The Ford Kuga has been trekking the globe since 2007 in markets from Europe and South Africa to South America and Japan. But for 2012, the second generation Kuga rolled out for the world market. If you’re reading this in the U.S., the Kuga should look very familiar. The 2013 to present Escape is based on the Kuga. Its underpinnings and design are identical, while things like powertrain and option packaging have some differences.

The Kuga shares many of the updates the U.S.-spec Escape enjoys, including the hands-free automatic tailgate, the Microsoft SYNC system, and a power-release feature on the folding second-row seats.

Ford knew in development the Kuga and Escape would be sold the world over, so special attention was paid to the styling. Chris Bird, Ford of Europe’s design director, said the Kuga was meant to appeal to the wide variety of markets it would be sold in. “Great design can turn an object that you need to have, into an object you love,” he said. “That is why we put so much thought and feeling into cars like Kuga, making them appealing and relevant no matter where our customers are.”

He goes on to say size perception differs from region to region. “More customers in Europe and Asia now choose compact SUVs as an alternative to conventional niche products like coupes. In North America there is a growing trend to downsize, but our customers there still want to combine style and space, so it’s important to get that balance.”

So let’s check out how the second-generation Kuga stacks up.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Kuga.

  • 2012 Ford Kuga
  • Year:
    2012
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    147 @ 3500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    258 @ 2000
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    121 mph
  • Price:
    20995 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Exterior
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2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Exterior
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The 2012 Kuga is basically identical to the Escape, right down to bodylines, wheel sizes, and trim. The Kuga certainly fits in the crossover category. Its tall beltline and sloping roofline give it a coupe-like shape popular with customers these days. The sloping hood falls nicely on the large grille openings and HID headlights with LED accents. Lower fog lights and turn signals help brighten up the bottom third of the front end.

Utility is not lost on the Kuga. The crossover has a roof rack that allows for overhead storage of items like kayaks, bikes, or even a cargo basket. Relatively good approach, breakover, and departure angles allow the Kuga to trek over moderately rough ground without worry of body damage.

Despite its sloping roofline, the Kuga offers a generous amount of cargo storage — 82 liters to be exact. The foot-activated power tailgate helps owners with full hands. While the feature is catching on with other automakers, it still gives Ford a leg up on others that don’t (pun intended). And it was Ford that pioneered the technology.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,524 MM (178.11 Inches)
Width with/without mirrors 2,077/1,838 MM (81.77/72.36 Inches)
Height with/without roof rails 1,689 / 1,703 MM (66.49/67.04 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,690 MM (105.90 Inches)

Interior

2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Interior
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2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Interior
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2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Interior
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The Kuga also shares its interior design with the Escape. The multi-tiered dashboard layout offers plenty of room controls by separating HVAC knobs, radio buttons, and the infotainment screen into their own sections. Analog gauges for speed and engine rpm are complemented by a TFT display for more detailed vehicle stats. Seating for five is the only configuration and like most crossover, the second row seats fold flat for hauling large cargo. As mentioned before, the cargo area is expanded to 82 liters over the outgoing model.

Drivetrain

2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Exterior
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Four engines debuted in the 2012 Kuga and included two turbodiesel and two EcoBoost options. Both the turbodiesel engines displace 2.0 liters, but offer different power outputs. The base engine made 147 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque while the more powerful version made 177 horses and 295 pound-feet of torque.

Opt for either of the EcoBoosts, and you’d get a 1.5-liter four-cylinder in both cases. Like the diesels, they offer different power outputs. The standard output is 147 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque while the peppier version gets 179 horsepower. Interestingly, torque remains the same between both EcoBoost options.

If speed is what you want, the quickest engine option was the 177-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbodiesel. It sprinted to 62 mph in 9.2 seconds.

Drivetrain Specifications

2.0-litre TDCi (150 PS) 2.0-litre TDCi (180 PS) 1.5-litre EcoBoost (150 PS) 1.5-litre EcoBoost (182 PS)
Type Inline four cylinder turbo diesel, transverse Inline four cylinder turbo diesel, transverse Inline four cylinder turbo petrol, transverse Inline four cylinder turbo petrol, transverse
Displacement cm³ 1,997 1,997 1,498 1,498
Bore mm 85 85 79.015 ± 0.001 79.015 ± 0.001
Stroke mm 88 88 76.4 ± 0.1 76.4 ± 0.1
Compression ratio 16:1 16:1 10.0:1 10.0:1
Max power 147 HP @ 3,500 RPM 177 HP @ 3,500 RPM 147 HP @ 6,000 RPM 179 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Max torque 258 LB-FT @ 2,000 - 2,500 RPM 295 LB-FT @ 2,000 - 2,500 RPM 177 LB-FT @ 1,600 - 4,000 RPM 177 LB-FT @ 1,600 - 4,000 RPM
Top Speed 195 KM/H (121 MPH) 200 KM/H (124 MPH) 195 KM/H (121 MPH) 200 KM/H (124 MPH)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 10.1 seconds 9.2 seconds 9.7 seconds 10.1 seconds

Safety

2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Exterior
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The Kuga meets all the current NCAP regulations, along with the IIHS and NHTSA standards in the U.S. For 2012, the Kuga earned a five star rating from the Euro NCAP testing agency while the 2013 Escape received the IIHS’ best score of “Good” in all areas besides the newly implemented small-overlap crash test in which it scored a “Poor.” Front, side, head curtain, and a driver’s knee airbag were present, along with electronic stability control, traction control, ABS, daytime running lights, and of course seat belts.

