Ford Motor Company of Southern African has rejigged its local Kuga range a little over a year after the facelifted model arrived, adding a new ST-Line specification for the range-topping models as well as introducing a 1,5 TDCi diesel engine.

The revised line-up in South Africa sees the Titanium trim level fall away, replaced by the ST-Line specification (applied to the 177 kW 2,0-litre EcoBoost and 132 kW 2,0-litre TDCi derivatives).

The range also gains two new 1,5 TDCi turbodiesel variants, offered in base Ambiente and mid-tier Trend levels. This oil-burner slots in below the 2,0-litre TDCi powerplant and churns out 88 kW and 270 N.m, sending its oomph exclusively to the front axle via a six-speed manual gearbox.

While the local range still comprises seven derivatives, note that the manual 1,5 EcoBoost Trend variant has been discontinued (the automatic version remains), as has the 2,0 TDCi Trend AWD model (essentially replaced by the new diesels).

ST-Line models boast a fresh front skidplate, chunkier side-skirts, a rear spoiler and beefier wheel arches, plus a high-gloss “Ebony Black” finish for the grille (which also features a honeycomb design on its the lower portion) and a matching mesh finish on the foglamp bezels.

The rear faux-diffuser is also finished in the high-gloss hue, while black roof rails, tinted front and rear lights, as well as privacy glass for the rear windows are also included. You’ll furthermore notice the ST-Line exterior badging (on the front fenders) and the 18-inch high-gloss black alloys (19-inch items in Ebony Black are optional).

Inside, you’ll find partial-leather sport seats with contrasting stitching (repeated on the steering wheel and gear lever) as well as a dark headliner and pillar trim. Ford says there’s also a two-layer metallic-effect “Deep Space” paint finish for the centre console, plus alloy pedals and scuff plates incorporating the “ST-Line”.

Under the skin, Ford claims the ST-Line models boast “chassis enhancements incorporating optimised suspension and steering” thanks to thicker anti-roll bars, a 10 mm lower ride height and stiffer suspension bushes. The Blue Oval brand says spring and damper rates have also been “fine-tuned”.

All derivatives are covered by a four-year/120 000 km warranty and a six-year/90 000 km service plan (with intervals of 15 000 km).

Pricing (new models in italics):
Ford Kuga 1,5 EcoBoost Ambiente: R384 900
Ford Kuga 1,5 EcoBoost Ambiente AT: R398 500
Ford Kuga 1,5 TDCi Ambiente: R426 200
Ford Kuga 1,5 EcoBoost Trend AT: R445 900
Ford Kuga 1,5 TDCi Trend: R456 200
Ford Kuga 2,0 EcoBoost ST-Line AWD AT: R548 500
Ford Kuga 2,0 TDCi ST-Line AWD AT: R566 900