Design and Build
The original Puma was smaller than the Fiesta it was based on. This one's quite a lot bigger, its five-door SUV body being 46mm longer, 54mm higher and 71mm wider, plus the car has a 95mm longer wheelbase than the Fiesta. The headlights are high up on the bonnet (like the first Puma) and Ford says that the beady daytime running lights you get on 'St-Line' variants are a nod to a more modern Ford coupe, the GT supercar. Maybe.
Inside, it's less distinctive. The interior is much like you'd find in any modern Ford, related most closely of course to the Fiesta, with its simple design, SYNC3 infotainment system and relatively smart materials. You do get a few bespoke features, like a digital display for the dials and zip-up covers for the front and rear seats. These not only allow owners to mix and match patterns and colours, but also wash them should they need to: neat. We were impressed by the boot. At 456-litres, it's one of the very biggest trunks in the small SUV segment and is accessed by a powered hands-free tailgate. There's also an adjustable-height floor that can be folded back against the back seats.
Market and Model
Puma pricing reflects current figures at the upper end of the small SUV segment - which Ford feels justified in asking given this car's relatively sophisticated mild hybrid tech. To be specific, that means a starting point of around £22,000, with figures rising to around £26,000 at the top of the range. Trim levels are based around familiar 'Titanium' and 'ST-Line' badging, plus at the top of the range are 'ST-Line X' and 'ST-Line Vignale' variants. Standard equipment on most models includes heated and massaging seats, a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and a rear-view camera. The Puma is also the first vehicle in its segment to offer hands-free tailgate and Lumbar Massage Seat comfort and convenience technologies.
Advanced driver assistance technologies include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane Centring, for easier negotiation of highway and stop-start traffic. There's also a 'New Local Hazard Information' feature, which can inform the driver of hazardous situations in the road ahead before they become visible to the driver or vehicle sensors. And helping Puma drivers reverse with greater confidence, Ford's Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert can provide a warning when reversing of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them. The system can apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate the effects of collisions if drivers do not respond to warnings.