Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
22 Sep 2017
5:15 am

Ford Kuga rises from the ashes

Citizen Reporter

Prices have been adjusted downwards slightly, with the entry level 1.5l model coming in at R368 800.

The Ford Kuga Ambiente. Picture: Supplied.

Ford South Africa is hoping to raise its controversial Kuga from the ashes of a charred reputation by relaunching a revamped version of the car.

It is also significantly cheaper than the outgoing model, which gained notoriety for the occasions on which it burst into flames, forcing the recall of thousands of cars for rectifications to their cooling and other systems.

The car maker took journalists, social media personalities and “influencers” on a motoring tour through the Eastern Cape this week to announce the resurrection of the nameplate.

The new range does not include the problematic 1.6 litre turbopetrol engine, which was the one that caught fire. In its place is a 1.5l turbopetrol, a 2.0l turbopetrol and a 2.0l turbodiesel.

Prices have been adjusted downwards slightly, with the entry-level 1.5l model coming in at R368 800, while the range-topping 2.0l turbodiesel, with automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, retails for R506 900.

While many of the invited guests on the Kuga tours gushed about the car’s equipment levels and ride, the Kuga hashtag also attracted many negative and humorous comments, all focused on the fire disasters.

When a journalist posted comments on Facebook before he left on the trip, he drew a number of humorous comments from his friends, including: “Can you braai on it?”

Ford SA was widely criticised in the Kuga saga for not reacting quickly enough and also of not taking the concerns of local motorists seriously enough.

One motorist burned to death in his Kuga, an incident Ford claims was unrelated to the fires that led to the recalls. The PR disaster led to the departure of the then head of Ford SA, American Jeff Nemeth. –