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Access denied: Meet the 2024 Ford Puma that has been locked out of Australia, leaving the Blue Oval without a Kia Stonic, Mazda CX-3 rival

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The internal combustion Ford Puma has been refreshed in Europe but won't be seen in Australia.
The internal combustion Ford Puma has been refreshed in Europe but won't be seen in Australia.

Ford has revealed a facelifted Puma SUV overnight – at exactly the same time the model was axed in Australia.

Ford Australia yesterday told media that the updated ICE-powered Puma wouldn't come to Australia, ending the slow-selling model's run in our market, but that the all-electric Puma Gen-E would arrive at an unspecified later date.

And we now know exactly what we're missing out on, with the refreshed Puma revealed in the UK, where it is that nation's best-selling vehicle.

Billed as both "fun and practical", the Puma update focuses on dialling up the onboard technology, and delivering a more sporty-feeling cockpit for the driver.

Emphasis on sporty "feeling", I think, because the range remains powered by a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine, which pretty much rules out hardcore performance.

Billed as both
Billed as both

Elsewhere, physical buttons have been minimised in the cabin, with the 5G-equipped Puma partnering with Amazon's Alexa assistant to handle everything from in-car operations to tweaking your calendar appointments.

The range remains powered by a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine, which pretty much rules out hardcore performance.
The range remains powered by a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine, which pretty much rules out hardcore performance.

The safety systems have also been updated, with a new cruise control that slows down automatically at crossing or at bends, better night vision for its cameras, and a bird's-eye view function for its parking camera.

Its tiny engine is fitted with a fuel-saving mild-hybrid 48-volt system, while in the cabin, a 12.8-inch customisable digital instrument cluster is joined by a 12.0-inch centre touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The safety systems have also been updated, with a bird's-eye view function for its parking camera.
The safety systems have also been updated, with a bird's-eye view function for its parking camera.

UK pricing kicks off from £25,790, which is an eye-watering AUD$49,946 in our money – which no doubt lowered its chances of making an Australian debut.

The Ford Puma Gen-E will be revealed later this year.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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