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23/09/2021

Ford Puma, a compact crossover with plenty of appeal

Road tested by Hugh Maguire

Ford Puma, a compact crossover with plenty of appeal

We are already into September and the two main new car purchasing points of January for a 211plate and July for a 212 plate are now behind us. But car companies are offering deals to get us to consider changing cars during these less busy periods.

Ford is no exception and is offering new car finance offers with up to €1,500 on some models in the Puma range allied to a 7-year warranty! S check it out!

Five models are available, Titanium, ST-Line, ST-line X, ST -Line Vignale and the new sporty ST. Engine options include a 1.0 L EcoBoost Hybrid or a 1.5 L Eco Blue diesel and in the ST a 197 bhp 1.5 litre Ecoboost turbo petrol.

The Titanium is priced from €26,164.

Has it got any street cred?

I like the new Puma from all angles. It's a smart looking crossover that although built on Fiesta underpinnings looks far more substantial with chunky wheel arches and rather nice light clusters.

What’s it like inside?

The seats are very comfortable and supportive, the elevated driving position is pretty much perfect and it comes with plenty of standard kit such as 18” alloy wheels, SYNC Gen 3.8 12” touchscreen, a B&O sound system, ST-Line bodykit, part leather trim, wireless phone charger, and sports trim with red detailing.

There are also a host of standard safety features. My test car had the optional €1,500 “Driver Assistance pack” which includes Pre collision assist, BLISS, Active Braking, Intelligent cruise control with evasive steering, Active Park assist, and a view camera.

The compact cabin will seat four adults and headroom in the rear is surprisingly good due to the high roofline. The boot is a two level affair with space on the top shelf for about one large suitcase and some smaller bags but underneath is what Ford are calling the “Megabox” a clever storage box for all that sports gear or mucky shoes.

The Megabox has a removable drain plug in its base which means it can be hosed clean and drained in situ. A nice practical idea!

What’s under the bonnet?

Ford’s 1.0 litre Ecoboost 3 cylinder petrol turbo with mild hybrid capability.

Its simply a starter generator powered by a 10AH 48 volt lithium -ion battery. With 125PS and a very nice 6-speed manual gearbox the new Puma gets down the road very well indeed.

Road tax is €180.00 for the year and over my varied test driving conditions it burned just 5.8 litres per 100km.

Will I enjoy driving it?

While nobody really buys a Crossover or an SUV for its rewarding driving dynamics the new Ford Puma surprises with an agility and poise not normally found in cars in this segment. A downside of that can be a ride quality that is more firm than you expect in a car in this segment. Overall though the new Puma scores highly for the way it handles, rides and drives. Sure the steering is not blessed with much feedback but that aside its actually nice to drive.

What’s my Verdict?

The ST-Line X model tested costs from €30,297 and in my opinion offers a very nice package for those who want a compact car that seats four with excellent practical features and great standard kit. Ford really has managed to get the whole package just right.

I will be testing the full blown 197 bhp ST version soon, more of that later.

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