Ford Puma ST
Small and yeah
Once you had to get into a Golf GTI to feel the driving pleasure in the compact vehicle class. This also works with a small crossover. And the Ford Puma ST doesn’t even start in the expensive premium league – but it’s fun like a big one.
In itself, the Ford Puma ST is not much more than a higher-level Fiesta ST – you might think: three cylinders, 200 hp and lots of good humor behind the wheel and on the road. Even the sport version of the small entry-level Ford creates a lot of fun. But just want more? Then the Puma ST is exactly the right one. Even if you take a second look, you can only criticize one thing, because with so much zest for action and driving fun, you would want all-wheel drive. Ford has it in its program – but not with the 200 hp Puma. A shame, because when you really let it crash, the 200 all too lively little horses pull the front axle more than you would like. At a brisk pace, the optional front axle differential lock comes faster than its limits than the curve-hungry driver would like. The limited-slip differential is available in the sports package together with launch control and a special gearshift indicator. But otherwise there is hardly anything to complain about, because even the rattling of the 1.5-liter three-cylinder, which has been reworked into a sonorous babble, can be heard. The Puma ST is undoubtedly a three-cylinder – but a fun one. How good that would be with a cylinder quartet – you don’t even want to think about that.
The look is already a show. The already handsome design of the Puma is made a whole lot sleeker by the ST sport dress. Dark honeycomb grille, sporty sills and neat 19-inch models – yes, this Cologne-born man quickly finds his friends on every street corner. The small crossover is a bit too discreet for other road users to stretch their thumbs up, but if you turn second gear a little higher in the city than it should be, you will not only get attentive looks in the Rhineland. The driver who has become a pilot gets his money’s worth when he moves the accelerator pedal with a slightly slack cord. The three-cylinder is known all too well from the Ford company – and the cylinder service is one of the best you can currently get. 1.5 liter displacement, 147 kW / 200 PS and a maximum torque of 320 Nm, which is available between 2,500 and 3,500 rpm. None of the values that steal your language, but you are in the league of the little ones and the performance data is impressive. Admittedly, this only applies to a limited extent for the top speed, because 220 km / h is decent, but a bit little for a real athlete in a competitive environment. Other vehicles with 200 HP are capable of 240 or even 250 km / h. After all, the front-wheel drive sprints from standstill to 100 km / h in 6.7 seconds. The standard consumption: a good 6.0 liters of super per 100 kilometers.
However, at high speeds in the 1.4-ton Puma ST it gets quite loud and you can tell its technical basis. It is not quite as snappy and sporty as the closely related Ford Fiesta ST, but hardly less sporty in everyday life and offers significantly more variability. With two adults and two children, the sportiest of all cougars is a good place to be. The level of comfort is noticeably higher and the steering is hardly less direct than that of the little brother Fiesta ST, which is powered by the same three-cylinder. The chassis: one of the best sides of the Puma ST. The bypass valve of the twin-tube shock absorber in particular plays a major role in the increased suitability for long journeys. The great cornering pleasure does not only have its origin in the successful overall set-up, but is also due to a surprisingly active rear axle, which even allows the stability program to slow down slightly in the limit range, depending on the selected drive program. On the leather sports handlebars, you can switch through the individual driving modes between the levels normal, eco, sport and racetrack, which not only influences the steering and throttle response, but also ESP.
The well-contoured Dinamica sports seats from Recaro are great. They not only help in a fast gallop, but also please with their high long-distance comfort. The grippy sports steering wheel, whose leather could feel a bit valuable, and the gear knob of the manual six-speed manual gearbox, which once again shows how much fun it can be to do manual work, lie comfortably in the hand. However, it would be even nicer if Ford gave potential customers the choice between a manual gearbox and an automated transmission such as a dual clutch. Currently it remains with the handset. The quality impression and workmanship show that Ford has been on the right track for a long time, but instruments and controls in particular could be more stylish and valuable in this league. This also applies to the 12.3-inch instrument cluster behind the wheel or the multifunction display in the middle of the dashboard. Everything fits, but there is room upwards.
Just like the space available, the cargo space of the 4.23 meter long crossover is okay. The cargo space swallows 456 liters, which can be expanded to 1,216 liters by folding down the rear seat – including the 81-liter storage box under the trunk. In terms of equipment, the little Cologne native has a lot to offer. The inclined customer has the choice and can choose between the Ford Puma ST and the better equipped Puma ST-X, which despite the treacherous additional letter does not offer all-wheel drive. The Ford Puma ST starts at 30,121 euros, while the ST-X costs at least 32,071 euros. Not only are heated sports seats, LED headlights, 19-inch models or a navigation system as standard, but also a sound system and a heated windscreen. Eight body finishes are available for both variants, with the compact Kraftmeier not only looking great in the cool plain gray, but also in white or green.