European media expect longer EV range in the 2022 Ford Kuga PHEV

Prototypes of the 2022 Ford Kuga (facelift), which the Americans know as the Ford Escape, have started their road tests ahead of a market launch expected by mid-2022. The third-generation Kuga (fourth-generation if you call it the Escape) went on sale in Q3 2019 in Europe and had an infamous entry into service.

The early batch of the third-gen Ford Kuga PHEV posed a fire risk, and Ford Europe, apart from halting sales, advised owners not to charge the SUV. This affected the launch of the Ford Escape PHEV in the USA, as the problem was identified with the battery cell supplier. However, Ford has rectified the issue, and the Escape PHEV has also gone on sale in the United States as of October 1, 2021.

2022 Ford Kuga Design

The design of the Kuga PHEV may not warrant big changes as it is the best selling PHEV in Europe, with the Mercedes GLC PHEV trailing second. Taking a cue from the redesigned Fiesta and Focus, the 2022 Kuga is expected with new LED headlights sporting a rounded-off look. Aside from that, the Kuga facelift should be given the trapezoidal-shaped grille, which is seen on the Fiesta and Focus too. Other changes should cover the wheel patterns, clear lenses for the taillights, and minor revisions to the bumper design, as reflected in the render by French publication Auto Moto (set as the featured image of the story).

Powertrain

The current Kuga PHEV/Escape PHEV comes with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine paired along with a 14.4 kWh battery pack to offer an all-electric range of 35 miles (56 km) as per WLTP standards. Auto-Moto.com states that the electric range could be improved in the 2022 Kuga PHEV; whether that will come because of better energy management, or a larger capacity battery remains an unknown.

Ford Kuga PHEV’s Resounding Success

Ford Kuga PHEV charging
45 per cent of charging events of the Kuga PHEV in Europe took place overnight as per Ford’s data. Image: Ford

Despite the initial hiccups, the Kuga PHEV is a success story for Ford in Europe. Data revealed by Ford in August 2021 highlighted that customers of the Kuga PHEV covered 49 per cent of their distance this year on externally-charged electricity alone, which equates to fuel savings of EUR 800, as per Ford.

The Kuga was the best selling PHEV in Europe in the first half of this year. Ford sells more PHEV variants of the Kuga than other variants combined. By mid-2026, Ford Europe’s entire passenger vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable (PHEV or electric), and all-electric by 2030.

2022 Ford Kuga PHEV FAQs

What is the release date of the 2022 Ford Kuga PHEV?

The refreshed Kuga PHEV should be revealed by mid-2022, with a market launch planned towards the end of next year.

What are the rivals to the 2022 Ford Kuga PHEV?

Global rivals to the Kuga PHEV/Escape PHEV include the Kia Niro PHEV and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Featured Image – Rendering of the 2022 Kuga courtesy of Auto-Moto.com