Prices

The 2012 Kuga was competitively priced in each market it was sold. Here in the U.S. the 2013 Escape (the first year for the refreshed model) carried base price of $22,470 and rose into the lower $30,000 range. Prices have held steady in the U.S., with the current 2016 Escape starting at $23,100.

Competition

Volkswagen Tiguan

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan High Resolution Exterior
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The Volkswagen Tiguan is another world traveler as it is sold in various parts of the world, including the U.S. Diesel and gasoline engine choices, along with both automatic and manual transmissions offer customers a wide selection of options with the Tiguan.

Read more about the Volkswagen Tiguan here.

Mazda CX-5

2016 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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The Mazds CX-5 appeals to the sporty side of the crossover segment. With Mazda’s typical “zoom-zoom” approach to building cars, the CX-5 responds well in corners and does a good job at running down the highway. A simple yet effective interior is attractive and comfortable for five, while cargo room is on par with the segment.

Read more about the Mazda CX-5 here.

Conclusion

2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Exterior
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The updates to the Kuga have made Ford’s compact crossover a worldwide success. Thanks for the brand’s global focus and “one Ford” mindset, the automaker is saving money in both design and manufacturing, along with a global take on replacement part distribution.

Though the design is a few years old, the Kuga and Escape still look fresh. Their EcoBoost and turbodiesel powertrains are both solid choices and its optional AWD system offers those in snowy climates some extra traction. So whether it’s called the Kuga or the Escape, Ford’s small crossover has positioned itself in a commanding place in its class.

  • Leave it
    • * EcoBoost options down on power compared to U.S. versions
    • * Design already two years old in U.S.

Press Release

Ford designers employed trend spotting on a global scale to ensure the all-new Kuga meets the needs of the customers – wherever they are in the world.

2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Ford experts identified the varied and often conflicting worldwide tastes to deliver cross-continental appeal for the company’s first global compact SUV. This included reconciling the popularity of larger vehicles in North America with a European preference for more compact cars, and accommodating the popularity of lighter interior materials in Asia with a tendency for European buyers to go for darker shades.

It also meant employing colour, design and spatial solutions to create the finished product as well as ensuring a degree of market-specific customisation. The inspiration for trim and colour palettes came from sources as diverse as climbing shoes, make-up, jewellery and furnishings.

“Great design can turn an object that you need to have, into an object you love,” said Chris Bird, design director, Ford of Europe, who is responsible for colour, material and vehicle personalisation. “That is why we put so much thought and feeling into cars like Kuga, making them appealing and relevant no matter where our customers are.

“For example, size-perception is different in each region,” he added. “More customers in Europe and Asia now choose compact SUVs as an alternative to conventional niche products like coupes. In North America there is a growing trend to downsize, but our customers there still want to combine style and space, so it’s important to get that balance.

“We made this work by collaborating closely with our engineering colleagues on details including getting the size of the wheels just right and incorporating Ford’s kinetic design in the exterior dimensions.”

2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Exterior
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“In Asia, lighter interiors are more desirable,” said Ulrike Dahm, colour and trim supervisor, Ford of Europe, who specialises in Asian markets. “Many people live in huge cities where space is at a premium, so having a light and airy interior is seen as luxurious. In Europe, colours and trim take a lot of influence from the tech industry and are generally darker. Gloss black is a popular choice.”

All-new Ford Kuga will launch with a global colour called Ginger Ale, a subtle green hue to reflect its active outdoor capabilities, but with rich, sophisticated tones to harmonise with the slick urban environment where many models will find a home.

Whilst the all-new Kuga showcases the evolution of Ford’s Kinetic design on the popular compact SUV platform, highlighting its new spacious, high quality interior, it also introduces creative and practical technologies.

These include the hands-free automatic tailgate, which can be opened and closed simply by kicking a foot under the rear bumper.

“Innovative technologies like the hands-free automatic tailgate clearly sets new Kuga apart from its competitors,” said Ford of Europe chairman and CEO Stephen Odell. “But more importantly they provide customers with everyday advantages. All-new Kuga is more spacious, dynamic and capable than the current model, which continues to be popular with our European customers.”

2012 Ford Kuga High Resolution Exterior
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Ford’s voice-activated in-car connectivity system SYNC also will be available on Kuga. It features Emergency Assistance, which enables SYNC to help occupants place a call to the emergency services directly in the event of an accident.

The all-new Kuga features boot-space with an increased capacity of 82-litres, while the rear seats fold flat at the touch of a button.

The all-new Kuga will go on sale in the UK at the end of this year.

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