Ford revives old name in new guise with Puma SUV

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Car enthusiasts of around the same vintage as me will remember the Ford Puma as a small coupe produced in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s.

More than a decade and a half after it ended production Ford has revived the Puma name.

The badge no longer adorns a coupe – low slung, cramped cars are no longer in fashion. Nope, this time it’s – you guessed it – an SUV.

The new Puma is a compact crossover designed to tap into the lucrative family market. Rivals include the Nissan Juke, Mazda CX-3 and Pegeot 2008.

It will get Ford’s new mild-hybrid powertrain, which utilises a small battery and electric motor to take over ancillary functions at low speeds and assist the internal combustion engine to boost efficiency.

The system will be available on the 123bhp and 153bhp 1.0-litre petrol engines, with Ford claiming the electric motor improves efficiency by around nine per cent.

A 123bhp version of the 1.0-litre engine will also be available without the mild-hybrid set-up, while a diesel powertrain and seven-speed automatic transmission will join the range after launch.

Ford has worked hard on the design of the Puma, aiming to steal sales from rivals by improving on practicality.

Ford Puma

To that end, there’s a clever “MegaBox” compartment at the bottom of the boot, which helps increase luggage capacity to a class leading 456 litres.

In the cabin, there’s plenty of technology on offer, including a wireless charging pad, an infotainment system with touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and an optional 10-speaker B&O sound system.

The Puma will sit above the EcoSport and below the Kuga in Ford’s SUV line up.

It goes on sale at the end of the year. Ford hasn’t released prices yet but expect them to start slightly below the £20,000 mark.

jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

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