The first-gen Ford Puma was only sold in Europe from 1997 to 2002. Back then, it was a three-door coupe with four seats and front-wheel drive. But Ford is reviving the Puma moniker as a sporty compact crossover!
Based on initial impressions, the returning Ford Puma will give the Nissan Juke or Hyundai Kona a serious run for the money.
Here are things you need to know about Ford’s newest compact utility vehicle.
Steve McQueen not included
Say what you want about the old Ford Puma, but it definitely wasn’t boring to drive. It was also designed by former Jaguar head designer Ian Callum, the same bloke who penned the Aston Martin Vanquish, so it’s got the looks ironed out as well.
Back in the day, Ford launched the Puma via a scintillating ad based on the film Bullitt starring no less than Steve McQueen – the man known for being the epitome of coolness. Although McQueen was only placed behind the wheel digitally, it was a brilliant execution on what turned out to be a sporty, fun to drive small car.
However, we can’t imagine Ford doing the same for the new Puma.
Which is a shame, really, since the new Puma is packing some serious muscle under the hood.
The new Ford Puma is a mild hybrid
That’s right. The 2019 Ford Puma is an electrified crossover. There’s a small three-cylinder petrol engine lurking under the hood. This 1.0-liter EcoBoost mill is paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. Ford claims 123-horsepower and 153-horsepower depending on trim model. With this set-up, the Puma can summon the hybrid system to provide torque as the turbo spools up.
The hybridized powertrain is connected to a seven-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual. Ford says a diesel version is coming in Europe as well.
It’s a relatively good looking little crossover
The new Ford Puma looks new yet familiar at the same time. A lot of it has something to do with the canoe-shaped headlight design. The Puma has large wheel arches, a stretched wheelbase, and a floating A-pillar. The flatter beltline gives the new Ford Puma a more distinctive look.
The front also has standard LED fog lights housed inside the air curtain inlets. And unlike other modern cars, those air inlets are not fake. They actually help guide the airflow to the front wheels.
It offers new world practicality, too
The 2019 Ford Puma is not only quick and stylishly cute. The little bugger is also a practical car. You have 16.1 cubic feet (456-liters) of cargo space at the back, and the trunk floor is height-adjustable to accommodate taller or larger cargo. Ford calls it the MegaBox, and it’s a nifty feature to make the Puma more practical and family-friendly.
The new Puma is equipped with modern safety equipment including the Ford Co-Pilot360 active safety kit. It comes with parking assist, a 180-degree camera, cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop and go feature, lane centering, and blind spot warning systems.
The Ford Puma is not coming to the USA, but there’s hope
Sadly, the Ford Puma is only sold in Europe as of the moment. This is a surprise given the propensity of North American buyers to favor larger SUVs and CUVs over conventional sedans.
But we believe there’s hope. Since the new Puma is riding on Ford’s global B-car platform (which also underpins the Ford Fiesta and EcoSport, which are both sold in the USA), it won’t be foolish to expect this new crossover in American roads soon.