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Looking Back At The Ford Puma ST

Overall, the Puma ST won’t thrill you for outright speed and nimbleness but its relative cheapness and well-equipped interior will satisfy your needs. The Puma ST is Ford’s answer to small and compact SUV crossovers from Europe such as the Volkswagen T-Roc R and the Audi SQ2.The Puma model range is a brand new series by Ford, first being introduced in 2019. The 2021 model is the third generation of the compact sports SUV crossover style of car. The Puma range is currently only available in European, Australia and New Zealand markets. But as it is only in its third iteration, its popularity might determine where else it ends up.

The Puma model range comes very well equipped as standard. The Titanium model comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic lights, automatic wipers, climate control and cruise control. Which for a basic model is really good compared to what you have to pay to get those in other car brands. However, the Puma is similar to what you would find in a Ford Fiesta.

What’s Different?

If you were to buy the ST model, you would have the semi-luxury of Recaro sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, and numerous ‘ST’ insignias dotted around the cockpit to make sure you remember what car you are driving. And if that wasn’t enough for you, ST models have faux carbon-fibre highlights on interior components. Which for a relatively cheap crossover model, it is not a bad deal. The Puma ST will set you back $38,904 (£28,495).

The market for SUV crossover vehicles is very saturated from Hyundai, Mazda, Volkswagen, Volvo, Audi, Kia and a couple more. It can be hard to choose between the many models that, let’s be honest, are not much different from each other. Other than looks there isn’t much else to differentiate them. Therefore, the Puma sits in a very competitive market and with better-looking options out there, it is hard to see why you would choose this over a T-Cross.

What Are The Specs?

The Puma ST’s beating heart is the same one you would find in the Fiesta ST. Under the hood, you will find a 197 bhp 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. All this power going to the front wheels. But Ford has tweaked with its torque numbers, it is now boosted from 214lb-ft to 236lb-ft. This coming from the fact it is supposed to be an SUV crossover vehicle. And probably because they needed to make it slightly different to warrant the model itself. This means it is slower in 0-62 mph compared to the Fiest due to its extra weight. The Puma archives a 0-62 mph time in 6.7 seconds and will reach a top speed of 137 mph.

Another positive for the Puma is its six-speed manual gearbox with short-shifting capabilities. There is also an automatic option for those that wish to just sit and drive in peace. But the manual-gearbox provides the gear head with enough dynamic usability to satisfy their needs when driving on highways or inner-city roads. If you are looking for a more luxurious model, Ford has added an ST-Line X Vignale. Which basically means you will get most of what the ST comes with as well as some exterior black-gloss detailing and some Windsor leather seats. You will also have the option for a set of 18-inch alloys over the regular 17-inch ones.

Overview

The Puma does come with a vast expanse of storage capabilities inside the cockpit. It is also cheap to run achieving a 40.9 MPG. The whole range of Ford Pumas come with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with the option to go bigger if you so want. Optional extras include a Driver Assistance Pack, blindspot monitoring and something called Evasive Steering Assist and Cross Traffic Alert. Both systems aimed at helping you avoid the unpleasantries of driving.