The interior layout, fit and finish
To match the swagger of its more aggressive body kit and rear roof spoiler, you get a pair of figure-hugging and supportive heated Recaro sports seats up front, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and plenty of ‘ST’ emblems dotted around the interior. Those seats are excellent, proving comfortable over long distances and holding you in place well during hard cornering.
Unsurprisingly you don’t sit quite as low as you do in a Ford Fiesta ST, with a slightly elevated perch befitting its SUV nature. If you are looking for a loftier driving position, we’d point you towards the far pricier Cupra Ateca, but the Puma’s driving position is fundamentally excellent. Both the steering wheel and pedals are perfectly aligned with the driver’s seat, and those pedals are placed closely together to give you a nice ‘racy’ feel.
The aggressively angled front pillars mean some drivers may find their view out of junctions slightly obscured, while the rising window line and thick rear pillars mean the rear view isn’t great, either. Thankfully auto LED headlights, auto wipers and crucially rear parking sensors are standard, with a rear camera and front parking sensors available as part of the driver assistance pack.
Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system is standard and comes with an 8.0in touchscreen and a wireless charging pad for your mobile phone. It isn't as slick as the T-Roc R’s system but, for the price point, is pretty decent: it has sharp graphics, lots of features (including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a DAB radio and Bluetooth) and relatively simple menus. You even get a premium B&O sound system as standard, boosting the sound quality of music on the go.
The infotainment system is augmented by a digital instrument panel in place of analogue dials. This is highly configurable and able to show you lots of useful information, including sat-nav mapping, the audio menus and trip computer.
In terms of interior quality, the Puma ST is rather impressive considering its list price. Key touch points such as the steering wheel and gear lever are wrapped in soft leather, the seats are finished in a grippy suede-like material and there are some pleasingly squidgy surfaces on the dashboard and tops of the doors. Granted, if you search lower down in the interior, you’ll find some flimsier materials, but there’s more plush plastic than you’ll find in the ‘premium’ T-Roc R and that car is significantly more expensive.
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