Remember the Ford Puma? We're not surprised if you don't, because it was only built for the European market, and that was almost two decades ago. But now there is a new Puma. Instead of a compact hatchback, it's now a crossover SUV. We took it for a spin to see how fa it's come!
Quirky and fun, those seem to be the two code words when designing a compact crossover SUV nowadays. A little adventurous, boisterous and hopefully with a little controversy, so it keeps people talking. This is definitely the case with the new Ford Puma, which is not only cleverly designed and rocks a sharp chassis, but also have somewhat quirky looks.
On the inside there is nothing disputable though, as the Puma is filled with tech even in its entry-level variant, from navigation, wireless smartphone charging, auto high beam and rain-sensing wipers to LED ambient interior lighting. Its three-cylinder engine does an excellent job both in the city and on the highway, delivering both power and excellent fuel economy.
Plus the Puma - like all new Ford vehicles - comes with the FordPass embedded modem, which allows owners – via a smartphone app – to pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin, lock or unlock the car remotely, and check the fuel level and odometer. Let's delve in for a closer look.
Some might doubt the power of a three-cylinder engine, but Ford proves with the Puma that an odd number works perfectly fine. The 1.0-litre turbocharged engine puts out 92kW of power and 170Nm of torque. This helps make the Puma easy to drive, with good throttle response at low, medium or high speed. Paired with a seven-speed, automatic gearbox, it delivers snappy and smooth gear changes, making driving the Puma a breeze both in the city, and on the open road.
Plus it's economical - with a consumption of 5.3 litres per 100km. As you might expect from a compact crossover SUV, the Puma handles very well, with a tight turning circle and light steering. The gauges are easy to read, as the analogue instrument dials are swapped for a 12.3-inch digital driver display that looks cool, so you always know what the car is up to.
So being in the driver seat of the new Ford Puma is definitely not a bad thing, and your passengers won't have anything to complain about. First, your co-driver, can command the 8.0-inch touchscreen with Ford’s excellent SYNC 3 infotainment system, which brings plenty of functions, sharp presentation, and voice control. They sit in an identical comfortable and supportive chair as you, with plenty of legroom.
The same goes for your rear passengers. The bench is comfortable, with good under-thigh support, and for some added storage, there are netted seat back pouches and door sections for holding small- to medium-sized drink bottles. Unfortunately, they don't get air vents, a centre armrest or cupholders; a privilege for the front row occupants.
If you've opted for the top-of-the-line ST-Line V, everybody can enjoy a 575-watt, 10-speaker B&O Play audio system. Boom!
The Puma has a deep luggage compartment that fits 410L and there’s potentially more. Lift up the boot floor and there’s an 80L integrated plastic tub that Ford dubs the Megabox. Spring supports hold the boot floor in place vertically for easy access. Plus there is the added option of 60:40 rear split fold seats for the occasional oversize item.
The all-new Ford Puma starts at just under $30k, which gives you the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, plus a lot of tech features as standard. Next in line is the Puma ST-Line, which sets you back about $2500 more. This brings several changes to the cabin – adding sport seats, metallic pedals, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, the digital gauge cluster, and a sportier steering wheel with paddle-shift levers. On the outside you will get a sportier body kit. The flagship ST-Line V comes in just over $35k, and offers an auto tailgate (a $750 option), and smart keyless entry.
In all three trim grades you can opt for the $1500 Park Pack which gives you Adaptive cruise, keyless entry, blind-spot monitoring, front parking sensors, lane centring and evasive steer technology form. You can also add a panoramic sunroof for $2000, and a two-tone paintwork featuring a black contrast roof, for $1150.
Ford supports Puma ownership with a five-year warranty and five years of roadside assistance. It is rated the maximum five stars by independent crash body ANCAP. Servicing is capped at $299 per visit for up to four years, or 60,000km.
If you're looking for a new compact SUV and want to stand out from the crowd, the Ford Puma is definitely worth a look. It's quirky without being weird and comes with all the tech you need as standard. Combined with its punchy three-cylinder engine you can both take it into the city where it's easy to park or out on the open road where it works very well for a roadtrip thanks to its generous luggage capacity. Whatever you do, where ever you go, the Puma will go with you.
Interested in a test drive? Motorama Ford is the place to be - so make sure you come and see the Motorama Ford team in Moorooka.