LIJIANG, China — Ford’s all-new Kuga amazed Chinese media during a three-day test drive program last week in southwest China’s Yunnan province.
Forty-eight journalists from major auto outlets joined the first two waves of the test drive from Lijiang to Lugu Lake, a route known for challenging road conditions and spectacular views.
Ahead of the free drive, executives from Changan Ford Motor Company, Ford’s joint venture in China, introduced Ford’s SUV heritage and an array of class exclusive features to the media, such as the hands-free tailgate, SYNC® with MyFord Touch® in-car technology, Lane Keeping Aid, Active City Stop and Adaptive Cruise Control.
The 210 km journey from Lijiang to Lugu Lake was the perfect route to put the all-new Kuga to the test as it covers roads of various surfaces including bumpy gravel road, curly mountain tracks and tunnels. Many journalists were impressed by the outstanding performance of the powerful 2.0L EcoBoost GTDi engine.
“The all-new Kuga may share similar powertrain configurations with its competitors in the segment, such as the 2.0L turbocharged engine, 6-speed transmission and the four-wheel drive system, but it certainly outperforms its competitors in this area. The engine delivered endless power during the 200-kilometer drive. For me, the 2.0 EcoBoost Engine with 240hp maximum output was really a source of great pleasure,” said Wu Yongsheng from Car Market Guide.
To encourage the media to fully test the handling and suspension of the intelligent 4WD system on the Kuga, three sections of the journey, including a special route known as eighteen hairpins, were set up as speed limited game sections, which required each driver to finish the race within a pre-determined time period. Journalists from Auto Car, Car And Driver and Top4×4 eventually won the competition with 140 points.
In addition to games, journalists were amazed at how well the safety features on the new Kuga worked to further improve passenger safety.
“I must say the Lane Keeping System on the new Kuga really surprises me. When the car strays from its lane, the system will send an alert to the steering wheel immediately. Sometimes, the road line markings were blurry, but the system still got that. That’s really impressive,” said Bai Fan from Car Service.
Along the journey, journalists had a plenty of time to play with the smart features on the vehicle such as SYNC, hands-free tailgate and the smart parking system.
“The Active Parking Assist on the all-new Kuga is quite nice. It only requires a parking space 1.2 times longer than the car itself, which makes it a handy feature for less-experienced drivers,” said Tian Jingran from Auto Bild.
Tian was also impressed by the hands-free tailgate on the new Kuga.
“It is a nice feature and easy to use. The tailgate opens and raises automatically when you sweep you leg under the rear bumper,” he said.
The first two waves of the test drive generated a large number of positive online comments and were shared actively among Ford car lovers and owners on China’s top micro-blogging site Weibo.com.
To cater for the needs of different media, the third wave of the Kuga test drive, from December 17 to 19, is taking online media on a different but equally beautiful route, from Yunnan’s Lijiang to Dali.