New 2019 Ford Puma: UK prices, performance and pics

The 1990s Ford Puma was a cheap, fun sports car. The new Puma, however, is a small SUV offering more space, technology and practicality

James Wilson
Jul 30, 2019

The Ford Puma - a massively popular small sporty coupe from the 1990s - has been reborn as a crossover. The new model comes dripping with technology and ingenious practical touches – take massaging front seats, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay plus something Ford is calling the 'MegaBox' - maximising storage space - as three examples. Prices are yet to be announced but order books will open in the UK from December 2019.

For those who can’t remember the original Ford Puma, it was a sporty small car launched in 1997, which shared much of its structure with the Fiesta of the time - something echoed by the 2019 Puma and Fiesta today. What isn’t echoed, however, is what type of car the Puma is.

Back in 1997, the Puma was a small, affordable, stylish driver's car. Ford worked hard to transform the late 90s Fiesta underpinnings into a nippy, exciting-to-drive sports car. With the 2019 Puma, Ford has worked equally hard to develop the modern-day Fiesta platform into a very practical small family-friendly SUV.

To give an idea of the contrast between the old model and the new, one of the highlights from the original Puma was an engine tuned by motorbike specialist Yamaha, whereas the 2019 version has highlights such as an automatic opening tailgate. That is not to say the new Puma has little to offer drivers - more than what drivers want has changed dramatically.

Ford Puma highlights

• Order books set to open in December 2019
• Economical mild-hybrid models available
• Massaging front seats
• Packed with practical touches
• Decent economy and emssions

2019 Ford Puma specifications and technology

Ford has announced three trim levels for the Puma (ST-Line, ST-Line X and Titanium) although the company’s track record suggests more will join the range in future. ST-Line and ST-Line X models promise a sporty look but under the skin will have the same engines and gearboxes as Titanium versions.

For the ST-Line models, there is a unique grille up front and the option of a larger spoiler at the rear. ST-Line X models come as standard with 18-inch matt black alloy wheels (larger 19-inch wheels are available, too) and sports suspension. The sporty vibe continues inside, with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and contrasting red stitching (which can also be specced on the partial leather seats), alloy pedals and an aluminium gear knob.

Titanium models are very much a different kettle of fish. Instead of features such as the rear spoiler and matt black wheels, there are 17-inch grey alloys and a wood-effect surround for the instrument panel. Accompanying buyers’ choice of trim is a range of 10 exterior colours.

The technology available in the range is impressive for a car of this size and class. An automatic hands-free tailgate, wireless phone charging, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and adaptive cruise control will all be available.

There is also adaptive cruise control, which maintains a safe distance behind the car in front - even if that slows down or speeds up. When fitted to cars with automatic gearboxes this system is able to stop the car for itself and then pull away in traffic.

Also pitched at helping those miles roll away without hassle is Speed Sign Recognition, which can automatically detect new speed limits (both on the side of the road and on overhead gantries) and Lane Centering, which does exactly what it says on the tin, keeping the car in the middle of the lane. These apparently futuristic technologies are made possible by 12 ultrasonic sensors, three radar systems and two cameras that make up what Ford calls 'Co-Pilot360'.

One of the cameras can be used as a reversing camera, to help take the stress out of parking. This system works in tandem with Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (featuring Cross Traffic Alert) by warning the driver of vehicles which are about to pass behind them before applying the brakes if it decides a collision is about to occur. There is a similar collision avoidance system for when you are driving normally along the road, too.

Also, if you really do not like parking, the 2019 Ford Puma is available with Ford’s Active Park Assist, which can steer you into a parking space (either parallel and perpendicular to you) autonomously. The high-tech wizardry isn’t finished there. Ford’s Local Hazard Information feature can warn drivers of potential hazards close by (such as broken down vehicles) which may be out of their field of vision.

