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New facelifted Ford Puma gets big screens for a small price increase

Ford's updated small SUV is already on sale, with prices starting from £25,790 for the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur rival

The Ford Puma topped the UK car-sales charts in 2023 – but the small SUV has never faced stiffer competition, so it’s been treated to a mid-life refresh that brings a few exterior tweaks and a major cabin overhaul with improved levels of tech, yet only a minor increase in price.

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Ford is taking orders for the revised Puma now, with prices starting from £25,790 – just £150 more than the pre-facelift model. Ford is offering its familiar selection of Titanium, ST-Line and ST-Line X trim levels, while sitting at the top of the range is the souped-up Puma ST hot SUV, priced from £33,835.

The demise of the Ford Fiesta means that the Puma has to appeal to buyers of superminis like the Vauxhall Corsa and Toyota Yaris, as well as baby-SUV customers who might otherwise be considering a Vauxhall Mokka or a Nissan Juke. Fresh arrivals in the market, such as Citroen’s forthcoming C3, promise crossover styling with aggressive prices that will undercut the Ford’s, too.

From the outside, the new Puma looks all but identical to the car that revived the nameplate when it was launched in 2019. The front end has the latest take on Ford’s badge, plus all-new headlights that incorporate a fresh daytime-running light signature. There are trim-level variations too, with Titanium models featuring a dechromed front grille, and ST-Line versions getting a more aggressive front bumper.

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The other main exterior changes are a refreshed range of colours, including the Cactus Grey of the car in these images.

It’s inside where Ford has spent the most money on its best seller. There’s an all-new dashboard layout that’s designed to be less cluttered than before, with a wraparound effect, slim-line air vents and a new two-spoke steering wheel design.

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This focus on a cleaner look does mean that the Puma follows the trend of losing physical switches and placing controls for key functions onto the central touchscreen. To help cope with this, the Puma gets a pair of displays that are considerably larger than before. The digital instrument panel now measures 12.8 inches across – and can be customised to prioritise a driver’s preferred information – while the infotainment display is a 12-inch panel. This runs Ford’s SYNC 4 software, with faster processing than the current Puma’s SYNC 3 set-up, plus a machine-learning algorithm.

Other highlights of the car’s refreshed cabin include ambient lighting, an acoustic laminated windscreen, an optional panoramic glass roof, and synthetic-leather upholstery on the seats, steering wheel and armrest – with different colours of stitching, depending on the trim level. The Puma’s drainable boot-mounted MegaBox remains, meanwhile – a notable selling point for Ford’s contender in a crowded class.

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Under the bonnet, the company has rationalised the Puma’s powertrain line-up slightly. At its core is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine, available with either 123bhp or 153bhp and assisted by a 48-volt mild-hybrid starter-generator. The lower-powered option is available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or Ford’s seven-speed dual-clutch auto, while the more potent unit is automatic only.

The top of the range is being thinned out too, as the highly rated Puma ST loses its 197bhp 1.5-litre engine and, crucially, the option of a manual gearbox. Instead, the performance model will be offered only with a 168bhp mild-hybrid version of the 1.0 EcoBoost engine and the seven-speed dual-clutch auto transmission. It also gets a Ford Performance splitter that boosts front-end downforce, along with bespoke ST front grilles, and the option of a contrasting gloss-black finish for the roof.

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Ford hasn’t commented on why the hotter of the current ST options has been dropped, although it’s believed to be due to the sales mix of the pre-facelift model.

The revisions also bring new safety kit; the Puma now gets Intersection Assist (which watches the road ahead for potential collisions with pedestrians and cyclists), Reverse Brake Assist (which can stop the car from being reversed into static objects), and Rear Cross Traffic Braking, which does the same if it detects people or other vehicles moving across the rear of the car.

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Many of the Puma’s competitors are available with a choice of petrol or pure-electric power. Ford will try to address that issue by launching the Puma Gen-E later this year. It’s expected to share a battery pack with the electric version of the recently launched Tourneo Courier.

Facelifted Ford Puma pricing and specifications

Order books are already open for the facelifted Ford Puma, and first deliveries are expected in early summer. 

Standard kit on base Titanium models includes LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, Ford’s ‘Quickclear’ heated windscreen, 12.8-inch instrument panel and 12-inch central touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also thrown in. Safety features include rear parking sensors, reversing camera, lane keep aid and lane departure warning.

Next up is the popular ST-Line trim (+£900), which includes a sporty body kit, a new grille pattern, a special rear bumper design, body-colour wheelarches and side cladding, plus sport suspension. Inside is ST-Line cloth upholstery with red stitching.

Above that sits ST-Line X trim (+£1,550), which looks just as sporty, but adds extra gadgets like a 10-speaker Premium B&O sound system, wireless smartphone charging pad, keyless entry and start, and power tailgate. Also included is synthetic leather upholstery and 18-inch rims.

All three trim levels are offered with three versions of Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost mild-hybrid petrol setup: the base 123bhp unit with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox, while the 153bhp engine can only be had with the auto.

The range-topper is the Puma ST for nearly £34k, and as well as its more potent 168bhp engine, it comes with a unique ST body kit that includes a larger rear spoiler and front splitter, plus 19-inch alloy wheels, matrix LED headlights, Ford Performance seats and ‘Track’ mode. 

Also standard is adaptive cruise control and ‘intelligent speed assist’, blind spot information, 360-degree camera system and front parking sensors, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Click here for our list of the best small SUVs and crossover cars...

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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