Recently Essex Ford, part of the Essex Auto Group, presented Essex County Cricket legends Alistair Cook and Graham Gooch with their brand-new sponsored Ford vehicles for the coming year. Alistair Cook will be driving a new Ford Kuga supplied by Basildon-based Essex Ford and Graham Gooch the Ford S-MAX supplied by Essex Ford.
In the photograph are:
The new Ford Kuga comes with class-leading fuel economy via highly improved fuel efficiency from an engine line-up which includes the award-winning EcoBoost engine technology. Petrol engine fuel consumption has been decreased by 25 per cent whereas the diesel engine fuel consumption is reduced by 10 per cent.
The car has grown a bit, with the same wheelbase, but an extra 81mm added to the overall length. As a result it's much bigger inside, with a maximum load area of 1,928 litres – that's a whopping 573 litres more than before – and there's now generous space in the rear for a pair of tall adults. Thanks to a fantastic panoramic sunroof, there's lots of light in the back too.
The Kuga packs in lots of new gadgets, including Ford's SYNC system which allows you to pair your smartphone and play music through the speakers via Bluetooth. It also allows you to make phone calls in this way too. You can control SYNC via voice command or buttons on the steering wheel, so you keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
The smartest feature is the automatic tailgate though, which makes opening the boot with your hands full very easy indeed. All you do is sweep your foot under the rear bumper. A beep lets you know the system is engaged and that you have two seconds to stand back before the gate lifts. A push of the boot lid button reverses the process. Other features include optional blind spot warning and self-parking.
The Kuga also features a Curve Control set-up to help tighten its line in a corner, plus torque vectoring to send power to the wheels with the most grip. Together with four-wheel drive the Kuga feels very stable and secure, but it's also agile enough to have fun, turning into corners well and offering decent feedback through the electric power steering.
So it's bigger, more efficient and full of hi-tech gadgetry, which makes it Ford's smartest SUV.
Judge for yourself and take a test drive – contact Essex Ford at Basildon, Billericay, Lakeside, Rayleigh or Southend today!