The updated Ford Kuga — sold in Australia as the Ford Escape — has been spied in Germany with plenty of changes at the front.
Despite the camouflage wrap we can see the updated Escape has a much more upright and bolder front fascia.
Slimmer headlight units flank a taller grille, which not only rises all the way up to meet the redesigned bonnet but also now incorporates the Blue Oval badge.
The rear, at least on this prototype, sports fewer changes. The outboard tail-lights have a more 3D design, and include a red portion below the indicator lens.
Given how the lights in the tailgate are carried over from the current production car, and don’t match up with the design of the outer units, it’s likely Ford has other styling updates planned for future test vehicles.
We’ve yet to see any photos of the facelifted car’s interior, but there’s a good chance it will include Ford’s latest Sync 4 infotainment system and the large 13.2-inch landscape touchscreen that’s already made its appearance on the updated Focus.
Availability of this screen could be delayed or limited by the on-going global semiconductor shortage, as well as the supply chain problems arising out of Russia’s bloody war in Ukraine.
A recent report indicate the Focus ST could lose the big screen in the near future.
Using the Focus facelift as our guide, the revised Escape could be offered with matrix LED headlights, blind spot assist, trailer compensation for the blind spot monitoring system, and intersection assist.
The crossover’s European engine range will likely incorporate 48V mild-hybrid technology, as well as hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrain options.
While the Kuga and Escape twins have been a big hit for Ford overseas — it’s the company’s second most popular passenger car in both Europe and the US — the crossover has found much less favour locally.
In the first two months of 2022, Ford Australia has sold just 285 Escapes here, meaning it accounts for just 1.1 per cent of medium crossover market.
The Escape is streets behind the market-leading Toyota RAV4 (5879), Mazda CX-5 (4478) and Mitsubishi Outlander (3025).
Australia-bound Escapes are sourced from Ford’s factory in Spain, and are essentially rebadged versions of the European Kuga. Escapes sold in the North America are made in Louisville, Kentucky, alongside the related Lincoln Corsair.
MORE: Everything Ford Escape