Ford Puma review

In creating the Puma, Ford hasn’t merely filled a gap in its range; it’s set the segment standard.

Pros: excellent on-road performance, spacious interior

Cons: more expensive than many rivals
 

Slotting in between the Kuga and EcoSport, the Ford Puma resurrects a name that previously adorned a sporty coupe. This time around the Puma is a crossover, though it maintains that sporty nature, adding distinctive styling and a heap of practical features. A mild hybrid assisted 1.0-litre petrol engine balances performance and economy, while its chassis is one of the best in recent Fords, providing crisp handling and genuine fun-to-drive characteristics. 

Ford Puma Design

Not everyone is going to be won over by the exterior styling of the Ford Puma. It’s very much a car with a face - and a friendly one at that. Looking more like a tall hatchback than SUV, this crossover comes in a variety of different specifications including sportier ST-Line and ST-Line X versions that add body-coloured wheel arch extensions and larger wheels. An upmarket Vignale model gets more chrome and unique grille design. 

Ford Puma Interior

If you’ve been in other modern Ford models, then you’ll get a sense of familiarity inside the Puma’s cabin. It’s mostly all lifted from the latest generation Fiesta that the Puma shares its architecture with, which is no bad thing. It gets a 12.3-inch digital display and free-standing touchscreen. ST-Line models get sportier part-leather seats with red stitching. They look the part and are comfortable. In the rear, there is a fair amount of passenger space, including headroom, though the middle seat is tighter for width. At 456 litres, the boot is a good size, but its party trick is the 80-litre ‘MegaBox’ feature - a rubberised box beneath the boot floor that’s ideal for throwing in wet and muddy gear. It’s got a drain plug in the bottom making it easy to wash out afterwards, too.

Ford Puma Performance & Drive

From the moment you first pull away in the Ford Puma, you get a sense of its engaging nature. The 125hp 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine delivers more than adequate levels of performance and in the six-speed manual variant includes mild hybrid technology that makes a small contribution to reducing fuel consumption. Ford also offers this engine with a seven-speed automatic transmission, although this doesn’t have the mild hybrid system. Alternatively, you can also have the Puma with a 120hp 1.5-litre diesel. What is more impressive is how the Puma drives, with direct steering and a suspension setup that while a touch firm, turns the Ford into one of the best-handling crossovers in the segment. The raised driving position provides good visibility and in town it’s easy to manoeuvre into tighter spots. 

Ford Puma Pricing

With a €24,418 starting price, the Puma is a little on the expensive side in comparison to other crossovers, but when you weigh up the standard equipment, not to mention how it drives, the price is justified. Upgrading to the ST-Line (€25,701) doesn’t cost a great deal more and is worth considering. It does begin to get expensive when you reach the €27,448 ST-Line X model, while the Puma Vignale has a starting price of €28,644. Adding the automatic transmission bumps the price up by around €2,380, while the diesel slots in between the two petrol options on cost. 

Carzone Verdict 5/5

The Ford Puma over-delivers in the handling department to have a performance edge over its crossover rivals. It is by far one of the most engaging cars in its segment, and it features plenty of standard equipment too. Add to that the practical elements like the interior space and that nifty boot and you have a car that sets a high bar for others to aim for. 

Test Car Details:  

Model driven: Ford Puma ST-Line X

Price: €28,626 as tested

Engine: 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol (with mild hybrid system)

Transmission: manual

Annual motor tax: €270

0-100km/h: 9.8 seconds

Power: 125hp

Boot space: 456 litres

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