The Puma ST contains two iconic nameplates in its quick title – we determined to scrutinize if it lives up to every
The Ford Puma ST is a automobile that’s troublesome for boorish automobile lovers (love me) on two fronts. First off, it’s a Puma. How dare Ford resurrect the establish of that loveable, pint-sized, Fiesta-based coupe of the 90s for a compact crossover, all issues, the Web raged final year? Verbalize the children!
Self-discipline quantity two is additionally establish-connected. Ford has designated this as an ST, giving it two separate titles that aren’t easy to live up to. Happily, on paper no longer decrease than, it merely looks to be like love a lifted model of the broad Fiesta ST hot hatchback. And that makes it very promising.
The fact isn’t quite that straightforward, on the opposite hand. It would possibly maybe perchance perchance utilize the identical platform as the Fiesta, along with its 1.5-litre turbocharged inline-three, but many of the suspension ingredients are assorted. Ford has sought to provide the Puma a equivalent character despite the proven truth that, even going up to now as becoming longer versions of the Fiesta ST’s significant banana-fashioned ‘directionally-damage’ rear springs.
It works, too, with the new Puma merely feeling love a jacked-up Fiesta ST in the fashion it drives. It has in a similar fashion snappy steering (if truth be told a smidge faster with a ratio of 11.4:1), and a self belief-keen entrance pause that encourages you to barrel into a corner with a lofty entry bound, luminous the mechanical restricted-slump differential will provide all of the traction you wish. Giving the Puma ST extra bite is the swap to 19-hasten wheels, allowing it to provide a preserve to from the Fiesta’s Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres to the gripper S model.
You additionally get that identical keenness of the auto no longer upright to preserve-off oversteer, but to attain so in a fashion that never catches you off guard. There’s a ravishing fluidity to the fashion the Puma gets its FWD float on.
What’s seriously spectacular is how exiguous the coping with appears to be like to undergo from the extra dash height. The centre of gravity is about a 45mm higher, on the opposite hand it’s no longer love the Puma ST rolls spherical excessively, nor does it bitch when altering direction swiftly. Most steadily these performance SUVs and crossovers quell the roll using horribly stiff chassis setups (cough BMW X3 M cough), but Ford has gone the assorted blueprint by making the Puma rather softer than its Fiesta cousin.
As such, it flows more pleasantly on rougher bits of tarmac, and whereas you’re pootling spherical metropolis tackling potholes and speedbumps, you’ll beget a nicer time of it. The Puma is aloof on the firmer side of the spectrum, but the dash is important from unacceptably rigid.
Up entrance is a 1.5-litre turbo engine shared with the Fiesta, and even though the strength will not be any assorted at 197bhp, the torque has been boosted from 214 to 236lb feet. That’s end to the restrict of what the inline-three can arrange whereas staying within Ford’s tolerances, as nice as it would possibly maybe perchance really be for the Puma to get some more strength to offset its extra weight.
It’s aloof masses quick, with the 0-62mph time losing by a mere two tenths to 6.7 seconds, but the gap feels bigger than that. The additional dash height would possibly maybe perchance even be blamed, as it saps the impression of bound and acceleration.
So, why hasten for the Puma in any respect, especially brooding about it charges several thousand kilos more? Primarily, practicality. The crossover is 54mm taller, 71mm wider and has a wheelbase that’s honest about 100mm longer, which translates to a noticeable amplify in cabin residence. For of us that’ve procreated more than as soon as, that stuff’s crucial.
You additionally get a much bigger boot, with a cavernous 80-litre below-floor compartment which is brilliantly known as ‘Megabox’. This even has a drain plod, to be able to stay some muddy hashtag daily life instruments in there and hose it all down after. Dapper!
The Quaife diff is a must-beget, so whereas you’re making an try to search out certainly one of those, it will likely be the £31,365 LSD-equipped Performance model. Ours had about a alternatives too (along side £500 ‘Mean Inexperienced’ paint), bumping that figure to £33,365. That appears to be like love quite a bit when the fully-loaded, adjustable coilover-equipped Fiesta ST Edition we tried final year modified into as soon as £27,075.
On the opposite hand, the Puma ST’s finest precise opponents, the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 and Audi S2, are all well over £40,000 with alternatives included, some nudging £50k. Definite, they would possibly maybe all beget all-wheel power and spherical 100bhp more to play with, but none are as appealing as the Puma. I’d hasten up to now as describing the BMW X2 M35i Ford benchmarked the ST in opposition to as crushingly lifeless.
The pokier Point of curiosity ST would possibly maybe perchance even be sold for no longer important more than the Puma, on the opposite hand it’s merely no longer as fun. However how about its more cost effective sibling? Neatly, the Puma ST comes end to the brilliance of the Fiesta ST, but at the identical time, it’s a ways ample away that you just if truth be told need to pray the extra practicality to develop it precious. If it must be a crossover, you’ll devour the new Puma ST, a automobile which does both bits of its establish justice. It’s upright no longer quite a no brainer.