The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The Ford Puma’s standard seats, fitted to Titanium models, lack a bit of side support but are otherwise comfy and even have a massaging function as well as adjustable lumbar support – many small SUVs, including the Juke, don't even offer the latter. Go for sportier ST-Line trim and you'll have to forgo your massage, but you'll still get lumbar adjustment along with thicker side bolsters that cradle you tightly in the corners.
All models have seat-height adjustment and plenty of movement to get the steering wheel just where you need it, no matter what your shape or size. Some people might find the gear lever is set a little low down, though.
You're not sitting quite as far above the road as you would be in the Volkswagen T-Roc, but you are far higher up in the Puma than in, say, a hatchback, like the Ford Fiesta; or some other small SUVs, for that matter, such as the Skoda Kamiq. And the Puma's dashboard is easy to get the hang of, thanks in part to the chunky, intuitive controls for the air-conditioning.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Depending on your driving position, you might find that the aggressively angled front pillars block some of your view at junctions and roundabouts. Visibility out of the back of the Puma isn’t brilliant, either; blame the rising window line and the chunky rear pillars for that.
On the plus side, all Pumas come with rear parking sensors, while a reversing camera is available as part of the optional Driver Assistance Pack. You can also pay extra for LED headlights (standard on the range-topping ST-Line Vignale trim), which at night project more intense beams farther down the road than the standard halogen lights. For the record, the Kamiq comes with LED as standard.
Sat nav and infotainment
All trim levels come with an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system, with DAB radio, built-in sat-nav and a couple of USB ports. You also get a wireless charging pad, so you can charge compatible smartphones easily.
True, the operating system isn’t as user-friendly as the equivalent in the Kamiq, T-Cross or T-Roc, and the touchscreen sometimes takes a while to respond after you’ve pressed it. However, all things considered, it’s a better infotainment system than the one you get in the Nissan Juke and far better than the Peugeot 2008's.
Go for ST-Line X or ST-Line Vignale trim and the standard seven-speaker sound system is replaced by a really punchy 10-speaker B&O setup. If we’re being picky, the sound quality it delivers isn't quite as warm or enveloping as the Bose system in range-topping versions of the Juke but it's still good.
The Puma’s interior is dressed a little more lavishly than the Volkswagen T-Cross's and T-Roc's. They have primarily hard, unforgiving plastics inside, whereas the Puma has some pleasingly squidgy surfaces on the dashboard and the tops of its doors. ST-Line X models even have some faux carbon-fibre highlights as well as part-leather seats, while the range-topping ST-Line Vignale has full-leather seats.
However, some of the dashboard plastics still feel a bit flimsy and low-rent, so, overall, the Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Kamiq feel better inside, while the Mini Countryman is the king of quality among small SUVs.
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