Ford Puma Review & Prices
The Ford Puma looks the part, is a hoot to drive and comes with a sizable boot; but other SUVs are comfier on the road and provide a better view out
Find out more about the Ford Puma
To look at it’s much the same as those cars. It’s got the raised up driving position, the eye-catching design, and a sort of miniature SUV shape; but rather unlike those models the little Ford also places a huge amount of emphasis on simple driving fun too.
Anyone with a particularly long memory might be able to recall the original Puma Coupe of the 1990s, but don’t think this new version is some half-hearted come-back tour from a washed-up classic rock band – it’s much better than that.
To start with, it still looks pretty great. Traces of that original car’s design still shine through in here – particularly from the front. It just manages to mix just the right amount of cheeky character on the one hand and visual aggression on the other. A Nissan Juke might wear an even sharper suit, but this Puma is by no means scruffy.
Unfortunately, its cabin drags the chain a bit. There’s nothing wrong with it from a functionality standpoint, but fairly heavy use of scratchy plastics means it looks and feels a bit bland and cheap. A Peugeot 2008’s interior is much more modern and classy.
Still, the Ford is at least well-equipped on the tech front. Even the entry-level Titanium Design models get an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity; and regular sat nav is available on all other models in the range. A wireless charge pad is available on certain variants too; as is a fully-digital instrument cluster – just like you get on plenty of posh German SUVs.
The Ford Puma is worth considering if you're looking for something that’ll carry bulky luggage as easily as it’ll turn your frown upside down on a twisty country road
That said, those cars do have a fair bit more space in the back than the Puma. Taller adults will probably find it to be a wee bit cramped, so if that’s a concern for you then maybe take a look at a Volkswagen T-Cross or Skoda Kamiq instead.
Luckily, it does have a pretty handy boot. Outright space is decent enough, but one particularly clever feature is the so-called ‘Megabox’ that sits beneath the floor. Basically, it’s a waterproof compartment with a plug in the floor for easy cleaning and drainage, and it’s the perfect place for things like muddy hiking boots or soaked wet-weather gear.
But just because the Puma has somewhere you can stash your outdoor equipment, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’ll be able to follow you off the beaten trail. It’s front-wheel-drive only; and its engine line-up is made up of economical 125hp and 155hp 1.0-litre petrol engines with mild-hybrid assist – so it’s far more suited to city streets than muddy fields.
Still, it is a very easy, stress-free car to drive around town. The steering is light and accurate, and its six-speed manual gearbox is slick and smooth. The view out the back is a bit tight, though.
Its ride is a bit firmer over bumps than a Skoda Kamiq’s – particularly if you go for one of the ST-Line models with sports suspension – and there’s a bit more wind noise and tyre roar out on the motorway too. But the little Puma more than makes up for this on windy country roads – it really is one of the most eager and entertaining compact SUVs around. There’s even a full-fat 200hp Puma ST model if you want even more sporting flair.
If you're interested, check out the latest Ford Puma deals to see how much you can save on your next new car. Or you can find a great used Ford Puma as well as browse other used Ford models from our network of trusted dealers. And if you want to change your car completely, you can sell your car with carwow too.
The Ford Puma has a RRP range of £25,640 to £33,020. However, with carwow you can save on average £2,164. Prices start at £23,738 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £229. The price of a used Ford Puma on carwow starts at £13,700.
Our most popular versions of the Ford Puma are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid mHEV Titanium 5dr||£23,738||Compare offers|
Ford asks about the same for the basic Puma as Toyota does for the entry Yaris Cross. The two cars are pretty closely comparable in terms of size and practicality, so that’s fine but the problem is that the Toyota is a full-on hybrid, whereas the Puma is merely a ‘mild-hybrid’ which is basically another way of saying that it has a clever stop-start system. That makes the Toyota arguably better value for money thanks to the running costs benefits.
Unquestionably better value for money are the Skoda Kamiq (which in fairness does come with an engine that’s 30hp less powerful in basic trim) and the Renault Captur (which, again, is much cheaper in basic form but is 35hp worse off). That’s also true for the VW T-Cross, and the Puma has the biggest boot of any of them so at least it has that to offer for its higher price tag.
