Ford Puma - Used Car

Review

Ford Puma, front
Ford Puma, side
Ford Puma, rear
Ford Puma, interior
Ford Puma, rear seats
Ford Puma, boot
Ford Puma ST-Line X, 2020, digital instrument cluster, start up screen

FORD'S designers went back to the future when they came up with the excellent Puma mini crossover.

The first and excellent Puma coupe built between 1998 and 2002 was based on the Fiesta of the time but felt far, far better to drive - even if it was not as practical.

The most recent Fiesta, which has just been discontinued, formed the base for the new Puma that came out in 2019, even though the relationship is difficult to imagine because they drive so differently.

This latest model has not only collected numerous awards already, it has also become the best selling car in Britain and around Europe.

It's fresh look really makes it stand out and in my eyes at least it is one of the best looking crossovers on the market.

Anyone who buys the new Puma is going to find it a lovely car to live with because it has style in spades, is fun to drive, cheap to run and very practical.

It also has some neat touches like the pouncing Puma that appears in the dash when you press the starter button or as a puddle light in the dark.

Obviously, inside it uses much from the Fiesta but that's no bad thing. There's plenty room for four to travel in comfort and even five for shorter journeys.

The top model is the STi of course, with something like 200bhp from a turbo 1.5 petrol engine.

But none of the other models in the range can be called slow, with excellent acceleration from rest and through the gears.

There are four smaller power outputs - all petrols - using the same turbocharged 1.0-litre three cylinder engine that's finding its way into many cars from the Ford range now.

The most lowly model pushes out 100bhp from this sweet sounding little engine and that's enough for a zero to 60 miles an hour time of 9.7 seconds. It can also manage a very best of 47 miles per gallon.

As we move up the scale, the next petrol only model has 125bhp and comes with a standard automatic gearbox. It reaches 60 in 9.9 seconds and is rated at 46mpg.

Then we come to two mild hybrids with electric assistance. Here, the batteries are charged during normal petrol running, and then add power on acceleration.

The first produces the same 125bhp from this setup and reaches 60 in 9.5 seconds. But it is also capable of 52mpg, which has to be pretty special.

And finally, there is a 155bhp unit, also with hybrid assistance. This one brings the sprint down to 8.6 seconds but is still capable of 51mpg.

Lower order models have a great ride, with compliant suspension and smaller wheels that still allow plenty of grip and fun through the corners.

The steering is pin sharp with loads of feedback and this only adds to the prowess.

Higher up the model range, wheels are bigger and suspension stiffer, and these changes have a marked effect on the level of comfort.

There is also a large sunroof available as an option, and if this is fitted to a car you're interested in, make sure you're not going to bang your head on the roof over bumps!

The dashboard layout is typical Ford with a central display screen for connectivity and sat nav and a good looking 12.5-inch TFT instrument panel.

Switches and controls are clear and easy to read and use and there's a Quickclear heated windscreen to help on winter mornings.

Equipment in mid-range ST-Line trim includes a decent sound system, Ford's SYNC 3 navigation and smart phone integration, splitfold rear seats, remote audio controls and an alarm system.

There's also plenty of electronic driver assistance such as cruise control, pre-collision assistance and lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, hill start assist and pedestrian/cyclist detection.

Pay about £15,250 for a '20 70-reg Titanium 100bhp, or £22,500 for a '21 21-reg ST-Line Vignale auto.

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