Ford Puma driving

Ford Puma review

The Ford Puma is a stylish compact SUV that’s enjoyable to drive and has an extremely practical, well-equipped interior.

Pros

  • Extremely practical interior
  • Great to drive
  • Strong value for money

Cons

  • Limited engine choice
  • Not available with four-wheel drive
  • Some rivals have a more premium feel

Summary

“A practical family car with clever features that feels great to drive.”

The Ford Puma is one of the most distinctive compact SUVs, with a particularly sporty look. It’s also one of the most enjoyable to drive, feeling very responsive and balanced on any road. The interior is spacious for a small car and has some really clever features that enhance its practicality. Fuel-efficient petrol and mild-hybrid versions are available, while every version has cruise control, rear parking sensors and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

What's the interior like?

“The boot’s ‘Megabox’ is really useful and sets the Puma apart from other cars.”

The Puma is quite a small car but it has a surprisingly spacious interior. There’s more than enough space in the back seats to accommodate children of all ages and the high ride height makes helping children into and out of child seats easier than in a hatchback. Smaller children have a good view out of the windows, which could help prevent travel sickness. It’s not just child-friendly, either. Four adults will be comfortable even on long journeys, though taller people may find the back-seat headroom a little tight.

The Puma has a bigger boot than most other small SUVs, with enough space to take everything you need on a week-long family holiday. The back seats fold down, freeing up enough room for large, bulky items. The boot isn’t just big – it’s clever, too. The boot floor is height-adjustable, which makes loading easier at the higher level and increases capacity at the lower level. You can also lift the boot floor up or take it out entirely to use the ‘MegaBox’, a wide, deep space set into the bottom of the boot. It’s made from hard-wearing plastic and is ideal for carrying dirty shoes, or anything else you don’t want to put in the boot itself. There’s a removable plug at the bottom so you can even hose it clean after unloading muddy gear. 

The dashboard is user-friendly and there are plenty of storage spaces dotted around the interior. Everything you use has a quality feel, the seats are comfortable and the whole interior feels very well made.

What's it like to drive?

“The Puma is great to drive, feeling smooth, stable and responsive.”

No other compact SUV is as enjoyable to drive as the Puma. It’s fun, comfortable and feels at home on any road. Its light steering, easy gear change and compact size make nipping around town easy, while its height gives you a great view out. Standard rear parking sensors help when manoeuvring. The suspension gives a smooth ride and the Puma feels stable and secure on motorways, which makes long journeys more relaxing than in some similar cars.

Petrol and mild-hybrid power are available. The mild hybrids are best for everyday driving as they combine strong, responsive acceleration with good fuel economy. The high-performance ST model’s engine is stronger still, but less fuel-efficient. A smooth-shifting automatic gearbox is available on all models except the ST.

Unlike some rival cars, there are no self-charging hybrid or plug-in hybrid options and the Puma isn’t available with four-wheel drive.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The Puma is great value and is available with fuel-efficient mild-hybrid power.”

The Puma is priced at the same level as other compact SUVs such as the Seat Arona and Volkswagen T-Cross. Considering its space, equipment and great drive, the Puma is good value for money.

The high-performance Puma ST is the least fuel-efficient model, giving average fuel economy of 41.5mpg according to official figures. The 125hp petrol-powered model gives 45.6mpg and the mild-hybrid models give 49.6mpg. Those numbers compare well with similar cars. Road tax costs are low for all models and insurance costs should be competitive.

How reliable and safe is it?

“Feels solid and the Puma is very highly rated for safety.”

The Puma was launched in 2020, so it’s a bit too soon to say how reliable it is. However, its engines and electrics – including the mild-hybrid system – are used in many other Ford models and have proven to be durable. While some rival cars’ interiors have a more premium look, the Puma’s interior feels solid and well built.

Safety organisation Euro NCAP awarded the Puma a full five-star safety rating. It features advanced driver safety systems such as automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist.

Which one is best for you?

Best for emissions - Puma MHEV

Best for family - Puma Titanium

Best for fun - Puma ST

All Puma models come with an eight-inch touchscreen display that controls the infotainment system. It includes sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth, DAB radio and a suite of apps. Air con, cruise control, rear parking sensors and a heated windscreen are also standard.

If you want a sportier look and driving experience, go for the Puma ST. It has a more powerful engine, firmer suspension and upgrades including larger alloy wheels, deeper bumpers and a rear spoiler. It’s available in some vibrant colours, too. The interior has more supportive sports seats. ST-Line models combine the ST’s styling with softer suspension and the less-powerful engine options.

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