2020 Ford Puma ST review
It seems as though car buyers just canít get enough of compact cross-overs at the moment. So it was only a matter of time before a host of fire-breathing performance versions appeared in a flare of bright colours and exhaust pops.
Mercedes has the GLA 45, Volkswagen has the T-Roc R while Audi has the RSQ3. Thereís always been a space below these for slightly less nutty options too. However, since Nissanís Juke Nismo went on sale thereís been a bit of a gap. Now thereís another kid on the block and itís from Ford. The car weíre talking about is the Ford Puma ST. Weíre already big fans of the standard car and the obvious reason for this is that itís simply the best car to drive in its class. However, until now thereís not been a version with real claws to really show us what this chassis can do.
Itís seems as though Fordís ST boffins have been on a bit of a roll recently. The latest Focus ST is a truly great all-rounder. It offers all of the speed, practicality and thrills you could ever really need. Itís does all of this in a really understated way especially when compared to the smaller Fiesta ST which quite frankly is a bit of a yob but all the more brilliant for it. So, if you call the Ford Focus a piece of chalk to the Fiestaís lump of cheese then the Puma is set to be, well, almost cheesy but more mature.
Under the Pumaís skin lies the same 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine as the Fiesta. So you still get the 197 brake horse power (bhp) and 320 newton meters of torque to play with. However, it gets a revised exhaust system which makes it one decibel quieter. It rides on the same platform as the super mini too but itís bigger inside and more practical. The boot measures 456 litres while keeping the Pumaís megabox which is a sort of hosed down 80 litre bin beneath the boot floor.
The Puma ST gets an uprated body styling pack which adds an air of menace when compared to the regular car. ST specific grilles help to improve cooling to the engine while a front splitter sits on the lower edge of the bumper. A large rear wing and diffuser helps to balance out the extra downforce created by the front lip while the ST sits on a set of 19 inch alloy wheels. The wheels themselves are available in two finishes. Then thereís the colour. Go for the fantastic shade the Ford has named ďmean greenĒ and thereís just no way youíll lose your Ford Puma ST in a car park! Whether you choose the green or a more restrained colour the roof and the spoiler, the front grille surrounds, the side trim and door mirror caps are always painted black.
Anyone thatís sat inside the Ford Fiesta ST is going to feel right at home in the Puma as it looks pretty much exactly the same. There are some small ST details to look our for such as a new gear knob, a new set of pedals, lovely Recaro seats and a flat bottom steering wheel. The interesting thing on the steering wheel are the two driving mode buttons. The standard kit you get on the Puma ST is generous with wireless smartphone charging, a heated windscreen, all-round parking sensors, rain sensing wipers and Fordís Sync3 infotainment system all included. Thereís also an optional B&O sound system which if itís anywhere near as good as the Fiestaís will be pretty much the best on offer from any of the mainstream car brands. The one large difference between the Fiesta and the Puma is that the cross-over gets a digital driver display. This 12.3 inch screen can be customised to show its information in different ways with the graphics altering on the driving mode selected. Sport mode can be accessed via a button mounted on the steering wheel and sharpens the electric power steering systems and throttle response. It also opens up the valves in the exhaust so that it sounds its most rudest. Thereís also a full track mode which disables the traction control and eases the strength of the stability program.
The Puma STís suspension setup is similar to the Fiestaís but has to take into account the extra weight and height. Therefore, the rear torsion bar is 40% stiffer. This makes it 50% stiffer than the standard Puma while the steering rack is 25% quicker too. Buyers looking to maximise traction can go for an optional mechanical limited slip differential. This works alongside a torque vectoring system which nips the inside brakes to cling onto a tight line through the corners. The Pumaís inflated size means that it canít quite match the Fiesta ST in a straight line. To get from 0 to 62 miles per hour (mph) it takes four tenths longer but still does it in a hot-hatch worthy 6.7 seconds. The top speed is 137 mph while Ford expects the Puma to hit about 47 miles to the gallon (mpg).
So there you have it, the Ford Puma ST. Itís a car we feel you should really be looking forward to having a go in. So check out the used Ford Puma ST cars for sale we have available right now on DesperateSeller.co.uk.