Johannesburg - Ford has added both frugality and flavour to its Kuga SUV line-up with the addition of a new 1.5-litre TDCi turbodiesel engine option at the lower end of the range, as well as a new ST Line trim grade at the upper end.

You can’t have the two together though, with the 1.5 TDCi being available in Ambiente and Trend trim grades only, in both cases driving the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

Priced between R426 200 and R456 200, the new diesel motor, which produces 88kW and 270Nm, commands a price premium of R41 300 over the equivalent base (1.5T) petrol model.

‘ST Line’ style

Moving to the top of the range, the new ST Line trim grade replaces the Titanium specification in the 2.0T and 2.0 TDCi all-wheel-drive models.

There's no extra power here, the 2-litre turbopetrol engine soldiering on with 177kW and 340Nm and the 2-litre turbodiesel still producing 132kW and 400Nm, but as is the norm for ‘ST Line’ products abroad, the styling has been jazzed up inside and out, and the vehicles also get revised suspension and steering systems. The ride height has been reduced by 10mm and the vehicle also gets thicker anti-roll bars, stiffer bushes as well as revised spring and damper rates.

Stylistic enhancements come in the form of high-gloss Ebony black treatment for the front grille and rear diffuser, a honeycomb lower grille, more comprehensive colour coding, ST-Line badging and 18-inch black alloy wheels.

You can have those upgraded to 19 inch if you opt for the Styling Pack, which also adds a panoramic roof and a larger rear spoiler. High Intensity Discharge (HID) Bi-Xenon headlamps can also be fitted.

Cabin appointments include partial leather sports seats with contrast stitching, steering wheel and gear knob as well as a darker headliner and metallic-effect trim on the centre console and alloy pedals.

All versions come with a four-year/120 000km warranty and six-year/90 000km service plan.

PRICES

1.5 EcoBoost Ambiente FWD manual R384 900
1.5 EcoBoost Ambiente FWD auto R398 500
1.5 TDCi Ambiente FWD manual R426 200
1.5 EcoBoost Trend FWD auto R445 900
1.5 TDCi Trend FWD manual R456 200
2.0 EcoBoost ST-Line AWD auto R548 500
2.0 TDCi ST-Line AWD auto R566 900

IOL Motoring