper tailgate section only, or both sections simultaneously.

Offering seating for up to five adults, the second row of seating has a 60/40 split and can fold completely flat to maximise the load space, and there is underseat storage beneath the second row with further storage under the floor of the luggage compartment area. The Kuga’s boot has a luggage capacity of 410 litres, or 1,355 litres with the rear seats down.

The car is available in a choice of nine body colours including two brand new metallic colours – ‘Chill’ and ‘Electric White.’

Prices of the Kuga, on sale in June 2008, start from £20,495 for the Zetec and £22,495 for the Titanium.