The new Ford Kuga offers comfortable and spacious seating for up to five adults.
In order to optimise the driving environment, Ford specialists developed the new Kuga using a Computer Aided Virtual Engineering (CAVE) system. The CAVE combines a number of computers and digital projectors to create a virtual, full-sized interior of a car. A real car seat is fixed to the rig for the 'driver' who can then evaluate all-round visibility and comfort levels for reach and operation of controls.
This system proved invaluable in customer clinics to gauge reaction to the new car and provided a platform for aspiring Kuga drivers to voice their opinions as the new model took shape. It also enabled the development team to make fast and efficient changes to a virtual representation of their designs.
The CAVE system is a good example of the many cost-effective measures that were introduced to benefit key areas of the car's development � with added benefits for the finished product and ultimately for customer satisfaction.
Comfort and Practicality for up to Five Adults
Inside, the new Kuga offers occupants the benefit of 1008mm of headroom and a shoulder width of 1422mm for the driver and front seat passenger.
Supporting the car's 'cockpit' feel driving position is an optional 6-way power adjustable seat for the driver that provides effortless adjustments for fore/aft, seating height and backrest recline.
The foam used in the seats is designed to offer optimum comfort, ergonomic performance and support. This is complemented by a choice of finishing fabrics including leather with increased 'pluspadding', an additional layer of foam immediately beneath the leather trim that provides added comfort and very high levels of refinement. Seat trims receive further enhancement if leather seats with additional pluspadding are specified.
Second row passengers benefit from high levels of comfort and features. The comfortable rear seating provides 1395mm of shoulder room and 987mm of headroom, giving generous space to accommodate adult passengers.
Detailed actions taken by the Sound, Quality and Vibration (SQ&V) team mean that any wind, road and powertrain noise has been specifically addressed with the result that front and rear passengers can easily have a conversation across the cabin's length without the need to raise their voices.
“We have a metric, the express purpose of which looks at the ability to understand spoken language. Even for those times when the driver is travelling alone there will be no trouble in conducting a hands-free phone call, listen to the audio equipment or giving the car instructions via the voice control function. All of these things can comfortably be carried out even at high cruising speeds, ” said Klaus Peter Tamm, Chief Programme Engineer for the Ford Kuga.
A further interior enhancement is the addition of an optional 230 Volt socket, positioned at the rear of the flow-through centre console, which enables rear passengers to use electrical appliances up to a capacity of 150 watts. A further stowage compartment is located below the power socket for stowage of small items.
The second row seating has a 60/40 split and has been designed to fold completely flat to maximise the usefulness of the available load compartment in two-seat mode. Underseat storage is a practical feature for the second row with further storage under the floor of the luggage compartment area which is divided into compartments to offer maximum practicality. A luggage compartment sill height of 758mm aids the loading of heavy items into the car.
Like all recently launched Ford models the Kuga will undergo full allergy certification testing.
Adaptable and Functional
Ford's customer research confirmed that potential owners wanted a wide area to access the load compartment for the occasions they need the full volume. However, equally they wanted to be able to access the load compartment quickly and easily for smaller items without opening the whole tailgate.
The result is that Ford Kuga offers a new convenience feature for its segment called 'liftgate in liftgate'. This provides the ability to open a portion of the liftgate for access to the main luggage compartment whilst parked in height-restricted conditions. This feature also enables easy access to the luggage compartment for when smaller items need to be placed into or removed from the car.
The seat backs of the second row fold flat to allow larger, more bulky loads to be transported. When the second row seats are folded forward to maximise the load area – to a length of 1578mm to the back of the first row seats – they form a completely flat area without an awkward step to negotiate luggage over or around. It is not necessary to remove the headrests of the rear seats to fold them forward.
The Kuga has a generous luggage capacity of 1355 litres when in two-seat mode, while the enclosed luggage compartment achieves a volume of 360 litres. With a standard tyre repair kit an additional 50 litres of volume is gained in the spare wheel well.
Four exposed D-ring tie-down points are located across the rear seat back and up the inner rear panel of the car. This helps to tether loose items safely and reduces noise levels of items moving around whilst driving.
Inserts in the false floor of the load compartment enable the luggage compartment tonneau cover to be conveniently and permanently stored within the car. This facility is available to all Kuga models with the tyre repair kit. A 'one-touch' push function for the rear tonneau cover and flexible netting in the luggage area that automatically moves is joined to the tonneau cover for maximum security.
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