Used Ford Puma Coupe 1997 - 2002 review

Category: Coupé

A distinctive coupe on robust Fiesta chassis that's big on value

Used Ford Puma Coupe 1997 - 2002
  • Used Ford Puma Coupe 1997 - 2002
  • Used Ford Puma Coupe 1997 - 2002
Used Ford Puma Coupe 1997 - 2002 review
Star rating

What's the used Ford Puma coupe like?

You'll struggle to find a small coupe that's as much fun to drive - and you certainly won't find one for this kind of money.

The Puma takes the already good Fiesta underpinnings and hones them until they're as sharp and agile as a barrister's brain. You get almost kart-like steering, terrific roadholding, strong brakes and a fantastic gearshift.


A distinctive coupe on robust Fiesta chassis that's big on value

  • Brilliant to drive and inexpensive to own
  • The driving position won't suit everyone

Each of the engines is willing and makes a good sound, although the 1.4 doesn't have the pace to match the car's looks.

The cabin has aluminium highlights, such as the gearlever knob, to add a touch of sporting flair. However, not everyone will get on with the knees-up, bottom-down driving position, especially given that the steering column is fixed.

Rear visibility is restricted by the coupe's racy lines, which also limit the headroom in the rear. Anyone much above average height will find it cramped, but at least the reasonable boot gives it some practicality.

Ownership cost

What used Ford Puma coupe will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Ford Puma coupe?

Not by any stretch of the imagination. This car is based heavily on the Fiesta, so parts are cheap and servicing easy.

It's also very robust if it's looked after, so there should be no unexpected maintenance bills to wipe the smile off your face as you drive all the way to the bank. Insurance costs are reasonable, but not exactly cheap. Our favoured 1.7 qualifies for group 12, while the 1.6 falls into group 10 and the 1.4 sits in group 9.

You won't be spending much on fuel, though. Whichever model you choose, a gallon should take you within a brisk walk of 40 miles, provided you don't go too mad with your right foot.

Best of all, the Puma doesn't cost a huge amount to buy, especially given the fun and distinctive looks - and it won't lose much value over coming years, either.

Our recommendations

Which used Ford Puma coupe should I buy?

The 123bhp 1.7-litre is the one to go for. It's smooth, frugal and makes a tuneful, sporting noise. There isn't much pull at low revs, but it revs so freely - and the gearchange is so rewarding and addictive - that this isn't a problem. In fact, it suits the car's character perfectly.

The 89bhp 1.4, launched in February 1998, is flexible enough but can feel short of performance. It was replaced in October 2000 by a stronger 101bhp 1.6. However, neither is a patch on the 1.7.

You may come across a Puma Racing - a lower, wider, 153bhp 1.7-litre version. It's a great drive, but far rarer and more extreme. Unless you're a track-day regular, the standard car is the better bet.

There was only one trim level and many cars won't have a passenger airbag or air-con unless their first owners paid extra for them.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Ford Puma coupe?