Tuesday, January 14, 2020
At that time the Ford Puma was a sports coupe, today it is an SUV. And a pretty clever one at that. The car contains ideas that were previously not found in this class. But is that enough to survive against dozens of competitors?
The 4.19 meter long Puma touches down on the platform of the Ford Fiesta. (Photo: Ford) Just let a name like Puma whiz? No, that was out of the question for the product planners at Ford. Even if today's modern puma has almost nothing to do with its namesake from the 90s. At that time, the Puma was a small sports coupe. With such a model, however, it would not be possible to win a flowerpot in the compact B segment today. In contrast, small SUVs and crossovers are very trendy. And that's exactly what the new Puma was designed for. However, Ford is not the first to think of this. Over a dozen competitor models are already on the market. However, the Cologne-based company is extremely confident that the Puma will be a success: "We combine good design with the best package in the class," says Sigurd Limbach, head of the series. The 4.19 meter short Puma shares the B2 architecture with the Fiesta, but has a 9.5 cm longer wheelbase. This benefits passengers in the rear above all. You enjoy ample legroom.Unique functionality The trunk of the Ford Puma is the largest in its class with 456 to 1216 liters. (Photo: Ford) But the big surprise is literally behind them. The developers are particularly proud of the unique functionality of the Puma. Not only does the trunk hold 456 liters, 164 more than the Fiesta, leading the segment, the small SUV also has a so-called "mega box". It is under the loading floor. Where else the spare wheel well is located, Ford has packed a deep, rectangular plastic tub (volume: 81 liters). In it, for example, large plants can be stood upright and dirty rubber boots can be easily transported without getting the car dirty. The box even has a drain opening, so it's easy to clean with the water hose, but these aren't the only clever ideas that the developers gave the Puma. A sensor-controlled tailgate or massage seats are available on request. The highlight are seat covers that can be pulled off with a zipper and put in the washing machine. The annoyance about stains on the upholstery after a mishap should be a thing of the past here. Another advantage: If you want to switch to a different upholstery color after a few years, simply put on new covers. It can be pressed and turned. The Ford Puma can still turn the wheel. (Photo: Ford) The Puma is also very modern behind the three-spoke steering wheel, which is peppered with various function buttons. It is Ford's first European car with a virtual digital display. The displays can be configured in different ways and are easy to read. It's nice that the designers for the operation of the most important functions such as volume and climate control have left it with classic rotary controls and buttons. After all, not everything in the car has to be controlled with the finger on the display. Both units are mild hybrids with 48 volt technology. For the 155-hp version, Ford promises a 15 percent improvement in efficiency and specifies WLTP consumption of just 5.6 l over a distance of 100 kilometers, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 127 g / km. In addition, the one-liter petrol engine is also available without electrification, with 125 hp. The only diesel comes from the Focus, develops 120 hp and comes from May 2020. Three cylinder convinces The Ford Puma should please the driver with its good handling. (Photo: Ford) During a first test drive, the three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine impressed with its robust sound, pleasant agility and good pulling power from low engine speeds. Not least because the electrical help of the generator sends up to 50 percent more torque to the drive wheels – and this just above the idle speed. The engine is coupled with a manual six-speed gearbox as standard. It can be switched easily and precisely. Ford also plans to offer a 7-speed dual clutch transmission for the 125-hp variant without mild hybrid in the course of the year, and the good handling should also be mentioned here. Which is not surprising, since the track of the puma was widened by almost six centimeters compared to the fiesta. A strong pound. Ford already has an excellent reputation in terms of chassis and driving dynamics and has made a name for itself over many generations, especially in the compact class. If you want to individualize the driving characteristics or adapt them to your different needs, there is a driving mode switch available. It activates the modes "normal", "eco", "sport", "slippery" and "unpaved road". The Puma starts at 23,150 euros. There are four equipment lines, "Titanium", "Titanium X", "ST-Line" and "ST-Line X", the latter being intended exclusively for the two mild hybrids. Here the price starts at 26,900 euros.