The Ford Puma is easy to drive around town and fun in the corners, but it's not the most refined car at higher speeds
The Puma has light steering and a nice — if slightly notchy — gear change, so it’s pretty gentle on the nerves when driving around town. It’s basically a Fiesta underneath, so things like the weight of the clutch pedal, and the feel of the very powerful brakes are really good, and make the Puma very friendly and easy to drive.
Another thing the Puma inherits from the Fiesta is a tight turning circle, so urban u-turns are a doddle. There’s an optional rear parking camera with a 180-degree view that’s really helpful when parking, which is good as the rear visibility is only OK — a common issue for small SUVs such as this with a fairly small rear window. It doesn’t help that you don’t really sit up all that high, especially when compared to the seating positions of alternatives. You just feel like you’re sitting in a conventional hatchback.
The ride quality is pretty firm, too. You certainly feel urban bumps more than you would in, say, a Peugeot 2008 or a Renault Captur and the problem is worse again for ST-Line models because they get stiffer springs and dampers for the sportier specification level.
On the motorway
The Puma’s not the quietest car at speed, but then you hardly expect Mercedes S-Class refinement at this price. It’s absolutely fine on the motorway, with really little enough to complain about. The modest 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder engine might not sound like much, but the 155hp version picks up strongly at motorway speeds when you need to get a move on, and even the 125hp version feels a little more muscular than you might expect, thanks to the extra little bit of assistance that the mild-hybrid system adds. Brilliant on the motorway? No, but entirely acceptable.
On a twisty road
Twisty roads are where the Puma really comes to life. The Fiesta that it’s based on is a sharp-driving little hatchback, but the Puma’s longer wheelbase (the gap between the front and rear wheels) and stiffer suspension give it a more aggressive, more up-and-at-‘em feel to it. It’s really good fun on a proper British B-road, and is arguably slightly more enjoyable to drive than the Fiesta. The only problem is, again, that ride quality. Although it does smooth out a bit at speed, on a road with lots of bumps you’re going to get seriously jostled and bounced around the place. The properly sporty ST version, with its 200hp engine, is even more thrilling on the right road, but it’s also even more firmly sprung and it has really hard, tight-fitting seats.
Clever boot, but hard plastics and the figure-hugging seats on sports models won’t be for everyone
The Puma is fine up-front for practicality. There’s a decent storage area in front of the gear lever and no fewer than three cup holders too. The door bins are a bit small, but acceptable enough for the type of car (although they’re made of very hard plastic so anything in there is going to rattle plenty). The glovebox is fine, and some models get an extra storage box under the front seat armrest, which is useful. Sportier models get quite narrow-fitting bucket seats, which aren’t the most comfortable if you’re on the broad side…
Space in the back seats
It’s not a very roomy car in the back, the Puma. It’s OK if you’re only trying to carry two people, but Ford may as well not bother fitting a middle rear seatbelt, as there’s definitely not enough room for three adults in the back. Three kids might just fit, but you’re going to struggle when it comes to bulky child car safety seats. That said, getting two child seats in is easy enough as the doors open wide, and there are ISOFIX anchors in the outer two rear seats.
Headroom isn’t great, and if you get a model with the optional panoramic glass roof, then it’s even worse again. A Skoda Kamiq has the Puma well beaten for rear seat space.
The Puma’s boot makes up a bit for the back seats. At 456 litres, it has one single, solitary litre extra compared to a Volkswagen T-Cross (and you have to have the T-Cross’ back seat pushed right forward to get that much space). It’s a big, square space and although there is a slight loading lip, it’s not too bad. You get some helpful tie-down points, luggage hooks, and a 12-volt socket too. The light, flexible luggage cover is easy to use too, and stores under the floor when you don’t need it.
The rear seats split-fold in 60:40 ratio, and while the floor isn’t completely flat up to the front seats, you do get 1,216-litres of space. Annoyingly, though, the rear seatbelts get easily trapped when you’re putting the seats back up.
The Puma’s party trick is the ‘Megabox’. A silly name for a useful 80-litre storage box that sits under the boot floor (and which means you don’t get a spare wheel), the Megabox is designed for either hiding away valuables, or for carrying tall items like… a lamp? A potted plant? An upright set of golf clubs? It also has a drain plug, so if you’ve filled your Megabox with something grubby and smelly — sports gear or mud-encrusted wellies maybe — you can just pull the plug and hose it all out. Which means you could also leave the plug in, fill the Megabox with warm water, and use it as a portable foot spa. What other SUV can offer that, eh?
