This is Ford’s first urban SUV. The new Puma, designed and developed in Europe may be the last to enter one of the most hotly contested markets at the moment, but it brings with it serious advantages.
The new Ford Puma is a weapon of conquest that will finally launch Ford in the urban SUV market. Yes, because Ford has never managed to find a place among the best in the SUV segment B alongside the Renault Captur, Nissan Juke and Peugeot 2008 . The brand has been present since 2014 with Ecosport, but this model has never convinced because it was primarily produced for emerging markets such as India, Thailand or Brazil. Ford therefore started off with a blank sheet of paper giving it a whole new name.
Ford capitalizes on this name from the past through a few aesthetic details such as the receding roofline or these oval optics. Undeniably, this new Ford Puma has personality. It will take at least that to stand out among the twenty or so competitors on the market. At launch, two versions will be marketed on the French market. The entry-level Titanium (from 22,900 e) that of our test, and the ST Line-X invoiced 26,900 €. The latter reinforces the sporty aspect of the SUV by the presence of a specific ST Line body kit, a chrome exhaust outlet, tinted windows and 18 ” rims.
On board, on the other hand, the originality disappears completely, since it takes up line by line the furniture of the Fiesta. In terms of the interior, it has the merit of being functional, properly finished and above all very well equipped. Among the impressive list of equipment, we note the arrival of digital instrumentation and the presence of an excellent B&O sound system.
It may not be very fun inside this new Puma, however, it has a sense of welcome. Firstly, it offers enough space in the rear seats to allow two adults to travel with an acceptable level of comfort. Then, its trunk volume is placed in the high average of the market with 402 liters of base for the light hybridization versions and 456 liters on the classic versions. But above all it stands out with the presence of many tips that should appeal to families. Let’s start with the Mega Box.
Space and Storage
It is an additional storage unit of 80 liters placed under the boot floor, which is waterproof and completely washable with an extraction plug at its end. However, it will be necessary to ignore the spare wheel. To access this mega box, you will need to remove the modular two-level floor which can be locked in a vertical position, thanks to two ingenious latches located at the ends. Then there is this luggage cover attached to the tailgate (here electric) and “soft”. No need to take the head to remove the latter to load bulky objects, it follows their shapes. Finally, the seats are removable and they are washable.
The Puma is one of the first Ford vehicles to benefit from light hybridization. Here an alternator-starter powered by a more powerful battery relieves the engine in the acceleration phases. The goal is to save fuel and lower CO2 levels. But in no case will you be driving in all-electric mode. This hybridization is available with the 1.0 Ecoboost petrol engine, in 125 and 155 hp versions. In both cases, the Puma is exempt from the ecological penalty and will remain so on March 1, 2020, when the approval protocol switches to WLTP (more strict and realistic).
Specifications at a glance
The 125hp supercharged 3-cylinder is more than enough for the job. It offers torque, quite a stretch and is alert at low revs which is a good thing in urban driving. On the other hand, it will be necessary to pet the accelerator because the average consumption can quickly fly away. During our test we found an average of 6.8 l / 100 km. For the moment, it is exclusively delivered with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The automatic transmission will arrive later, at the same time as the diesel engine (120 hp). Ford was also able to contain the weight of the car. The Puma weighs 1269 kg, it is in the average of the segment.
The behavior is oriented towards dynamism with firmness assumed at the level of the running gear. This adjustment added to a large pneumatic lift (18”) and seats with questionable softness alter the comfort level. When the asphalt is of good quality, it remains liveable but at the slightest imperfection, the lumbar spine of the occupants strike at the same time as the suspensions. It’s a shame, we would have liked a lower setting to offer a better level of comfort.
On the other hand, for handling, the Ford SUV remains glued to the road, crunches the trajectories and waddles what it takes from the rear when exiting corners to draw a smile on the driver’s face. If there is one place to position this new Puma on the market, it is alongside the Peugeot 2008 and Mazda CX3.
Never stingy with technology and driving aids, Ford has once again focused on safety. The Puma thus receives a level 2 autonomous driving system that manages speed regulation and lane-keeping as well as a new danger alert system, which signals them thanks to other vehicles connected to the cloud.