At the beginning of 2020 Ford launched a vehicle with a familiar name but a totally new spirit on the market. The 1997 Puma has little to do with the current one: that was an agile two-seater sports coupe, while this is a practical crossover. With a certainly sporty aesthetic, yes, but a crossover.
Both, however, derive from the Fiesta, which translates into the case of the current Puma in which it shares a good part of the mechanical supply with the utility vehicle. In particular, the most powerful and efficient mechanics in the range, the microhybridized mHEV, which are offered with powers of 125 or 155CV and a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.
A manual Puma 1.0 mHEV with 155CV has passed through our hands. A balanced and pleasant combination to drive, with outstanding performance. Not only because of the verve of this three-cylinder mechanics but also because of its frugal consumption and for the ECO label that shines on the windshield, thanks to the small electric battery that makes it possible to recover and use some of the energy when decelerating.
Beyond the 48-volt micro-hybrid system -whose operation is invaluable to the driver unless he looks at the indicators on the instrument panel-, this mechanic also incorporates a cylinder disconnection system. In the course of a blink, it disconnects or connects one of the three cylinders according to the driver’s needs, again without the latter being able to hardly appreciate anything. Thanks to all this, it homologates a gasoline consumption of 5.7 liters at 100, which was around 6.5 during our 250-kilometer test, in which the interurban route predominated.
Our unit was equipped with the most refined level of the offering, the ST Line Vignale. It is a step that combines sporty aesthetic touches typical of the ST Line versions with the dedication of the Vignale range, the surname with which Ford distinguishes its most refined units.
This finish, for example, is demonstrated on the body-colored exterior moldings or the 19-inch sports wheels. Inside, the heated seats are made of perforated leather, as is the steering wheel, and can be fitted with a huge practicable panoramic roof. The list of equipment that you can take is large, like the electric opening and closing gate, although inside the qualities are mixed: there are excellent finishes, for example, on the steering wheel or the seats, but others that can be improved -for being a top of the range- in the front half of the door panels -hard plastic- or at the junction between the seat floor and the front console.
The Puma offers compact measurements, with a length of 4.2 meters, that make it practical for the city, and comfortable for a trip. In this regard, better acoustic insulation is only missing from 110 kilometers per hour – it should be remembered that our unit equipped the practicable panoramic roof, which here can be a demerit-. Two adult occupants in the rear will miss a little more space on a long trip, as is often the case in a B-segment vehicle. However, and for space purposes, it is worth noting the large capacity of the trunk, with 401 liters, and its easy and convenient access. An important note: the microhybrid versions they give up the MegaBox practice, the box with built-in drain that adds 55 liters of storage, which does offer the versions that only equip a combustion engine (in exchange they cannot wear the ECO label)
The body houses a more spacious cabin than the Fiesta. It is 54mm taller, 146mm longer, and 71mm wider. It also has a 95mm upper wheelbase, which is key to maintaining the good dynamics of the model. Despite its height it is agile, clinging very well to the asphalt on twisty routes, helped by a fairly firm suspension setting, and somewhat dry.
Inside, the digital painting of 12.3 inch, with various displays for the instrumentation depending on the chosen driving mode; as well as the raised central screen for access to infotainment.
In the technological section, it can incorporate recognition of signs with speed limitation and Centering in lane and, as an example of what a connected vehicle can achieve, a local information system of dangers that warns of accidents or delays in advance. In addition, when the option with automatic transmission arrives, you can also choose to incorporate Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go.
Technical sheet – Puma mHEV range
– Engines: gasoline with 125 or 155CV mHEV microhybridization
– Transmission: 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT automatic
– Dimensions (m): 4.20 / 1.80 / 1.53
– Trunk: 401 liters
– Average consumption: from 5.6 liters to 100
– Price: from 21,034 euros