The most striking change lies beneath the thin film of camouflage at the front, where the updated Kuga gets a bold hexagonal grille with two strong horizontal crossbars.
The new grille is reminiscent of that of the size-larger Ford Edge, suggesting that the Blue Oval brand is looking to harmonise the styling of its SUV family, as it is doing with its passenger cars.
The fresh grille means the updated Kuga’s front bumper will be heavily revised, with new foglight housings and a thinner lower air intake.
Further emphasising the overhauled design are the Kuga’s revised headlights, which feature new LED daytime running lights along their lower edges similar to those of the Mondeo.
Shots of the rear reveal new tail-lights, which also appear to take inspiration from the Edge and Mondeo, as well as a reshaped tailgate.
Camouflage material is also visible inside the cabin, suggesting the updated model will get interior tweaks, likely including new infotainment technology.
Having just received a series of engine upgrades for the Australian market, few changes are expected under the bonnet of the Kuga. It’s currently available with 1.5- and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines and a 2.0-litre diesel.
Our spy photographers claim production of the facelifted Kuga (called the Escape in the US and some other overseas markets) is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2016, almost four years after production of the current third-generation model kicked off in May 2012.
If that timing is correct, don’t expect to see the updated Kuga on our shores until the end of 2016 at the earliest.
Click the Photos tab for more images of the Ford Kuga facelift.