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Car of the Year Awards 2024: 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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Our 2020 Car of the Year is still the best choice if you want a small SUV that’s fun to drive. It’s far from a one-trick pony, with its frugal engine and cavernous boot, but it’s the Ford Puma’s cornering skills that shine brightest.

Where rivals such as the Lexus LBX and Volkswagen T-Roc tackle bends in a competent and confidence-inspiring manner, the Puma zips around them with the poise and finesse of some hot hatches, and makes you feel thoroughly involved in the action. If you value such  things, we reckon you’ll forgive the car’s rather dated interior and the amount of wind noise that reaches your ears.

Ford Puma front seats

Even the entry-level Ecoboost 125 engine delivers nippier acceleration than you get from most other small SUVs, but the gutsier Ecoboost 155 doesn’t cost that much more and lets you really make the most of the Puma’s handling.

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