Ford has confirmed that its European-built Kuga SUV, which first appeared in 2008 in overseas markets, will go on sale in Australia from March next year.
Replacing the ageing first-generation Escape, now into its 11th year, the Kuga will be offered in Australia in two trim grades: the entry-level Trend and the top-shelf Titanium.
The Australian-delivered Kuga will be powered exclusively by Ford's turbocharged Duratec five-cylinder petrol engine, delivering a healthy 147kW and 320Nm of torque.
Both variants will be mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, paired with Ford's intelligent all-wheel-drive system. Fuel consumption is listed at 10.3 l/100km.
Suspension is MacPherson struts up front, with a multi-link rear. There is also electronic power steering.
News of the Kuga's arrival in Ford's local line-up follows a year that has seen the brand replace or update around 85 percent of its models, including the newly-updated Falcon FG MkII range.
"The Ford Kuga will be an exciting addition to our Australian model range," Ford Australia President and CEO Bob Graziano said. "It is certain to appeal to customers looking for a stylish, practical and fun compact SUV."
While pricing for the Kuga has yet to be revealed, Ford Australia has revealed details of the SUV's two trim grades.
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Rear tailgate with flip glass
- Sony CD 8-speaker sound system with USB port, Bluetooth connectivity and Voice control
- Keyless start/stop button
- Air conditioning and Cruise control
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Power adjustable heated side mirrors with puddle lamps
- Front fog lamps, Follow-me-home lighting
- Silver roof rails
- Capless refuelling
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Fixed panorama glass roof
- Dual-zone climate control
- Leather-trimmed seats (front seats with variable heating controls), leather-trimmed gear shifter
- 6-way power driver's seat
- Rear privacy glass
- Rear parking sensors, Rain-sensing wipers
- Auto headlamps
- Velour floor mats
- Stainless steel front scuff plates
Where's the new Escape?
As for Ford's recently-revealed all-new 2012 Escape, it remains unclear when the new SUV will hit Australia, if at all.
"We anticipate the new Escape forming part of our future catalogue, but it's too soon to confirm an Australian debut at this stage," Ford Australia's Peter Fadeyev told TMR.