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Car of the Year Awards 2021: Small SUV of the Year

A small SUV's compact size mustn’t come at the expense of practicality and should be reflected by low running costs. It should ride comfortably, too, while maintaining a sense of fun...

WINNER: Small SUV of the Year

Ford Puma 1.0 Ecoboost Hybrid 155 Titanium

What Car? Car of the Year 2021 logo with sponsor

You could easily accuse the entire small SUV class of trying too hard to be everything to everyone. Compact yet practical, sporty yet efficient, stylish yet affordable… it’s rare that a car can genuinely combine all these virtues, but the Ford Puma does. That’s why it won our overall 2020 Car of the Year award, and why it remains our pick of the small SUV class despite an influx of new arrivals, including the latest Renault Captur.

Not only does the Puma excel on the handling front, but it’s also fairly comfortable and has some of the finest engines, courtesy of mild hybrid technology that delivers impressive efficiency as well as performance. Those swoopy looks don’t compromise interior space, either, and there’s a huge, handy underfloor compartment that makes the Puma surprisingly practical.

Ford Puma 2020 dashboard RHD

Our rundown of winning small SUVs shows that certain alternatives excel in specific disciplines; there’s the remarkably roomy Skoda Kamiq and the dinky yet tough Suzuki Ignis, to name just two. But nothing ticks all the boxes quite like the Puma.

We like

> Brilliant fun to drive
> Pleasing blend of economy and power
> Cleverly designed boot
> Great driving position

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Read about more Car of the Year 2021 winners >>