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Used Ford Puma review

Ford’s new small sporty crossover combines SUV style with five-door hatchback practicality. The Puma is as easy and fun to drive as a supermini. Yet when you get inside, it’s surprisingly spacious and comfortable. Add to that the impressive array of on-board toys and gadgets and you might start to get interested in adopting this little Puma. Oh, did we also mention it comes in both hybrids and higher powered ST versions?

Design

Forget the image of the old Ford Puma – the dinky coupe with a cult following dating back to the turn of the century. This is an entirely new and modern type of car.  

The new Puma launched in 2019 as a small 5-door crossover. The mechanical underpinnings are based on the UK’s most popular car, the Fiesta. The design, however, is all-new – a modern chunky raised body with SUV styling.  

They all get alloy wheels, electric door mirrors and Ford’s latest family design. That means a deep front grille, flared lights and sharp creases along the body and tailgate. ST-line versions add racier body kit. Some get privacy glass, LED running lights and bigger alloys too. 

What's it like to drive?

The Puma is based on the Fiesta – one of the best handling small hatchbacks. That’s a great start. It means the suspension is tried and tested.  

The result is a car that handles much like a hot hatch. It corners neatly, without any tall SUV body roll. It handles rough roads and British potholes without wallowing like a bouncy castle. It’s smooth and comfortable on motorways. Best of all, it’s fun.  

Take the Puma on some open country roads and it will leave a smile on the driver’s face. All versions are rather nippy, the ST models are very swift. 

Interior

The Puma’s cabin shares much of its design with Britain’s most popular car, the Fiesta. So, it’s off to a great start. All around the interior the materials are generally good quality. Everything feels durable and well put together. Compared to some jazzy crossover rivals, it offers a more sober, conservative look.  

The Puma is actually a bit bigger than a Fiesta so there’s more space inside for passengers. Even if the back roof-line looks sloping, clever interior design means there’s still plenty of leg and headroom in the rear seat. 

The dash is dominated by Ford’s familiar 8-inch touchscreen system. It’s a clear, easy-to-use controller for the music, connectivity and infotainment options. The driver gets digital instruments and a nicely adaptable driving position. The rest of the dashboard space is left uncluttered. Most buttons are on the chunky little steering wheel. 

Generous levels of kit add to the appeal – all Pumas get phone connectivity, cruise control and wireless charging. Higher trim levels get leather, bigger touchscreens and a B&O sound system. Look out too for a few special editions that come with premium luxuries like a heated steering wheel, rear-view camera and panoramic glass sunroof. 

Practicality

More ingenious design means Ford has created a Tardis-like boot. Somehow the Puma’s load space is bigger than the boot in a Ford Focus, which is a much bigger car.  

There’s hardly a loading lip to overcome at all and the space is wide and square, making it easy for most types of load. The floor can be lowered or lifted for more storage underneath and of course the back seats can be folded down as usual. The boot lining can even be taken out and hosed down.  

The ultra-flexible parcel shelf hides your luggage and simply wraps round things that stick up a bit too high. High spec versions get a powered tailgate that can be opened by waving your foot under the back bumper. 

Reliability and running costs

The petrol and hybrid engines have good performance allied to economy of between 46 and 50mpg. Tax, insurance and servicing are low. With the UK’s widest network of dealers Ford servicing is easy and generally well priced. Ford’s 3-year warranty is merely average among rivals. 

There are limited reports about Puma reliability so far. Latest surveys show the mechanically similar Fiesta roughly average among rivals so expect the Puma to match that. If you’re worried about problems arising in the future look at cinchCare for extra peace of mind. 

What cinch loves

The Ford Puma is a practical, stylish small crossover that’s big on space and fun. It’s one of the best crossovers to drive and has perky, economical engines, including hybrids. It’s comfortable for passengers on motorways. The cabin is roomy, durable and sensible, the boot is big. All versions come with a touch screen system, some add premium luxuries throughout.

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Verdict

Great!

The Puma is a likeable option in the small crossover class. It offers a great driving experience. There’s plenty of room in the back seat, a big boot and a clear touchscreen system. The hybrids offer good economy, the ST models add hot-hatch style thrills.

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