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Car of the Year Awards 2023: Best small SUV to drive

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...

Best small SUV to drive

Ford Puma 1.0 EcoBoost 155 mHEV ST-Line

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If family practicalities say you need a small SUV, but your heart yearns for a sports car, the Ford Puma is the answer.

For starters, it’s the most powerful small SUV on these pages; its 153bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine always feels eager, thanks to a mild hybrid system that provides small doses of instant electrical assistance, using energy recycled from braking. That also brings a welcome boost in efficiency.

Ford Puma 2022 dashboard

It’s by far the neatest-handling small SUV, too, yet for all its sportiness, the Puma is also a very practical proposition. Its generous boot includes a handy well below the boot floor, with a removable plug so you can wash away deposits from the kids’ muddy wellies.

It’s an incredibly strong showing, but the Volkswagen T-Roc is a more well-rounded proposition, with a cushier, quieter ride and more interior space front and back.

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