Ford Kuga PHEV : better a electric ? | Automotive

VERDICT CHRONO From theory to practice, there is often a difference, or even a chasm. Thus, while most plug-in hybrids boast more than 50 km of battery range,

Ford Kuga PHEV : better a electric ? | Automotive


From theory to practice, there is often a difference, or even a chasm. Thus, while most plug-in hybrids boast more than 50 km of battery range, some of the first models of this type have sometimes, in reality, revealed difficulties to travel more than 30 only on the energy of their battery, thereby negating the hope of many motorists to use it strictly, zero-emission everyday.

But the situation is changing, notably with the entry into force of new standards more challenging. The best example is given by this Ford Kuga PHEV. Fort a battery of 14.4 kWh, this SUV plug-in hybrid has a battery range record range, in function of uses, from 50 to 70 km, which in fact, for many users, a less expensive alternative and is more versatile to a model that is 100 % electric. The icing on the cake, the Kuga PHEV has the right to a bonus of eur 2 000 Ford abounds for the launch of the model a special discount of € 2 500.


Ford Kuga PHEV © Rouffignac Bernard / Ford

The new Kuga shows the strategy of electrification as deployed by Ford to enable the european branch of the american giant to achieve the objectives of reduction of CO2 emission imposed in our Old Continent. It has been designed from the outset to incorporate a hybrid drivetrain, and even plug-in hybrid as regards the version tested here. The new Kuga is still assembled in Spain, in the factory of Valencia, where Ford has invested heavily in the past two years.


Ford Kuga PHEV © Rouffignac Bernard / Ford

the platform of The Kuga derives from the one released in 2018 by the Focus of the 4th generation. But the body-in-white of the new SUV, Ford does nothing of that of the previous model. It demonstrates, in particular, more rigid and lightweight (- 80 kg), in spite of the measurements increased (+ 8.9 cm in length + 4.4 cm width - 0.6 cm in height). This platform has also the advantage of having been designed from the ground up to integrate different sizes of battery, a small 48V and a hundred of Wh, in the trunk, for version mHEV (Mild Hybrid Vehicle); an average of 1.1 kWh under the front seat of the passenger version of HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), and finally a big 14.4 kWh occupant, for the release PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), the width of the floor, of the front seat to the back seat.

Ford Kuga PHEV © Rouffignac Bernard / Ford

It is this last version that we are trying here. Its hybrid powertrain gasoline/electricity presents an architecture called the diversion of power combining by means of a gear épicycloïdal a 4-cylinder 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle engine with 164 hp, a generator, and an electric motor of 61 hp, for a power accumulated maximum of 225 hp. Only the front wheels are driven. The version of HEV (non-rechargeable) to the Kuga, which will be proposed in the end of the year uses the same mechanics, but may, optionally, include an all-wheel drive and traditional mechanical, unlike the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid-version 4-wheel drive (AWD) uses an additional electric motor to drive the rear wheels.


Ford Kuga PHEV © Rouffignac Bernard / Ford

The position semi high seating ensures an easy access to edge. Already evident on the plan of the exterior styling, the link of kinship with the Focus – including the Kuga takes the platform – is even more so in the interior with a dashboard that seems to resume almost without modification of the compact sedan. We find the digital instrumentation on the slab of 12.3 inches, and the central screen touch 8-inch offered as standard from the Titanium finish.

Ford Kuga PHEV © Rouffignac Bernard / Ford

The modularity is part of the highlights of the Kuga with the rear seat sliding on a fifteen centimetres to a trade-off between space for the legs of rear passengers and boot capacity, which can vary from 411 litres (45 less than the versions thermal) at 581, or even 1 481 folding down completely the said bench. Practice.

the VIEW OF The AUTO focus

Ford Kuga PHEV © Rouffignac Bernard / Ford

this will never Be repeated enough : the purchase of a plug-in hybrid only makes sense if one has the possibility to charge it, ideally, frequently enough to allow a use, zero-emission everyday. In the case of the Kuga, the operation requires about 5 hours on a domestic socket (16 amps, or 3 hours on the Wallbox that Ford will offer as an option at the end of the year.

Ford Kuga PHEV © Rouffignac Bernard / Ford

The peculiarity, which is all to the advantage of the Kuga is the capacity rather generous of the battery (14,4 kWh), which determines autonomy 100 % electric which is not least : the official figure of 56 miles indicated by Ford seems rather pessimistic to use. On a journey combining city and highway driving, we have, for example, no difficulty in reaching the 70 kilometre radius of action. What to look forward serenely to the home-work journeys 100 % electric. And contrary to what the power to weight ratio (1 769 kg to 61 hp) might let it be afraid, this is not a punishment, it would encourage and even to conduct " zen ", less stressful in the urban traffic, while allowing to reach without any problem the 130 km/h on the highway. Convincing.

Ford Kuga PHEV © Rouffignac Bernard / Ford

beyond this radius of action, power, the Kuga PHEV reverts to a hybrid model when its 4-cylinder 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle starts automatically to take up the slack of the discharged battery. The mechanical architecture called the diversion of power, such as that used by Toyota on the Rav4, for example, establishes a continuous variation of the gear ratio transmission to keep the engine on its ideal operating point. Very efficient, this system allows you to get consumption to be very reasonable on long journeys, between 5 and 8 litres of gasoline, depending on the type of course and the pace adopted.

Ford Kuga PHEV © Rouffignac Bernard / Ford

However, this type of transmission causes a sensation of slipping strange, generally little appreciated by motorists in europe. Fortunately, the big 4 cylinder Ford is pretty well soundproofed and didn't pack in an inappropriate way at the slightest pressure on the accelerator. Nevertheless, it is possible to avoid this phenomenon of continuous variation in passing in sport mode, which simulates then the fixed-ratio transmission. This mode allows you to make the most of the behavior, which, as usual at Ford, shows itself to be rather pleasant on a long, winding road, with a depreciation well calibrated and precise steering. It is unfortunate that the comfort at low speed suffers a filtering could be better the small inequalities of the coating.


electrical Autonomy very generous

interior Modularity allowed by the seat sliding

fuel Consumption very reasonable in hybrid mode



Filtering could be better for the suspension

Presentation cabin without fancy

Under the hood of the Ford Kuga PowerSplit PHEV

petrol combustion Engine : 4 cyl. in-line Atkinson-cycle

Displacement : 2 499 cm3

Power : 164 hp

Torque : 200 Nm

electric Motor : synchronous with permanent magnets 61 ch

Battery type : lithium-ion battery-14.4 kWh

Power rating : 225 hp

Transmission : to the front wheels

Box : continuously variable power combining generator and train épicycloïdal

Dimensions : 4,61 * 1.88 x 1.67 m

Safety deposit box : 411 581 l (seat sliding) up to 1 481 l (seats folded)

Weight : 1 769 kg

0 to 100 km/h : 9,2 s

Speed : 200 km/h

power Consumption : 1.4 l/100 km

CO2 emissions : 32 g/km (2 000 € bonus)

Price : from 38 600 €

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Date Of Update: 27 June 2020, 06:33