Ford Puma 1-LITRE MHEV 155PS Review

The Ford Puma is a small SUV/crossover – a body style that’s in demand by car buyers – and it’s fun to drive, with a mild hybrid system which aims to improve fuel economy.

  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
  • Ford Puma
Green Car Guide Rating: 7/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:  Ford Puma 1-Iitre MHEV ST-LINE 5-door 155PS 6SP
  • Fuel:  Petrol Mild Hybrid
  • Fuel economy combined (WLTP):  50.4 mpg

Summary

  • Fashionable small SUV/crossover
  • Fun to drive
  • Mild hybrid system
  • Can be economical if driven carefully

Background

Ford has offered many cars that are great to drive over recent years, such as the Fiesta. However car buyers now want SUVs/crossovers – in all car sizes – so what happens when you combine a Fiesta with an SUV?

If you’re interested in a Ford Puma test drive, click the button below.

Ford PumaFord Puma

Design & Engineering

Judging by the interest in our test car, many people like the look of the sporty ‘mini-SUV’ Ford Puma (despite the ‘Grey Matter’ paint colour, which we’re not huge fans of – but other colours are available). The interior is standard Ford fare – more on that later – and there’s a 456-litre boot, which also has a huge storage area under the boot floor that was big enough to swallow our bucket and car cleaning materials.

The Puma has a 3-cylinder, 1-litre petrol engine, with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and there’s also mild hybrid technology (MHEV). This powertrain is sometimes described as ‘electrified’, which can cause all sorts of confusion with people thinking it’s an electric car or at least a plug-in hybrid. In reality, the mild hybrid system is much less of a hybrid than a traditional hybrid such as a Toyota Prius. Although the principle is the same as in a traditional hybrid, in the Puma there’s only a very small electric motor with a 48-volt battery, which captures energy that would otherwise be lost when braking, and which can be used to power the car at a standstill, but it doesn’t have sufficient capacity to allow the car to drive on solely on electric power.

Ford PumaFord Puma

Ford Puma Driving Experience

The Puma has the right fundamentals: the driving position is good (although there’s no clutch foot rest), as is the visibility, the high front wings that you can see from the driver’s seat are like a Lotus Elise, the brakes have nice weighting, the pedals are well spaced, and the steering is enjoyable.

Not surprisingly, it feels close to a Fiesta in terms of the agile driving experience – even with the extra ride height that comes with a crossover. There’s a decent balance between sporty handling and a ride that is on the firm side of comfortable, although the car can be crashy over bumps. The front-wheel drive chassis is grippy with the traction control on. There’s some road and tyre noise especially on motorways.

The Ford EcoBoost engine is responsive, especially in the 155PS spec of our test car. The 6-speed manual gearbox has a gear lever that is well placed, with a short throw, although we sometimes struggled to achieve smooth shifts.

There are drive modes of Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Trail. The drive mode selection button isn’t in easy reach and right next to it are the traction control and Stop/Start buttons – in our view it would be better if the drive mode button was separate and more accessible. You also have to cycle through every mode in turn; including the first press of the button – which just wakes up the screen to tell you what mode you’re already in – it takes five presses to go from Eco to Normal.

The interior will be familiar to anyone who has driven a Ford over recent years – it does the job, but certainly isn’t as creative, modern and hi-tech as a Peugeot 2008 for example. However it does have heating controls that are separate to the touchscreen, which is a good thing.

If you’re interested in a Ford Puma test drive, click the button below.

Ford PumaFord Puma

Ford Puma Economy and Emissions

The official WLTP combined fuel economy for the Ford Puma is 50.4mpg, with CO2 emissions of 126g/km. So what fuel economy did we achieve in the real world? An excellent 65mpg if driven very carefully; a disappointing 30mpg around town; and a respectable 46mpg overall. The Puma displayed a range of 378 miles with a full tank.

So what about the mild hybrid system – does this endow the car with better economy and lower emissions in the real world? Well, this is difficult to prove, as Fiestas that we’ve tested with the EcoBoost petrol engine but without the MHEV system have also been very economical. A key benefit of the MHEV system is that it should prevent the car running on its petrol engine when stopped at traffic lights, but this didn’t always happen.

Ford PumaFord Puma

Price and Model Range

The Ford Puma 1-Iitre MHEV ST-LINE 5-door 155PS 6SP costs £23,340. Our test car had the following options: ‘Grey Matter’ paint (£750), Privacy Glass (£250), Panorama Roof (£950), totalling £1,950 and taking the overall price to £25,290.

The 1.0-litre Ford EcoBoost petrol engine is available on the Puma with a choice of 125 PS or 155 PS mild hybrid options.

Ford PumaFord Puma

Conclusion

The Ford Puma is a likeable car. Most people seem to approve of the way it looks, it’s fun to drive, it can be economical if driven carefully, and the mild hybrid technology should hopefully ensure that the emissions are lower than they would be with the standard petrol engine. So many people are likely to be happy with the Puma. However Green Car Guide has focused on the greener half of cars on sale for 15 years, and today that means that the vast majority of cars that we review are electric. So going from driving the latest electric cars such as the Peugeot e-2008 back to a petrol car seems like going back in time. Compared to other petrol cars, the Ford Puma is good, and if you live away from built-up areas, then the car might suit you well. But you simply can’t beat an electric car for quiet, refined, relaxed and emission-free driving around urban areas. The Ford Puma gains a Green Car Guide rating of 7 out of 10.

If you’re interested in a Ford Puma test drive, click the button below.

Car facts and figures Ford Puma 1-LITRE MHEV 155PS Review

  • Test economy: 46 mpg
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 126 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):  TBC
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2020/21): TBC
  • Price:  £23,340
  • Insurance group:  TBC
  • Power:  155 PS
  • Torque:  240 Nm
  • Max speed:  124 mph
  • 0-62 mph:  8.9 seconds
  • Weight:  1280 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor