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Ford Puma 2021 family review

The Ford Puma's design is the perfect blend of forward thinking style and practicality.

Ford now has a small SUV to rival those from car companies like Mazda, Toyota and Hyundai. It’s the Ford Puma, and looks-wise it’s keeping up with its competitors. 

It’s considered a 'light' SUV and is a similar size to the Mazda CX-3, Nissan Juke and Hyundai Kona

The test car I drove is the entry level Puma, which costs $29,990 - a bit pricier than some competitors. But you do get lots of bang for your buck. 

Here’s how the Puma did over seven days of driving for this week’s family review.

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✅ What does it look like?

It’s a cool looking car, much like the rest of this category, with a forward thinking design that’s a bit edgy and feels like it was modelled on a mini Tonka truck. 

The now seemingly obligatory two tone paint job is optional, though you can get it in one colour, which waters down the design somewhat, if that’s what you’re after.

It’s a cool looking car, much like the rest of this category. It’s a cool looking car, much like the rest of this category.

Inside, because this is the base model, you’ll find fabric seats that are quite smooth and comfortable, a well designed centre console with some high gloss areas for a more highbrow finish, and a leather steering wheel and gearshift. 

Even though it’s the base model it still looks good inside, and especially looks good for a Ford

✅ How easy is it to use every day?

You get two cupholders in the front, a deep spot for keys and a phone, that also houses a wireless charger, which is a great feature in this category, and a small centre storage bin. There are also bottle holders in the doors. 

Rear passengers get two cupholders in the centre armrest and miss out on directional air vents, but that’s pretty standard for a small SUV at this price.

✅ How does it drive?

It’s a cute little SUV and it drives like one. The Ford Puma has a 1.0L, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine which is enough to get around suburbia with the kind of zip you’d expect from a small car. 

One of my CarsGuide colleagues experienced some lurchiness, but I didn’t get that. It does like to roll forward or back like a manual car would, though. 

It’s a cute little SUV and it drives like one. It’s a cute little SUV and it drives like one.

The Puma is never going to win any drag races but it got up hills fine and was cruisy on the freeway. It’s also quite nimble in traffic and the steering is easy to turn. 

Because it’s so compact, parking is an easy exercise and you do have the reverse parking camera to help you out, though no front parking sensors. Still, if you’re used to driving without them that’s fine. 

The Ford Puma has a 1.0L, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine. The Ford Puma has a 1.0L, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine.

✅ What’s the tech like?

The multimedia screen is 8.0-inch, which is a decent size for this category, and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, which is really what you want out of car tech these days. 

The multimedia screen is 8.0-inch, which is a decent size for this category. The multimedia screen is 8.0-inch, which is a decent size for this category.

There’s no easier way to immediately sync with the main apps on your phone and control them via the touchscreen. Your phone’s main apps pop up and you can navigate via maps and listen to music or podcasts via a streaming app. 

✅ How spacious is it?

Space wise, for a small SUV it’s got enough leg and head room for taller people, and there’s enough space in between driver and front passenger that it doesn’t feel too cosy. 

The backseat is a good size for my two children, aged seven and nine, and I can fit, too, at 161cm (5'3"). But it’s not exactly spacious, so super tall people will have to wiggle around fitting long legs in, with knees having to go sideways. 

  • There’s enough space in between driver and front passenger that it doesn’t feel too cosy.  There’s enough space in between driver and front passenger that it doesn’t feel too cosy. 
  • The backseat is a good size for my two children. The backseat is a good size for my two children.

Tall people in the back will be fine for shorter journeys but if you’re going on a long trip it’s not going to be the most comfortable way to travel. 

The boot is 410L, which is generous for a small SUV, and it also has extra space under the floor, where you can fit stuff you need to hide.

You’ll be able to get a pram in there, I was able to load large boxes in, and it will fit full-size suitcases, too. So, that’s great for a small SUV and it certainly improves the practicality factor.

  • The boot is 410L, which is generous for a small SUV. The boot is 410L, which is generous for a small SUV.
  • You’ll be able to get a pram in there, and it will fit full-size suitcases, too. You’ll be able to get a pram in there, and it will fit full-size suitcases, too.
  • It also has extra space under the floor, where you can fit stuff you need to hide. It also has extra space under the floor, where you can fit stuff you need to hide.

✅ How much does it cost to own?

The Ford Puma costs $29,990, before on road costs and extras. 

Claimed fuel consumption is 5.3L/100km, and I averaged 5.8L/100km, mostly driving in suburbia around Sydney, with a bit of highway driving thrown in. 

The Ford Puma costs $29,990, before on road costs and extras.  The Ford Puma costs $29,990, before on road costs and extras. 

It's covered by Ford's five year/unlimited warranty and servicing is required every 12 months/15,000km. 

✅ How safe is it?

For safety, there’s a fair bit that comes standard, and then you have the option of extra safety at extra cost. 

Coming standard are airbags for driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags for both rows. Advanced safety features include auto emergency braking, with pedestrian detection and lane keeping assistance and warning. 

Coming standard are airbags for driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags for both rows. Coming standard are airbags for driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags for both rows.

You’ll also get two ISOFIX points and three top tether points in the back row to fix kids car seats in safely. 

As part of the optional 'Assistance Package' you can get things like adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring.


The Wrap

The Ford Puma is a cute small SUV that did the job with my family and me this week. I wasn’t expecting us to fit so comfortably but we did, and I also had to do a very large fruit and veggie shop and was surprised the Puma handled that, too. 

It’s slightly lacking on standard safety compared to some competitors, and if you’ve got older, tall teenagers they might struggle in the backseat on long journeys. It does look stylish and feels good to drive. 

I gave it a family rating of 7.7 out of 10 and my kids gave it a 7.5. They liked the two tone paint job. 

Likes

Exterior and interior design
Fuel efficiency
Big boot

Dislikes

Pricier than competitors
Not all safety is standard
Tight rear seat for adults

Scores

Nedahl:

3.9

The Kids:

3.8