Ford says the new, third-generation Ford Kuga features “less aggressive” styling than its forebear, with the Blue Oval brand claiming customers no longer want a “get-out-of-my-way” look.

Speaking to Automotive News Europe after the reveal of the new crossover in Amsterdam, Amko Leenarts, Ford of Europe's head of design, said "the SUV is evolving into something that's much more honest, friendlier".

"We did not want to go for the warrior, get-out-of-my-way look. The customer didn't want that," Leenarts told the publication.

Ford’s global design director, Joel Piaskowski, meanwhile, separately told Car and Driver the automaker had purposely repositioned the sleeker, more hatchback-like Kuga – or Escape, as it is known in markets such as the United States – to fill the gap left by discontinued passenger vehicles (such as the Focus) in North America.

In addition, the softening of the crossover’s styling leaves space for the upcoming "baby Bronco", which will share the Kuga’s platform and general dimensions, but likely feature a far boxier design.