This information is made possible thanks to the FordPass Connect modem, which effectively turns your car into a data hotspot (to which you can connect up to 10 devices). Initially, Ford provides buyers with three months or 3GB of free data and after that you will need to pay for the service via Vodafone.

The FordPass Connect modem links closely with the FordPass mobile app, which enables owners to locate their vehicles, check fuel levels, alarm status, remotely lock/unlock the doors and also start the engine from outside the vehicle (provided your Puma has an automatic transmission).

2019 Ford Puma UK prices and delivery dates

Ford is yet to confirm pricing for the Puma but order books are expected to open in December this year. As a comparison, the EcoSport, which is another small Ford SUV based on the Fiesta, starts at just under £18,000 before topping out at £22,000. Due to the fact the Puma is based on the same car, we wouldn't expect prices to be too dissimilar, but as the EcoSport is a more value-focused model and the Puma packs lots of high-tech kit, it's a safe bet that the Puma will carry a premium over the EcoSport.

2019 Ford Puma performance: engines, 0-62mph times, economy and emissions

The new Puma will be available as a petrol, diesel or petrol-hybrid. The latter comes in low- and high-power forms but both use a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine and a 48-volt hybrid system. Put very simply, the hybrid models use the car’s starter motor to boost the engine’s performance and in doing so reduce the amount of fuel the car uses. The motor can also be used to reclaim energy normally wasted while braking and put charge back into the lithium-ion battery pack helping reduce fuel use further.

The lower-powered hybrid comes with 123hp while the more powerful model has 153hp - for both, the hybrid system is claimed to increase the amount of low-down pull by up 20Nm, which should make the Puma feel more responsive when accelerating. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are claimed to be 43.4mpg and 124g/km for the 123hp model, and 42.0mpg and 127g/km for 153hp variants.

The traditional petrol model also uses the turbocharged 123hp 1.0-litre petrol engine and offers claimed economy and emission figures of 40.6mpg and 131g/km of CO2 respectively. All petrol models (including the hybrids) come with Ford’s cylinder deactivation technology, which shuts down a cylinder when there is low demand on the engine, helping improve economy. A diesel option and a seven-speed automatic gearbox will join the range after the launch.

To make sure the Puma handles corners properly, Ford has reengineered the Fiesta tech on which its latest model is based with stiffer rear suspension and larger shock absorbers to handle the Puma's greater weight and size.

2019 Ford Puma interior

While the old Ford Puma was not especially practical, the new one is up there with the best in class for practicality. For starters, there is something Ford is referring to as the MegaBox. In truth, the MegaBox is nothing more than an effective way to make the most of the space under the boot floor where a spare wheel would traditionally sit, but it is nonetheless a great idea.

Ford’s MegaBox helps the Puma claim a substantial boot size of 456 litres - 80 of which belong to the Megabox. The lid for the ‘Box can be stored behind the rear seats so you can carry items up to about 115cm tall in the boot. Plus, Ford has designed the box so you can wash it down with a hose and simply open the bung at the bottom to drain any liquid and dirt away.

Further nifty features include the parcel shelf, which moves out of the way as the hatchback opens preventing any battles with dangling strings. Moving into the cabin, Ford will offer the Puma with lower back-massaging front seats with three intensity settings – something of a rarity in the class and price point.

There are also two USB inputs, Ford’s SYNC 3 entertainment and communications system (which includes Bluetooth connectivity), wireless phone charging and Android Auto and Apply CarPlay. The media system uses a central eight-inch touchscreen display and a B&O sound system with 10 speakers. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster will also be available for a high-tech feel.

2019 Ford Puma review

The new Ford Puma is yet to go on sale, but when it does there's one thing for sure; it will be nothing like the original. However, it's set to be a very practical and well-equipped small SUV and should sell very well, judging by how popular the current Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus are.

Read more about:

Latest news

  1. Best pre-registered car deals 2019

  2. New Audi A1 Citycarver specs revealed

  3. New Audi Q3 Sportback specs revealed

What our customers say