Ford Puma review

Category: Small SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Ford Puma 2021 infotainment
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RRP £22,035What Car? Target Price from£20,782
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

There are no weedy engines in the line-up, nor are there any really basic trim levels. This explains why the Ford Puma’s starting price is higher than those of the Nissan Juke and Skoda Kamiq. However, in like-for-like form, it’s actually cheaper than both of those cars and it also undercuts the equivalent Volkswagen T-Roc.

PCP finance deals are really attractive, helped by the fact that the Puma is predicted to depreciate slower than many of its rivals. It’s more economical, too; not just according to the official fuel consumption tests but also in our real-world True MPG test, in which the 1.0 Ecoboost mHEV 155 averaged an excellent 45.1mpg.

But if you’re thinking about going for an automatic gearbox in the Puma, just be aware that it’ll be more expensive to buy and run than the manual. It’s still more economical than the equivalent Juke with an automatic gearbox, with lower CO2 emissions, too. In fact, across its class, the Puma pumps out less CO2 than the majority of small SUVs (as little as 127g/km for the 1.0 Ecoboost mHEV 125), which makes it a relatively cheap company car; just not as cheap as electric SUVs like the Citroën e-C4 or Peugeot e-2008

Equipment, options and extras

The cheapest trim, Titanium, doesn’t feel very ‘entry-level’ at all, with 17in alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, climate control and cruise control all coming as standard. On top of that, the front seats have that massaging function we mentioned earlier, and you also get rear parking sensors and a wireless phone charger. That's why it's our pick.

That said, upgrading to ST-Line trim brings sportier styling and swaps the conventional instrument dials behind the steering wheel for a whopping great 12.3in digital display. However, you also have to make do with basic manual air-conditioning, which simply blows warm or cool air on demand, rather than maintaining your chosen temperature, which is what climate control does.

ST-Line X trim does get climate control and also brings bigger 18in alloys for an even sportier look, along with privacy glass, part-leather seats and that great-sounding B&O stereo. Meanwhile, the range-topping ST-Line Vignale gets full leather seats (heated in the front), a heated leather steering wheel and keyless entry.

Ford Puma 2021 infotainment

Reliability

Although the Puma was too new to appear in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, Ford as a brand finished a respectable 18th (out of 31 manufacturers) in the overall league table. That’s a fair few places below Skoda, but above the likes of Volkswagen and Nissan.

All Pumas come with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty as standard, although this can be extended to five years (with a 100,000-mile limit) for an extra charge. Broadly speaking, that’s about average for a small SUV, but Hyundai and Kia offer longer standard warranties on the Kona and Stonic respectively, as does Renault with its Captur.

Safety and security

The Puma comes with all the modern preventative safety aids you’d expect, including automatic emergency braking (with pedestrian detection), lane-keeping assistance and tyre pressure monitoring. 

Add the optional Driver Assistance Pack and you’ll get blindspot monitoring and a couple of other clever systems: Evasive Steering Assist and Cross Traffic Alert. The former can help you steer around an obstacle if an emergency stop can’t be performed in time, while the latter warns you about cars crossing your path when you’re reversing out onto a road. If an accident can’t be avoided, there are six airbags on hand to keep you and your passengers safe. 

Euro NCAP awarded the Puma five stars (out of five) for safety, although a closer look at the scores reveals that the Kamiq and T-Roc are fractionally better at protecting child and adult occupants in a crash. Meanwhile, to keep would-be thieves at bay, all Pumas come with a Thatcham category one alarm and immobiliser.

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Overview

With its nippy acceleration and agile handling, the Ford Puma will put a bigger smile on your face than any other small SUV. But it’s a car you can buy with your sensible hat on, too, thanks to its low CO2 emissions, excellent real-world fuel economy, cleverly designed boot and attractive monthly PCP costs.

  • Great fun to drive
  • Remarkable blend of performance and fuel economy
  • Big and cleverly designed boot
  • Rear space is adequate rather than outstanding
  • Visibility could be better
  • Volkswagen T-Roc is more comfortable and quieter

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