The Ford Puma is for the world of the mini cross-over what the Qashqai was for the cross-over world and what Salma Hayek was for television. Practically, this is where this automotive genre became known and Europe was literally filled with them.
No, it’s not the defunct Puma from the 2000s. In fact, I don’t even know why I still need to introduce the Ford Puma, because you can actually stumble upon it everywhere, wherever you go. From the highway to the corporate parking lot to the beauty salon parking lot to the breaker’s queue line.
Until this kind of genre came along I used to reffer about cross-overs as compact cars on stilts. Kind of like how the Duster is a Clio on stilts or the X3 is a 3 Series on stilts. But here, in the case of Ford Puma? Is it a Ford Fiesta with slightly higher sneakers? Probably?
Except that in the case of the Ford Puma we don’t need to talk about reliability or practicality or 4×4 capabilities or nonsense like that, because the whole thing with modern Fords is in the looks department. Mondeo V, the latest Fiesta, the Kuga, the Americans sure are having a great time with design. And that was the strong selling point of Ford Puma, that’s why it filled the streets of Europe and especially of our little island.
Because, let’s be honest, the cars in this category ended up these days exactly like smartphones. They all come with roughly the same engines, roughly the same equipment, roughly the same issues and roughly the same prices. Most of them come mainly with a 1.0 Turbocharged petrol engine (Sandero Stepway, Kia Stonic, Hyundai Kona, Renault Captur, Suzuki Ignis and so on), all are in the 15-20000 euros bracket and have similar features. So why did the Ford Puma break the market’s back, even if it is not the most reliable on the list? Just like the question “Why are you a Facebook fan?”, the answer is the same – “Because fun and because nice round asses”.
Or maybe it’s down to the good looks and because Ford still knows how to make sports suspensions. It’s most likely the only class they attended, but you can see that they attended several times and specialized in it. It won’t be the most practical or reliable, but it’s the most fun car in the class. Like the Fiesta, Mondeo and Kuga are the sportiest of their class.
Ford Puma Engines
- 1.0 EcoBoost Fox of 95 and 125 horsepower – Yes, this engine has a history as stained as Temptation Island, but today it is a decent engine and suitable for the Puma body. However, the paranoia still haunts me and it seems I’m not the only one, so I recommend checking the coolant pipes and replacing them if it’s cracked anywhere, because that’s the main reason the 1.0 EcoBoost has such a bad reputation. But we discussed this at the beginning, on the Focus III review. Today you shouldn’t have reasons to keep your blood pressure high, but paranoia is a serious disease. Yes, and older engines will need a new high pressure pump.
- 1.5 EcoBoost Dragon of 200 horsepower – I would say that if you want a sports small sized hothatch you should go over the Fiesta ST, because it is cheaper and more agile. But then I woke up from the bloodlust and remembered that the Fiesta was retired from the market. So your options are down to the Puma ST and the bigger brother of the 1.0 EcoBoost, with the same issues as the 1.0 EcoBoost but with at least 75 more horsepower. Worth it.
1.5 EcoBlue of 120 horsepower – I don’t understand why did they offered a diesel engine on a car that should represent the future. And the customers didn’t understand either, which is why it sold less than tickets to “Boney M” 2023 Tour. In any case, I’m as skeptical about this engine as I am about my mental health. In any case, avoid this engine around town, because the Ford Puma is obviously a highway warrior, not a city car.
1.0 Hybrid of 125 and 155 horsepower – Right, now let’s talk about the future. If you are a car manufacturer in this day and age then you definitely have to sell a turbocharged 3 cylinder petrol, a hybrid 3/4 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol or a turbocharged 3 cylinder petrol hybrid. And because the Ford Puma is an American car, naturally they had offer the full burger and here we have the 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid. It’s just that it’s an American car, so there must be complemetary electrical gremlins, and here we’re talking about issues on the calibration side of the battery charging system. Today the issues should be solved, but if you notice paranormal activity in the car such as the windows opening by themselves or the radio always changing to BBC Dance Anthems, before calling Father Ted book a trip to the dealership and have the hybrid system checked.
Ford Puma Common Issues
- It’s a modern Ford, so I have to talk about the complementary electrical gremlins. I repeat, if you feel and see paranormal activity in the car, first call the mechanic and then the priest.
- It’s a modern Ford, so I have to talk about the complementary automagic gearbox issues. Yes, the famous double clutch Powershift is still a true successor for the Filthy Frank Show.
- Maybe it’s a personal issue, maybe it’s not, but the Ford Puma is very cramped and I can’t fit inside. It’s like sitting in someone’s ear. That’s probably why it has a mostly female clientele, because it’s a tailored pretty much for them, size and cuteness included.
- Maybe I’m getting old and I should retire, maybe I’m not, but the Ford Puma comes with a much sportier suspension than the rest of the competition, because that’s pretty much the point of the Puma. The most agile mini-crossover in its class. Which is very good for speed but not very good for comfort.
Ford Puma Verdict
The Puma is basically a Ford Fiesta of our times. It sounds cliche, but Puma carries the Fiesta torch further and with dignity. Yeah, it’s not the most reliable. Not even the cheapest. Not even the most practical. But out of all the mini-crossovers today, it remains the sportiest. Just as the Fiesta was not the most practical in its segment, but it was always known as the sportiest. And it looks good. And it’s great at city driving.
What engines do I recommend? The most rational pick of the bunch would be the 1.0 EcoBoost of 125 horsepower, but if the eyes see one thing and the heart desires something else, the 200 horsepower 1.5 EcoBoost is the way to go.