Ford Puma ST long-term test: report 2

Our chief photographer wanted an SUV that brought more than a touch of fun to a gruelling daily routine. How does the Ford Puma ST stack up?...

Ford Puma ST 2021 long-term frosty start

The car Ford Puma ST Run by John Bradshaw, chief photographer

Why it’s here To see whether a Sports SUV can cut it as an everyday workhorse, without costing a fortune to run

Needs to Carry heavy, bulky equipment long distances without breaking a sweat and while putting a smile on the driver's face

Mileage 2320 List price £30,545 Target Price £29,050 Price as tested £31,185.00 Official economy 41.5mpg Test economy 35.5mpg

5 December 2021 – F.A.B?

My Ford Puma ST has got me thinking about Gerry Anderson’s legendary puppet heroes, the Thunderbirds. Okay, I’m not about to take any business away from International Rescue, but if you need rapid-response photography, the sporty Puma ensures that I can be ready and on the way to point my lens at things at the drop of a jauntily peaked hat.

In fact, the recent spell of sub-zero weather brings my car’s readiness for action to the fore. For starters, while many cars would have had me battling with scrapers and de-icers, the Puma’s heated front windscreen rapidly gives me a clear view at the touch of a button – it baffles me that all cars don’t have this feature.

Ford Puma ST 2021 long-term gearknob

In addition, winter’s grip on my bottom and hands is loosened by the car’s heated seats and steering wheel. I just wish that Ford had also thought to heat the gearknob – the Puma’s metal-topped item is painfully cold on a frosty day.

Despite this, my Nikons and I can still be heading out for action as soon as we receive the call. However, while the Puma can get me to the scene of the shoot as promptly as Thunderbird 1, it’s a shame it doesn’t quite have Thunderbird 2’s versatility.

By small SUV standards, the Puma has a healthy appetite for luggage; our road testers were able to fit six carry-on size suitcases below the parcel shelf, and another two in the 'Megabox' storage compartment beneath the boot floor. The trouble is the clobber that I carry around is anything but suitcase shaped, so I have to be selective before departing for a shoot; even with a bit of boot-packing Tetris, I can't fit all my gear.

Ford Puma ST 2021 long-term plant megabox

It doesn't help that I have to remove everything that’s in the main area of the boot in order to lift the floor and access the Megabox. But the design is fantastic for weekend trips to the garden centre, enabling tall plants and other potentially messy items to be carried in safety.

My plan, then, is to remove the boot floor altogether and leave it at home, so the extra carrying capacity is always at my disposal. Then I’ll be able to channel my inner Virgil Tracey, with no strings attached.

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