Ford Puma review - Interior, design and technology
The Ford Puma has a familiar cabin design and good levels of standard kit, but overall quality can’t match rivals
Ford’s new small SUV is based on the best-selling Fiesta, which is no bad thing. Despite being one of the smaller B-segment models, the Puma has ensured it stands out from competitors with a distinctive design and impressive levels of standard equipment.
In the cabin, the dash and centre console will be familiar to those who’ve peered inside a recent Focus or Fiesta, although the visible plastics aren’t the Puma’s greatest quality. There’s far too much hard black stuff to be found, while other small SUVs are available with nicer interiors, and for similar money.
Ford offers four core specifications for the Puma: Titanium, ST-Line, ST-Line X and ST-Line Vignale. There are cheaper 'Design' variants of the Titanium and ST-Line also available, offering less standard kit than the trim level they're based on, with Gold Editions of the ST-Line X and sporty ST model rounding off the lineup.
The Titanium trim is very well equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED rear lights and daytime running lights, body-coloured exterior trim, power-folding heated mirrors, rear parking sensors and selectable drive modes.
ST-Line models include a muscular body-kit, sports suspension, a leather sports steering wheel and alloy pedals, although the ST-Line X car adds stylish 18-inch wheels and privacy glass.
Car group tests
The luxury Vignale version ups the luxury count with heated seats, a heated steering wheel, front parking sensors and keyless entry, while the ST car features 19-inch alloy wheels and a body styling kit.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
All Puma models come with Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system (with the exception of the Titanium Design version), including an eight-inch touchscreen with integrated navigation, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, while ST-Line X cars and above feature a wireless charging pad as standard. Bearing in mind the high list prices as you climb the range, the Titanium trim offers a sweet spot in terms of equipment and on-board tech.
ST-Line cars feature a 12.3-inch digital instrument display which, along with the central touchscreen, is sharp and easy to navigate. And, if you feel the need for better quality audio while on the move, the ST-Line X models add a B&O Premium stereo with 10 speakers.
The infotainment display in the Puma isn't as big as in some rivals, while its shortcut buttons are on a pop-up menu on-screen, rather than being separate. It can make it a little tricky to use - requiring at least two presses of the screen to make a selection. Ford’s SYNC 3 menu system is easy to work through, although the pale blue graphics aren’t quite as sharp as we'd like, and the digital dials aren’t quite as clear, either.
In this review
- 1Ford Puma reviewThe Ford Puma is now a stylish, practical compact SUV that’s good to drive, but lacks cabin space
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Puma’s proven 1.0-litre EcoBoost units are a known quantity, but the mild-hybrid system isn’t flawless
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsFord uses proven 1.0-litre petrol engines for the Puma, with mild-hybrid technology helping to improve economy and emissions
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe Ford Puma has a familiar cabin design and good levels of standard kit, but overall quality can’t match rivals
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceAlthough smaller than most rivals, the Ford Puma remains practical for family use and offers clever storage solutions
- 6Reliability and safetyFord has achieved top marks for safety with the Puma, and reliability should be good, too