Road test

New Ford Puma punches above its weight

Hugh Maguire is impressed with his Puma test drive

Hugh Maguire

Reporter:

Hugh Maguire

New Ford Puma punches above its weight

Ford Puma

The Puma name is not new to Ford.

Nineteen years ago it adorned a tasty little two door coupe.

Now Ford have resurrected the name but this time its incarnation is in the form of a compact 5-door crossover based on the platform of the Fiesta.

Three models are available, Titanium, ST-Line and ST-Line X with just one engine option a 1.0 litre petrol turbo MHEV (Mild hybrid electric vehicle).

I spent some 600km behind the wheel of the new Ford Puma ST-Line X to see how it stacks up.

Prices start at €24,465 for the Puma Titanium.

Has It got any street cred?

I like the new Puma from all angles.

Its a smart looking crossover that although built on Fiesta underpinnings looks far more substantial with chunky wheel arches and rather nice light clusters. It’s an attractive looking car.

What’s it like inside?

The fit and finish of my ST-Line X test car is impressive.

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!

Overall then top marks for a lovely interior.

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.

Added to which its quiet and refined at motorway speeds and the level of ride comfort is very good.

So overall 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.

Verdict

The ST-Line X model tested costs from €27,865 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 have managed to get the whole package just right.

The new Ford Puma is without doubt one of the best new cars in this segment!