Ford Puma parked on hill
Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan is the Content Marketing Executive at Carparison, keeping you up to date on our socials. He also takes the lead on our fantastic car reviews, and with his experience, is the perfect person to make sure you have all the information you need.

Read time of 9 minutes.

Ford’s reliable Puma offers a tempting route into the world of SUVs

Building on the success of the much-loved Fiesta, Ford have created a practical, reliable and spacious compact SUV in the Puma.

While it may be quirky in its design, the Puma deserves to be taken seriously as one of the best small SUVs on the road.

It competes with the likes of the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 or even the Volkswagen T-Cross in what is one of the most competitive classes around.

Today, we’re testing out this Puma ST-Line, with a 1.0L EcoBoost hybrid engine, to see how it performs and how we rate it against some of its rivals.

Ford Puma driving around corner

What did we drive?

Model Line: 1.0I MHEV ST-LINE E/BOOST (125PS)

Transmission: Manual

Power: Petrol/Electric Hybrid 

Colour: Grey Matter

Wheels: 17" 5x2-spoke Alloy Wheels

OTR from: £22,295

Price of model driven: £23,245

*Prices correct at the time of publication

Ford Puma driving over bridge

Price

On the road prices for the Puma start from £22,295 for the entry-level Titanium edition. They quickly rise to at least £28,760 for the range-topping ST spec.

The Puma is competitively priced against some of its rivals and sits right in the middle of the compact SUV class. This comes in at a similar price point to the Volkswagen T-Cross, where entry-level models will set you back just under £21,000. 

However, prices start lower for a Nissan Juke, which begins at roughly £19,000 – though the Juke cannot match the generous amount of kit as standard that comes with the Puma.

Carparison’s Ford lease deals create a cost-effective, fixed monthly payment that can lower your overall costs.

Ford Puma engine options

Engine Options

You've got a few options with the Puma, making use of the brilliant selection of EcoBoost engines. Pick the range-topping ST trim and you can enjoy the punchy 200PS 1.5L EcoBoost option. For everyday driving, the 125 PS option will be more than suitable.

The mild hybrid system is a major plus for Ford in this regard. Many rivals are unable to offer anything similar and the EcoBoost could be a fantastic stepping stone for anyone seeking a more efficient daily drive.

A full list breakdown of the engine options are as followed;

  • 1.0L Ford EcoBoost Hybrid (mHEV) 125PS 6 Speed Manual
  • 1.0L Ford EcoBoost Hybrid (mHEV) 155PS 6 Speed Manual
  • 1.0L Ford EcoBoost Hybrid (mHEV) 125PS 7 Speed Automatic
  • 1.0L Ford EcoBoost Hybrid (mHEV) 155PS 7 Speed Automatic
  • 1.5L Ford EcoBoost 200PS 6 Speed Manual
Ford Puma driving

Drive

One thing is guaranteed when you’re behind the wheel of a Ford – a reliable and comfortable drive - and the Puma was no exception.

The power isn’t going to blow your mind in the same manner that a fully electric car would. The hybrid engine does slightly enhance your acceleration but its greatest strength is improving your fuel economy. This small but mighty 1.0L engine has more than enough for commutes and motorway speeds.

Ford Puma driving up to bridge

The Puma’s handling is effortlessly smooth and, in all conditions, it feels very steady to drive. Something we noticed in our most recent Nissan Juke review was the flighty steering and you get none of that with the Puma, which was far more composed.

With a sports-tuned suspension on the ST-Line, you can see how Ford are seeking that extra element of performance. The handling and responsiveness of the Puma does give you the confidence to really turn the nose into corners, with the car more than happy to comply.

Dropping the Puma into Sport mode will liven up the engine with a bit more noise and power if you need it. With Normal, Eco, Sport, Trail and Slippery drive modes, the Puma will thrive in all conditions.

Granted, it’s not the sportiest SUV around. If you want more performance, choose the Ford Puma ST edition for that extra punch of power. However, as a complete package, the Puma is impressive.

Ford Puma side profile

Design & Interior

Ford wanted the Puma to be different and you have to admire that approach. The compact SUV class is a highly competitive one and it can be difficult to stand out among the crowd.

The Puma’s distinctive looks do just that. It takes elements from the Fiesta and the original Puma to create this stylish look. The large front headlights – which will divide opinions I’m sure - run up the side of the bonnet, ensuring it can’t be missed.

A lot of the Puma’s character comes from its exterior design. In a class where many of its rivals can feel quite similar, the Puma offers its own unique element of charm. It’s a slightly more refined design than say the Nissan Juke, but perhaps not as modern when it comes to its interior.

It has quite a striking stance. It sits very low, to the point where some might argue it’s closer to being a hatchback than it is an SUV. The Puma is only 42 millimetres higher than some Fiesta models. 

If you’ve ever spent time in any Ford, the interior of the Puma will feel very familiar. Throughout their line-up, Ford have maintained a very simple design. It feels well-built – not overly premium, but also by no means cheap.

There are nice touches detailed throughout, including the red stitching on the seats that indicates this is an ST-Line edition. You also have ambient lighting in various areas of the cabin, including the footwell and the cup holders, that enhance the welcoming and comfortable atmosphere the Puma has.

Space & Practicality

The boot space is the Puma’s biggest strength. Stay with me here - I know that doesn’t sound that endearing.

In total, there’s 456L of boot space. This includes a flexible boot floor that allows you to limit the size of the load lip.

