Ford has today unveiled what is likely to debut in Australia no sooner than late next year as the 2017 Ford Kuga, in keeping with the mid-sized SUV’s local scheduling cycle.
And, with the Australian market only today welcoming a 2016 equipment update for the current Kuga, it will likely be sometime before the facelift shown here makes its local debut.
At today’s LA auto show, Ford revealed a significantly updated look for the Escape/Kuga, with styling changes headlined by a bold new grille, revised headlights and a new front bumper, all combining to bring the mid-sized SUV’s look in line with the larger Edge - which could also hit Australia next year.
Styling through the profile is largely unchanged, but stepping around to the rear reveals updated black-framed tail lamps with a reshaped inside edge and new LED lighting, along with a sharpened look to the longer new grab panel.
Design changes in the cabin are limited, with the pre-facelift model already gaining an upgrade to a larger 8.0-inch display (for Australia, that means today) with the newer Sync 2 infotainment system.
Away from styling, the upgraded Escape picks up new infotainment features, new EcoBoost engines and new driving assistance systems.
In the US, Ford’s even fresher Sync 3 system is featured in the Escape’s cabin, but today’s unveiling in Los Angeles has also added the new subscription-based Sync Connect smartphone app, offering the ability to lock and unlock the doors, start the engine and locate the vehicle.
New driver-assist tech includes upgraded adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning and brake support, along with enhanced active park assist, lane-keeping assist and driver fatigue alert.
Two new four-cylinder EcoBoost engines are also featured, including a 182kW/327Nm twin-scroll 2.0-litre turbo unit and a smaller 134kW/250Nm 1.5-litre mill.
A six-speed auto is standard across the range, and both new engines also feature auto stop-start.
Although not confirmed with today’s unveiling, the Escape’s two new engines are likely versions of petrol units already offered in Australia. Here, there’s 134kW/240Nm 1.5-litre and 178kW/345Nm options, among others.
Australian timing and specifications for the facelifted Escape/Kuga are still to be confirmed. Watch this space.