- The new Ford Puma is a tiny crossover that will only be sold in Europe, at least at first.
- It's a few inches longer than the EcoSport and rides on the same platform as the new Fiesta.
- At launch, the Puma will only be available with a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that has a 48-volt hybrid system.
Ford's newest SUV offering is the Puma, a little crossover that rides on the same platform as the new Fiesta that isn't coming to the United States. This model, however, may reach our shores eventually. Ford says the Puma has "seductive" styling and a fun-to-drive character; while we don't exactly feel seduced, it does look like a nice package.
The Puma has a frog-like face with a large grille and high-mounted headlights that look plucked from the GT supercar. Less weird are the nicely sculpted sides and the rear end that has high-mounted taillights and a sharply raked rear hatch. The Puma in these photos wears the aggressive ST-Line X design package, which has different bumpers, bigger wheels, and unique trim pieces. (A more luxe Titanium model with its own unique styling will also be offered.) At 164.8 inches long, the Puma is about three and a half inches longer than the EcoSport, and its 60.5-inch height makes it almost five inches shorter.
At launch, power will come from two different versions of a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that has a 48-volt hybrid system. It's available with either 123 or 153 horsepower and will only be paired with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. Ford says a diesel engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will be available down the line, and we bet a four-cylinder gas engine and all-wheel drive could show up eventually.
The interior is standard Ford fare, with an 8-inch touchscreen topping the dashboard and a number of conventional knobs and switches. Some trim levels gets seat covers that are washable and removable, and there are some interesting uses of color and materials. An interesting feature called a MegaBox is essentially a multi-position configurable load floor in the cargo area. It allows for the carrying of upright items like house plants and golf clubs that are up to 45 inches tall. It has a synthetic lining and a drain plug to make cleaning easier, and items can be stored in the underfloor compartment and covered.
A panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging, a B&O sound system, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and a wi-fi hotspot are available, and the Puma can even be had with massaging front seats. There are also plenty of safety features as part of Ford's Co-Pilot360 suite, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, evasive steering assist, automated emergency braking, parking assist, and a feature called Local Hazard Information that provides real-time notifications of things such as road closures.
The Puma will be built in Romania and will, at least initially, only be sold in Europe. But we've heard that some within Ford are lobbying for it to be sold in the United States. Given how popular small crossovers are in the States, we think it's a sure bet that the Puma will appear at American dealerships within the next few years.
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