However, the showpiece statement is the brilliantly named ‘Ford Mega Box’. When you lift the boot floor, it reveals a plastic-lined box built into the floor which offers you an extra 80L of space.

With a removable plug, this could be used for anything from golf bags to wet beach gear or muddy boots. You could even chuck your dirty dog (though we don’t advise literally throwing animals) in there for a quick bath and then wash the area down afterwards. To some, this may appear like a gimmicky addition, but for the right people, it's genius.

Head and legroom in the rear is competitive enough for this class. As a result of the sloping roofline, taller passengers above six feet tall may struggle over longer journeys, but for a family, there’s a great amount of space.

It’s not the biggest SUV you’ll find in terms of stature, but Ford have ensured it remains a very practical space. It also comes with ISOFIX points, a respectable glove box and good-sized door bins too. 

Ford Puma infotainment system

Technology

The eight-inch touchscreen does look a little dated, with an underwhelming design. However, it’s a very easy system to use. It’s well laid out and has clearly been designed with usability in mind.

There’s a row of sub menus across the bottom of the screen and using it on the move is no hassle.

Traditionalists will also enjoy that Ford have maintained physical dials for the climate control, which for me, were a welcomed addition.

While the touchscreen may be lacking, the driver’s display is fantastic. The picture is crisp and offers a fantastic amount of customisation. It’s not at the level of what you’ll find in one of the German heavyweights, but for this class and price point, it’s a great feature.

AppleCarPlay & Android Auto both come as standard, with a 12V socket and a couple of USB ports to match.

You have the option to add a Wireless Charging Pad on all models, as well as a hands-free power tailgate deeper into the lineup. 

Safety

As standard, all Puma models come with Lane Keeping Aid, Cruise Control, an adjustable speed limiter, hill-start and the option to add Adaptive Cruise Control (excluding ST trims).

If you’re planning to use the Ford Puma as your next family car, then you’ll be delighted to learn it comes with a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, with a 94% score for adult occupants and 84% for child occupants.

Ford Puma ST-Line

Model Lines & Equipment

Titanium - from £22,295

  • 17" 10-Spoke Alloy Wheels, Absolute Black Machined Finished
  • Projector Headlamps with LED Day Time Running Lights
  • LED Rear Lamps
  • Power-foldable Heated Door Mirrors with Puddle Lamps
  • Quickclear heated windscreen
  • Selectable Drive Modes - Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery & Trail
  • Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC)
  • Ford SYNC 3 Navigation with 8'' touchscreen, DAB radio, Emergency Assistance, Apple Carplay & Android Auto, 2 x USB & 6 speakers, & FordPass Connect
  • Power Start Button
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Cruise Control with Intelligent Speed Limiter
  • Lane Keeping Aid and Lane Departure Warning
  • Pre-Collision Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Pedestrian/Cyclist Detection & Post-Collision Braking

ST-Line - from £23,245

(In addition/replacement to Titanium)

  • 17" 5x2-spoke Alloy Wheels, Black Machined Finish
  • ST-Line Body Styling Kit
  • Sport suspension
  • Manual Air Conditioning
  • ST-Line Cloth Trim in Ebony with red stitching
  • Driver Seat Lumbar & Height Adjust
  • Full Digital 12.3" Instrument Cluster

ST-Line X – from £24,345

(In addition/replacement to ST-Line)

  • 18"x7", 5-spoke, Matt Black Machined Finish
  • Privacy Glass
  • Ford SYNC 3 Navigation with B&O premium audio system, with 8" touchscreen, DAB radio, Emergency Assistance, Apple Carplay & Android Auto, 2 x USB & 10 speakers and subwoofer & FordPass Connect
  • ST-Line X Partial Premium Sensico with red stitching
  • Passenger 4-way adjust with lumbar seat
  • Wireless charging pad

ST-Line Vignale – from £25,995

(In addition/replacement to ST-Line X)

  • Exclusive 18" alloy wheels
  • Fixed LED signature headlamps
  • Vignale Unique Body Styling Kit
  • ST-Line Vignale Premium Sensico with metal grey stitching
  • Lumbar massage seats (driver & passenger)
  • Heated front seats and heated steering wheel
  • Power Start Button and Keyless entry
  • Front and rear parking sensors

ST – from £28,760

(In addition/replacement to ST-Line Vignale)

  • 19" Magnetite machined alloy wheels
  • Fixed LED signature headlamps
  • Unique ST elements to front & rear body styling kit including Ford Performance embossed splitter
  • ST suspension
  • ST Recaro Sport Seats in Partial Leather with Miko Dinamica
  • Driver Seat Lumbar & Height Adjust
  • Black painted contrast roof

*Model lines correct at the time of publication

Ford Puma driving down hill

Verdict

What impressed me most about the Ford Puma is how assured it was. I love the approach from Ford to try and create something a little different.

The compact SUV class can be such a difficult one to stand out in, but Ford have done an excellent job with the Puma.

Like many of the Ford models that preceded it, it's exceptionally easy to get on with and offers a smooth, refined drive. 

Granted, it is not the most powerful or even the biggest when compared to its rivals, but the Ford Mega Box is a genius piece of design that would’ve otherwise been dead space.

As a complete package, it is reliable, well-rounded and generally quite an impressive runner.

Interested in Ford leasing? Browse our latest personal Ford Puma lease deals and business contract hire options