REVIEW: Ford Puma

by Seán Creedon

The Government are trying to curb the number of cars imported from England by imposing extra charges for older ‘dirtier’ models. One of the reasons why the demand was so high in the past for imports is that UK customers always got cars that were better speced than what we were offered in Ireland.

That thought was brought home to me last week when I checked the Ford Ireland website for a price for the new Puma I was driving.

There was a picture of a young lady carrying two shopping bags, using her left foot to open the boot of her Puma. But in the left hand corner was a note saying ‘model shown not available in ROI.’

However, that was an old video and my top of the range ST-Line X did have that service where your boot will open by using your foot, but it costs an extra €700.

There is also a button on the dash to open the boot and it can also be opened from the key fob, so I didn’t really need to open the boot with my right or indeed left foot.

Ford has resurrected the Puma nameplate after a 19-year absence on this Fiesta-based crossover. While it might annoy some purists that the big cat is no longer a sports car, the new Puma is a practical, well-made, generously equipped, sharp-driving machine that should find a whole new fanbase with a new generation of buyers.

My test car was a top of the range ST-Line X version with a plethora of goodies. And I have a feeling we could be getting better speced cars from Ford in future. Staff numbers have been cut at Ford’s Irish offices in Cork and the ‘show’ is now being run from the UK.  

I really liked the infotainment display on the dash. It worked really well and I probably wrecked the heads of my passengers by trying all the local radio stations from around the country on my i-phone.

It’s really comfortable to travel in and was ideal to travel around the country last week. And those eye-catching alloys will certainly grab the attention of curious shoppers in the car park.

The big talking point about the Puma is the Mega Box in the boot. You could pack in golf clubs or gardening items in that massive area in the boot.

But everything has a downside and there is no spare wheel and I had difficulty locating the repair kit. It’s located under the front passenger’s seat.

I drove a black model and it looked very attractive, but I thought there was too much black in the interior; it could have done with a white roof to brighten up the decor. The official colour was Agate black.

Prices start at €24,835 and the ST-Line X starts at €27,917 and my test car with a plethora of extra will cost you €31,717. Road tax is €180.

But I always say buy what you can afford. And you certainly won’t need to pay many visits to the forecast, the egube is frugal with a capital F.

And if you want something larger Ford has just launched a new version of their Kuga, which is bit like a larger version of the Puma.

Prices for the diesel version of the Kuga will start at €33,357, while the PHEV version starts at €35,432.