Evolution: no one escapes it. It is either we adapt and evolve, or we cease to exist. Like its namesake, the Puma from Ford has done just that. From being a small, front-wheel drive coupe, it has evolved into a presence that the market needs a lot more of: a crossover. Let’s say that again, or rephrase – the market already has a lot of compact crossovers, but the Ford Puma could be a promising proposition.
The folks at Ford are touting it as a spacious, stylish, and efficient subcompact crossover. Fusing together a fresh exterior design, “best-in-class” cargo space, and mild-hybrid tech, let’s see what makes this kitty is made of.
First, the looks. Featuring a low, sloping roofline, steers the Puma away from the more common “wedge” design of today’s crossovers. That, along with a rakish A-pillar design presents an uninterrupted flow from beltline to cowl, which makes the cabin appear to be further rearward.
With 10 colors to choose from between 2 variants – the sporty ST-Line and the stylish Titanium – the aesthetics only begin from there. Wheel choices go anywhere from 17” – 19” rims, the biggest being a factory option for the former variant.
The ST-Line comes with specially tuned springs and shocks, a matte black grill, high-gloss foglamp housings, plus an optional larger, functional roof spoiler. A flat-bottom steering wheel, partial leather seats, alloy pedals, an aluminum shifter, and signature black headliner roundup the sporty ST-Line.
As for the Titanium, a unique set of 17” Pearly Grey machined alloys hold the rubber. Chrome trim for the grill, side skirts, and fog lights are also present. It also comes with a metallic grey rear diffuser and skid plate, and high-gloss black window trims. Inside, it gets a leather effect wheel, wood appliques on the cluster bezel and instrument panel, and distinctive fabric inserts along the interior.
In the space and cargo department, Ford is claiming 'best-in-class' rear luggage space of 456 liters. It was made possible by what's called the Ford MegaBox. This allows flexible storage space that can accommodate 2 golf bags - upright.
There's also an adjustable boot floor of the Puma which can further expand the volume of the cargo area or be a means to achive a fully flat loading bay. At the same time, the floor can be removed and set behind the 2nd row seats, which gives the 456 liter capacity claim.
It was mentioned that the Puma comes chock full of technology as well, partricularly in safety. With Ford CoPilot360 technology, there are 3 radars and 2 cameras that constantly monitors the vehicle's surroundings in various situations. There's also adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition, lane centering (or lane keep assist), a blind spot information system active park assist, and a whole lot more, the tech list goes on and on.
Powering the Ford Puma is a 1.0-liter EcoBoost petrol engine. The 3-cylinder engine works with a belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG) which replaces the standard alternator, recovering and storing energy to charge a 48-volt lithium ion air-cooled battery pack. There are two tunes for this boosted 3-pot mill, starting out with 125 PS and topping out at 155 PS.
Currently, the Ford Puma is available to the European market. As of posting, there is no word yet whether it will reach our shores. Given the demand and proliferation of crossovers in the country, though, it may not take a lot of influencing to get Ford PH to bring the Puma to us.