New Ford Kuga revealed in US signals 2023 design and tech

Upcoming facelift for Ford’s family SUV makes its debut in America under the ‘Ford Escape’ nameplate

  • Latest SYNC4 infotainment
  • Petrol and plug-in hybrid engines available
  • European unveiling expected early 2023

The new Ford Kuga SUV has made its debut in the US under a different name: the Ford Escape. This new model previews what we can expect from the upcoming Kuga facelift, which is set to bring a refreshed design and the latest technology.

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An official unveiling of the European-spec Kuga is expected in the first half of 2023, with early models arriving in showrooms later that year. Prices haven’t yet been confirmed, but expect a mild uplift on the £29,755 starting price of the current model. However, despite this price hike, the new Ford Kuga should remain competitively priced against rival family SUVs such as the Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Tiguan.

As we can see from Ford’s press images, the facelifted Kuga – badged Escape for the US market – will incorporate a reworked grille that’s stamped with Ford’s ‘Blue Oval’ logo. Also new for 2023 is an LED light bar that runs across the top of it, into a pair of redesigned headlights.

As before, the updated Kuga will get plastic body cladding along its haunches to give it a more brutish look – these are likely to be painted in body colour for ST-Line models and left in black for rugged Active cars. The facelift is also set to introduce a few new alloy wheel designs as well as a set of subtly reworked LED taillights.

The greatest changes can be found inside, where the facelifted Kuga will ditch the outgoing model’s dated-feeling eight-inch touchscreen in favour of an expansive 13.1-inch unit. The new system will run Ford’s latest SYNC4 software and be paired with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, brought across from the old Kuga. All of this will bring the ageing Ford SUV in-line with techier rivals such as the Kia Sportage.

At this stage, Ford is yet to detail specifics regarding the facelifted Kuga’s engine range, however, we don’t expect there to be any major changes over the outgoing model. The current lineup comprises a 1.5-litre petrol producing 148bhp, alongside two hybrids. These both utilise a 2.5-litre engine, with the self-charging hybrid producing 187bhp, and the plug-in hybrid model delivering 222bhp.

Looking for a new family car that won’t cost the earth to run? Check out our list of the top 10 best hybrid SUVs

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