“Would you like to test drive the new Ford Puma?” they said.
“Would you like to keep it for 24 hours?” they said.
“Would you like a tank of fuel?” they said.
“Oh yes please!” I said.
So that’s how I came to take a 24 hour test drive in Ford’s new compact SUV and write this little review. However, I didn’t need the full tank of fuel (more on that later) and I struggled to get some decent footage and photos because of the great British weather but nonetheless, I had a marvellous time taking this nippy, little number out and about in Worcestershire.
The first thing I noticed when taking my seat was how easy it is to get in and out. An ideal seat height for those who struggle with particularly low or high cars. I even got my elderly folks to get in and out and they were very comfortable doing so.
Once in the driver’s seat, I was able to easily adjust the position to suit me and started the engine with the push-button feature which, as I had the ST-Line version, brought the swanky, digital instrument display (known as a ‘cluster’ by those in the know) to life. This neat little display shows all the things a normal panel does like speed and revs but has a lovely, little, digital Puma image as well when it is first switched on – so cute! A few serious points about this display however are worth pointing out. The first one I liked was the fact that it shows the speed limit for where you are driving and the second is the fact that it gives a warning about being too close to the car in front. We all do it but it’s good to have it pointed out to make you think and drop back. The last was the reminder to change gear – I don’t know where I would have been without that as I am more used to an automatic – probably still on the car park.
Still on the controls and the SatNav / Display Screen, I made good use by connecting my Bluetooth phone with was smoothly done and by selecting BBC Radio 2. Who doesn’t like Ken Bruce? I was further impressed by the voice activated controls and had great fun shouting ‘Call xxxxxx’ whenever I wanted to speak to someone. She’s a very cooperative lady. Oh, and by the way, the rear parking camera was a Godsend in Aldi carpark.
Accelerating away from the dealership, the engine didn’t disappoint. It got up to speed very quickly because the Ford 1.0 Ecoboost engine, which is pretty potent in its own right, is supported ably by what Ford calls a ‘mild’ hybrid battery which is 48 volt technology to give an added boost to acceleration whilst at the same time, increasing fuel economy. Which nicely brings me onto what I said earlier about not needing a full tank of fuel. I had 286 miles in the tank when I started and 267 when I finished but I actually travelled 70 miles (some 51 miles difference). Since that was a mix of motorway, A roads and urban driving, I think that is great fuel economy – more money for shoes and handbags. Handling was great too – no dramas and easily manoeuvrable in tight spaces.
Driving the Puma was great fun, the drive height gave a great view all round and I loved the blind spot information system in the wing mirrors which light up orange either side as you overtake or are overtaken. Thankfully I didn’t need to see if any of the other safety technology worked but there are bags of features for this purpose (ask a salesman about that lot). One thing I made great use of was the speed limiter. It was very easy to use and, with the help of the speed limit display, was a great aide to avoiding a speeding fine. The car also has very responsive brakes, not that I had to use them in an emergency, I just had a little play!
I thought you might like to know a little about room in the car. The back seats are big enough, just don’t offer Hulk or Mr Incredible a lift any time. It’s the boot that is the little marvel. The Puma boasts a ‘Megabox’ at the rear. This is a fabulous use of the space where the spare wheel would have been. It’s even got a plug in the bottom so any water that collects in there can be drained out. Great for transporting your prized Koi carp. I however, used it for some of my shopping and had plenty of room on the level above for more.
Considering women play a major role in the purchase of many family cars, it is important that their opinion is taken into account. I think this car is a fabulous little number and scores very highly with me in all departments. Take one for a test drive yourself. You won’t be disappointed.