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Ford stel sy nuwe Kuga bekend

Nadat Ford verlede jaar om die verkeerde redes die hooftrekke van die nuus met sy Kuga-sportnutsvoertuig gehaal het, is die jongste weergawe pas bekendgestel.

Ford is die twee grootste vervaardiger van sportnutsvoertuie (SNV’s) ter wêreld, en benewens die Kuga bestaan Ford se plaalike reeks sportnutsvoertuie ook uit die Eco Sport en die Everest. Soos voorheen is twee petrolenjins, asook ‘n dieselenjin, in die nuutste reeks beskikbaar.

Die enjinkeuses bestaan uit twee turbo-aangejaagde petrolenjins van 1,5 of twee liter of ‘n turbodieselenjin van twee liter. Daar is ‘n keuse van ‘n hand- of outomatiese ratkas en voor- of vierwielaandrywing, afhangende van die model. Daar is ook weer drie spesifikasievlakke, naamlik Ambiente, Trend en Titanium.

Die ontwerp van die nuwe Kuga skakel in by dié van Ford se ander sportnutsvoertuie; daar is ‘n groter trapesiumvormige sierrooster aan die bokant en onder is daar ‘n kleiner rooster. Die nuwe kopligte word met misligte gekomplementeer. Die agterligte en die agterklap isa nuut ontwerp en daar is twee uitlaatpype. Die nuwe reeks allooiwiele wissel van 17 tot 19 duim. Volgens Tracey Delate, die algemene bemarkingsbestuurder van Ford Suid-Afrika, beskou klante stilering en ontwerp belangrike faktore is wanneer daar besluit word watter voertuig gekoop word. Dit is waarom die maatskappy opgewonde is oor die nuwe Kuga. Benewens die feit dat die Kuga ‘n uiters bekwame voertuig is en oor heelwat tegnologiese nuwighede beskik, glo Delate dat die nuwe Kuga baie aandag sal trek.

Aan die binnekant is daar heelwat geriefsitems, onder meer ISOFIX-hegpunte, ‘n elektroniese parkeerrem, meer plek vir los goedjies as voorheen. Wegvoubare tafeltjies vir die agterste insittendes en agterste luguitlate vir die luukser modelle. Daar is ook minder knoppies vir die lugversorger en op die stuurwiel en skakelaars kan makliker van mekaar onderskei word. Daar is ‘n handvrye agterklap beskikbaar; jy hoef net jou voet onder die agterstamper te plaas met die sleutel in jou sak en die agterklap sal vanself oopgaan.

Die Trend- en Titanium-modelle kry die nuwe SYNC 3-inligting-en-vermaakstelsel as standaardtoerusting en navigasie is opsioneel beskikbaar. Die navigasiestelsel wys belangrike bakens duidelik aan, asook volkleurgrafika en ‘n volle 3D-ervaring. Daar is ook ander inligting, soos verwagte tyd van aankoms, afstand tot by die bestemming, die huidige sanelheidsperk, en hudige snelheid volgens die GPS.  Kuga-eienaars kan met die agtduim-raakskerm werk op dieselfde manier as wat hulle dit met hul slimfone sou doen. Daar is groter  knoppies wat makliker is om mee te werk en opdragte kan deur middel van handgebare gegee word. SYNC 3 werk saam met Android Auto en Apple Car Play.

Die veiligheidskenmerke waarmee die nuwe Kuga toegerus is, stel nuwe standaarde in sy klas, en sluit onder meer sewe lugsakke, ABS-remme met elektroniese stabiliteitsbeheer, asook ‘n stelsel wat ongelukke verhoed of die erns daarvan verminder, insluit. Daar is ‘n bestuurdershulp-pakket opsioneel vir die Trend en Titanium-modelle beskikbaar. Dit sluit ‘n aanpasbare spoedbeheerstelsel in, ‘n waarskuwing as jy onbewustelik jou baan verlaat, ‘n waarskuwing as ‘n motor in jou blinde kol is en parkeerhulp. Die parkeerhulpstelsel wat in die nuwe Focus bekendgestel is, is ook vir die Kuga beskikbaar. Met behulp van ultrasoniese sensors stel hierdie stelsel die bestuurder in staat om ‘n parkeerplek op te spoor en die voertuig te stuur terwyl die bestuurder die versneller en die rem beheer.

Daar is twee weergawes van die 1,5 liter Eco Boost-enjin beskikbaar. Die kraglewering vir die twee verskillende weergawes is onderskeidelik 110 en 132 kw, albei teen 6 000 opm maar die wringkrag van albei enjins is 240 Nm teen tussen 1 600 en 4 000 opm. Die minder kragtige weergawe word vir die voorwielaangedrewe modelle met die sesgang-handratkas gebruik en die kragtier weergawe vir modelle met die Select Shift-outomatiese ratkas met ses gange. Daar is ook ‘n turboaangejaagde tweeliter-petrolenjin wat net met ‘n outomatiese ratks en vierwielaandrywing beskikbaar is. Hierdie enjin lewer 177kw teen 5 500 opm en wringkrag van 340 Nm teen tussen 2 000 en 3 500 opm. Vir die dieselgeesdriftiges is daar twee modelle, albei met vierwielaandrywing en ‘n outomatiese ratkas. Hierdie modelle se turboaangejaagde tweeliterenjin lewer 132 kw teen 3 500 opm en wringkrag van  400 Nm teen tussen 2 000 en 3 250 opm.

Die pryse van die nuwe Kuga-reeks is soos volg:
1,5 Eco Boost Ambiente: R 368 800
1,5 Eco Boost Ambiente Outomaties: R 381 900
1,5 Eco Boost Trend: R 406 400
1,5 Eco Boost Trend Outomaties: R 427 900
2,0 TDCI Trend AWD Outomaties: R 483 900
2,0 TDCI Titanium AWD Outomaties: R 506 600
2,0 Eco Boost Titanium AWD Outomaties: R 497 900

Die hele reeks word gerugsteun deur Ford Protect, wat bestaan uit ‘n waarborg van vier jaar of 120 000km, drie jaar se padbystand ongeag die voertuig se kilometerlesing, en vyf jaar se beskerming teen korrosie, weer eens ongeag die kilometerlesing.  Die TDCI-modelle se diensplan strek oor vyf jaar of 90 000km, en dienstussenposes is elke 15 000km. In die geval van die petrolmodelle is die diensplan vier jaar of 80 000km, en dienstussenposes is elke 20 000km.

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