- Aggressive looks
- Dynamic to drive
- Plenty of kit
- Good levels of practicality
The Ford Puma brought something new to the crossover party when it first arrived and was rewarded for its style and innovative features.
Since then, it's collected numerous awards and has become one of Ford’s biggest sellers throughout Europe.
The Puma name first arrived on a Fiesta based sports coupé back in 1997, and it was very popular, but only stayed in production for four years.
This time, the Puma is a completely different animal and is set to stay around for much longer.
Anyone who buys the new Puma is going to find it a great companion because it has bags of style and great looks, along with being fun to drive, economical to run, and very practical.
It also stands out from the rest of the crossover crowd because of its striking looks and I have enjoyed all of the models I have sampled including this ST version which adds real performance to the Puma mix.
Powertrain and Performance
The Puma ST introduces Ford Performance driving dynamics to the compact SUV segment for the first time, and its 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine is shared with the Fiesta ST.
It packs real punch and reaches 62mph from a standstill in 6.7 seconds before going on to a top speed of 137mph.
The smart powertrain can be enjoyed with four driving modes from eco, normal, and sport, to track settings. It also has a sports tuned suspension and the modes will affect power output limits, throttle and steering responses as well as grip.
You quickly get used to the extra power from the 3-cylinder engine, which is surprisingly smooth.
The 6-speed box offers crisp changes and if you work it hard you will get the best out of the 197bhp power plant.
Treat it gently, and you can still get up to 47.9mpg, but if you push it hard that will drop to just over 30mpg with a combined figure of 41.5mpg.
The steering is excellent, and the ST always offered stacks of grip despite being only front-wheel drive.
The handling is sharp and responsive and although the sports suspension is firm it never felt too harsh even on bumpy roads.
The sports seats certainly hold you in place while you enjoy the cockpit, but I found them a bit too tight for my liking.
The Puma offers good all-round visibility and there is room for four to travel in comfort.
Equipment and Technology
With its 19-inch Magnetite alloy wheels, ST front and rear body styling kit including Ford Performance embossed splitter, ST badging and red brake calipers, the ST certainly looks as if it means business.
It also has a black painted contrast roof, a dual slash cut exhaust and an engine sound enhancer.
Inside, the sporty theme is continued with sports seats and a unique ST gear shift knob, as well as a flat-bottomed steering wheel with red stitching and alloy sports pedals.
The high performance cornering headlights are another bonus, as are the rain sensing wipers and the Quickclear heated windscreen.
You can also enjoy the full digital instrument cluster, heated seats, privacy glass and wireless mobile phone charging pad.
The large infotainment screen provides a sharp display and is easy to use, and there are plenty of plug points for all your gadgets.
The Puma ST is a real driver’s car which can still be enjoyed by all the family, and it's happy in town or being pushed out on open roads or motorways.
If you cannot afford this top of the range model, then other Puma models can provide just as much enjoyment.