A convincing comeback?
The Ford Puma is nothing like its predecessor — a small coupé produced between 1997 and 2002 that has evolved over the years to meet the needs of European customers. Having turned the car into an urban SUV, Ford, in turn, is establishing its position in this highly competitive market.
Nominated for Car of the Year 2020 at the Geneva Motor Show, the Ford Puma really does have it all.
It may have a different front end that might initially appear rather dubious, but its domed bonnet, low, receding roof line and expressive rear end ensure that the Ford SUV gets extra points for standing out from the competition.
In response to customer demand, Ford has also come up with a more innovative interior, primarily where the boot is concerned, incorporating a flexible and adjustable luggage cover on the tailgate so that it unrolls upwards when opened, allowing you to load your luggage into the boot unhindered.
The real beauty of this boot, though, is its volume — 376 litres at first glance, but the completely watertight magic hatch in the floor offers an additional 80 litres, making this compartment, which Ford has nicknamed the MegaBox, perfect for storing dirty and muddy gear since it even has its own drainage plug to enable it to be deep-cleaned through the boot. The floor, meanwhile, can be adjusted to any of 3 different positions.
Generally speaking, the Ford Puma is very well equipped. A Puma appears on the dashboard when the engine is started — a feature of the 100% digital cockpit that adopts a different design depending on the selected driving mode, offering the driver optimal configuration. Ford is also at the cutting-edge of technology here with an 8-inch central screen offering all the functions you’d expect, as well as a sunroof and even a wireless phone charger. Certain trim levels also come with removable seat covers, allowing them to be washed after each journey.
Mild hybrid engine
The Ford Puma is equipped with a mild hybrid engine, a light hybrid that turns the engine off at low speed, when braking or when the car stops, but turns it back on very quickly, and you can definitely feel the benefits of this electric assistance, especially when starting the engine, since the car tends to accelerate much faster than with a combustion engine alone.
Mounted on the chassis of the Ford Fiesta, which is one of the most pleasant in its category to drive, the Ford SUV still makes for a very playful and dynamic drive, with 19" alloy wheels that allow it to hold the road well. There's a very noticeable difference between the driving modes that the Puma offers. In ECO mode, the car slows down by itself, while Sport mode requires more skill with the accelerator pedal as the car likes to leap ahead and rev up quickly. The suspension is a bit hard, as are the seats, but overall, the Ford Puma is a very enjoyable SUV to drive.
Some will no doubt say that the Ford Puma is a mini Porsche Macan, earning it the nickname ‘Forsche’ Puma, but one thing that’s certain is that between its dynamism, its unusual design for a car of this kind and its innovation, the Puma is making a convincing comeback to the automotive scene. It is also worth noting that it is very competitively priced, with an entry-level price of just €24,000!
Watch the video of the test drive (in French)