The cabin is smart and the screen is clear and easy to use, but connectivity isn't great and those in the back might feel short-changed
On the inside, the Puma is once again… alright. If you’ve driven a recent Fiesta it’ll all look very familiar and while some of the bits and pieces used are cheap (check out the scratchy black plastic on the tops of the doors, although the soft-touch dash is much better) it’s actually all well put together, so the real underlying quality is good. The centre console does wobble a bit, but you kind of expect that at this price level. The steering wheel also feels oddly big.
Overall though, the Puma’s dash has a neat layout, and if the touchscreen for Ford’s SYNC infotainment system looks a bit stuck-on, then at least the software is easy to find your way around, and Ford sensibly makes sure that all the on-screen ‘buttons’ are nice and big and easy to use on the go. There’s voice control too, if you don’t want to use the screen.
The digital dials — standard on all models bar the basic version — are good too. You get a choice of backgrounds and layouts, and they all change according to the driving setting that you’ve chosen. So, Sport mode brings up a moody black-and-red display, while the Slippery Road setting is blue with a little bit of animated rain as the screen changes. A nice little touch. More importantly you can choose from a pretty comprehensive trip computer in the middle of the screen, or select a ‘Calm Screen’ mode for a less fulsome display.
The Puma does connect to the FordPass phone app, which means you can do things like flash the lights and beep the horn from your phone, but the connectivity within the car isn’t up with the best. There are only two USB sockets in the front of the cabin (one of which is under the armrest) and a 12-volt socket. Rear seat passengers get nothing, which isn’t great when you consider that many small crossover buyers have growing families.
The Puma is sometimes referred to as a hybrid, but it’s not really. It’s not like a Toyota hybrid that allows the car to drive on just electric power for small bursts. It’s a ‘mild-hybrid’ which means it gets a tiny rechargeable battery which allows the stop-start system to shut the engine off earlier in around-town traffic, and keep it off for longer. It also runs some of the car’s electrical systems to take a bit of strain off the petrol engine, so that helps a bit with economy, and it can also boost the engine’s power and torque just a little when you’re accelerating hard.
It doesn’t actually add up to an economy figure that’s all that brilliant, though. The 125hp version of the 1.0-litre ‘EcoBoost’ three-cylinder engine quotes a best-effort of 52.3mpg on the combined fuel economy test, but you might struggle to reach that in real-world conditions. The 155hp is thirstier still — an official 50.4mpg, but we only got 42mpg out of it on test. The 200hp ST version is worse again, 41.5mpg is claimed but if you’re using its performance then you’ll do much worse than that. A Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid has a more sophisticated hybrid system and it can do better than 60mpg in real-world conditions.
At least the mild-hybrid system does keep emissions under some control — The basic 125hp engine has emissions of 122g/km, so you’ll pay £190 for your first year’s road fund licence.
The Puma received a really good score from the crash test experts at Euro NCAP. It got a full five-star award, with a 94 per cent protection rating for adult occupants, and an 84 per cent score for child occupants.
Basic Pumas come with rear parking sensors, forward collision warning with automatic braking that can detect pedestrians and cyclists, cruise control with a speed limiter that can rear road signs and automatically adjust, lane-keeping steering, and automatic headlights with an automated high-beam system that dips the lights for you at night. Oh, and rain-sensing wipers too. All Pumas also get Ford’s useful ‘QuickClear’ heated windscreen which is a real boon on a frosty day. Higher spec models get radar-guidance for the cruise control, which will keep you a safe distance from the car in front, along with a blind-spot warning that will stop you from pulling out into the path of another car. There’s also an evasive steering feature that can help you steer around danger, swerving you away from a potential collision.
The Puma and Fiesta share almost all their mechanical bits and pieces so in general it should be fine, but do watch for small niggles. The 48-volt mild-hybrid system is pretty new, so we’re not sure how well that lasts in the long term, and some of the cabin trim could be nicer, so it remains to be seen how well that will all hold together. The Puma has had three recalls since it was introduced in early 2020 — one for loose hybrid battery connections; one for problems with the driver’s airbag; and one for a software issue that affects the emergency e-call system.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.