Ford Puma variants
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Ford Puma ST review – how is an SUV this fun to drive?

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Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £18,999. Borrowing £15,199 with a £3,800 deposit at a representative APR of 12.9%.

49 monthly payments
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Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

Transitioning to an SUV means the modern-day Puma is a lot more spacious than the 1997 version, with five doors giving way to good amounts of interior room. Of course, the interior also features two decades’ worth of technological improvement, and fuel economy is better too.

Even compared with its contemporary rivals, the Puma SUV comes up with the goods. It’s the best small SUV to drive, it has a really big boot and comes with all the must-have infotainment features. 

Ford Puma buying guide

What Ford Puma trim levels are there?

The Ford Puma doesn’t have a base model. The entry-level car is Titanium, which is a mid-spec trim level on other Fords. As such, the equipment level is strong, with 17-inch alloy wheels, auto headlights and wipers, cruise control and sat nav all coming as standard. Additionally, there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus active safety features and Ford’s handy Quickclear heated windscreen. Never scrape the ice off your windscreen in winter again!

ST-Line is next, with sporty looks and a crisp digital instrument cluster. For extras like part-leather seats, tinted windows, a B&O sound system and 18-inch wheels, head to ST-Line X.

Then, there’s the ST-Line Vignale. This is the range-topper in the standard Puma line-up, with leather-effect upholstery (complete with seat heating and massaging functions for those in the front), keyless entry, LED headlights and a heated steering wheel.

The Ford Puma ST is a bit of a standalone model, as it comes with a more powerful engine and go-faster upgrades. There are bucket seats to keep you in place through fast corners, plus ST badging and alloy pedals. Many of the features fitted to the ST-Line Vignale are also fitted here.

Ford Puma interior and technology

If you’ve been in a modern Ford Fiesta, Focus or even Kuga, the Puma’s interior will be instantly familiar – it’s pretty much the same as Ford’s other hatchbacks and SUVs. That means you get an eight-inch touchscreen protruding from the dashboard, a climate control panel below some chrome-lined air vents, and a steering wheel stuffed with buttons.

Even if you’ve never experienced a Ford, the Puma’s interior is very easy to use. You twirl a dial to turn the temperature up or down, the steering wheel controls are well-marked and there aren’t any ergonomic surprises. That’ll come in handy on tired journeys home from the office.

Like the rest of the interior, the touchscreen favours user-friendliness over pin-sharp graphics and lots of design flair. The icons at the bottom of the display are big – and easy to prod while you’re driving – and you won’t get lost in lots of submenus. It can be a little hard to find your favourite radio stations, but you can always use the voice control function instead. As mentioned, all Pumas come with sat nav and smartphone mirroring, so you can choose to use your phone’s apps if you prefer.

Being so heavily based on the Fiesta, the Puma’s materials are generally a good standard, with harder, scratchier plastics mostly kept down low. The manual gear lever is a particular highlight, while high-spec cars also get some carbon-effect dashboard trim and even a leather-wrapped binnacle cover.

What’s the best engine for the Ford Puma?

Indecisive? You’ll be pleased to hear that the standard Ford Puma only comes with a 1.0-litre petrol engine. Most have a small electric motor to assist the petrol engine, hence the ‘hybrid’ badge on the bootlid. Meanwhile, the Puma ST uses a fiery 1.5-litre petrol engine for exciting performance.

(Most popular!) Ford Puma 1.0 EcoBoost petrol

Capable of quick-ish acceleration or fuel economy of over 50mpg, Ford’s familiar 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is the sole option for most Puma trim levels. The electric motor acts as a starter and a generator, providing a little extra power when it’s needed and helping to reduce emissions. For the majority of the time, this engine will feel like a conventional petrol engine, but you may notice the stop-start system cutting in sooner when coming up to a junction.

You can opt for 125hp or 155hp versions of this engine, with 0-62mph being dispatched in 10 and nine seconds respectively. There’s not a lot of difference in how they feel, so we wouldn’t get too hung up on which one is best. Both come with a slick six-speed manual gearbox.

If you need an automatic gearbox to shift your gears for you, this is available with a 125hp version of the engine. Earlier examples don’t come with the hybrid technology.

Ford Puma ST 1.5 EcoBoost petrol

The 1.5-litre, 200hp petrol engine under the bonnet of the Ford Puma ST is a firecracker. It’s revvy and eager, and enables a speedy 0-62mph time of just 6.7 seconds. With a great engine and a super-responsive driving experience, the Puma ST is one of the best hot SUVs on sale at any price if you’re a keen driver.

But the Puma ST is a hot SUV that doesn’t require you to spend half your time at a petrol station. One of the engine’s three cylinders can shut down at cruising speed to save fuel, and 40mpg is achievable if you resist the urge to put your foot down.

Your Ford Puma questions answered

While it’d probably be nice to relive the late 1990s, here we’ll focus on the Ford Puma SUV. Launched in 2019, the Puma is a five-door hatchback with a sporty feel. For UK buyers, the majority of trim levels have a racy body kit and must-have red accents inside the cabin. If you want to go faster, there’s the Ford Puma ST, with a sprinkling of magic from the Ford Performance division.

The Ford Puma is 4.2m long, putting it almost exactly between the Ford Fiesta and Focus. Finding a parking space or navigating tight city streets won’t be an issue in the Puma, and reversing is made easier by standard-fit parking sensors. The Puma is longer and wider than the Ford Ecosport SUV, but not quite as tall.

It’s the ideal car if you’ve outgrown a Fiesta. Only your tall friends might complain about rear-seat headroom as, despite the swoopy roofline, there’s still a good amount of space back there. The Puma’s wheelbase is almost 10cm longer than the Fiesta, with the result being additional legroom. Okay, so the Puma isn’t quite as spacious in the back as a Renault Captur or Skoda Kamiq, but it’ll be decent enough for most passengers.

The Puma’s boot wins back points. Not only is it bigger than the Fiesta, Ecosport and Focus (it’s about 50% bigger than the Fiesta’s boot), but there’s a hidden party piece. Underneath the boot floor is what Ford calls the MegaBox, an 80-litre storage area that’s great for storing valuables. It’s also designed for muddy boots, as it can be hosed down for easy cleaning.

The Ford Puma is still fairly new so long-term reliability is hard to predict – although the sheer amount of shared parts with the Fiesta means that we can confidently say that most Pumas should be reliable. With lots of Ford dealerships around the country and inexpensive servicing, keeping your Puma in rude health should be pretty painless.

Yes, Ford Pumas seem to hold their value well. Industry experts Cap HPI predict that the Puma will hold roughly 57% of its value after three years and 36,000 miles, which is a little better than the Renault Captur.

The majority of Ford Pumas come with a 1.0-litre petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology, which is able to return over 50mpg. It’s on a par with its main rivals, and a bit ahead of the Nissan Juke. Buy a Puma and your fuel bills should be nice and low.

The Puma is a bit more practical than the Fiesta it’s based on. You get a much bigger boot (around 100 litres more) plus an additional storage box beneath the boot floor. This ‘MegaBox’ is washable, as well, so it’s good for muddy sports equipment or wet dog gear. The curving roofline does cut into rear-seat headroom – the Puma will be fine for children or shorter adults but some passengers may feel cramped in the back.

Overall, we’d say the Puma is better than the Fiesta. You still get the same handling verve and a similarly economical engine, but the Puma is a little more practical than the Fiesta. The Fiesta comes with an entry-level model that’s cheap on insurance, whereas the Puma doesn’t, so if this is a priority then you should choose the Fiesta.