- Three-tier Puma range arrives in Australia
- Priced from $31,990 driveaway
- Replaces unloved EcoSport in local range
Ford will once again attack the vital small SUV segment in Australia with its European-sourced Puma small SUV.
The Ford Puma is an all-new model for Australia, with cars arriving into Australian dealerships in late September.
It's a space that Ford has dabbled recently with minimal success, withdrawing the unloved EcoSport last year after it failed to ignite interest.
Ford Puma prices and specs
Ford will offer the new Puma in three grades.
An entry-level car simply named Puma will kick off the range from $31,990 driveaway, before stepping up to the sporty-styled ST-Line for $33,990 driveaway. Capping off the three-strong range is the ST-Line V which will cost $36,990 driveaway.
Ford's small/mid SUV product manager Lionel Santaso told WhichCar that the driveway pricing would be offered until the end of the year. "We have every intention of remaining competitive as long as we can," he said. "We're always monitoring the market and we'll react accordingly."
The driveaway pricing has been added as part of a 'Desk Drive' program which will also see Ford displaying the new Puma via Ford Australia's Facebook page to prospective shoppers.
Its arrival should be a boon for Ford’s fortunes in the commercially critical SUV market. The Puma will go a long way to providing Ford customers with a more up-to-date and technologically-minded replacement for the unloved Ford Ecosport, which is the company's previous contender in the light SUV segment.
The Puma is based on the same platform as the Fiesta, and features a low, tapered roofline that slopes back toward the boot, which offers 456 litres of cargo space.
The interior borrows a number of design cues from the new Fiesta (which is only available in ST spec) and Focus, like an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and adds a fully-digital instrument cluster.
Ford's SYNC3 infotainment system will feature with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, wireless smartphone charging is standard and all cars will receive a reverse camera.
Step up to the ST-Line mid-tier specification and you'll get a sporty-styled front fascia, 17-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, and red-stitched interior trim.
The top-of-the-tree car is new to Ford and will be called Puma ST-Line V (V for Vignale).
The premium sports variation will feature chrome window surrounds, privacy glass, 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, keyless entry, leather-accented seats, automatic climate control, a powered boot hatch and a Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker audio system.
Available at extra cost on all grades is a $2000 panoramic sunroof, $250 black coloured roof rails, $750 powered boot hatch (standard on ST-Line V), the aforementioned $1500 Park pack, $650 prestige paint, and a $500 black painted roof option.
Ford Puma safety specs
The Puma has been awarded a five-star ANCAP rating in Australia, using data sourced from European NCAP testing.
The rating has been applied under 2019 rules; the latest 2020 regulations are more stringent, with faster, harder frontal and side impacts, as well as tests to measure what's known as far-side occupant protection.
These tests are designed to encourage the addition of measures like centre-front airbags, which can help prevent occupants from hitting each other in a crash.
Safety equipment and driver-assist technologies in the Puma make up a strong base of standard equipment and include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, rear parking sensors, traffic sign recognition, and a driver impairment monitor. A park package is available across the line-up which brings adaptive cruise control, active parking assists, front parking sensors and blind-spot detection.
Ford Puma engine and gearbox
The Puma is powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Australian cars will get a 92kW/170Nm tune with cylinder deactivation technology, with a claimed combined fuel economy figure of 6.3L/100km. All cars are front-wheel drive.
Built in Romania, the Puma is also offered with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system in overseas, but only in combination with a manual transmission.
The Puma will only be specced with a seven-speed automatic transmission for Australians, which also rules out any chance of a diesel Ford Puma, which are also manual-only.
No Ford Puma ST for Australia, Puma EV being developed
It also cruels the chances for the just-previewed Ford Puma ST coming to Australia, thanks to its manual gearbox-only 1.5-litre three-cylinder powertrain that's lifted from the Fiesta ST.
Interestingly, a Ford spokesperson alluded to plans for an all-electric Ford Puma that are currently in train.
“We do have plans for the battery-electric vehicles on the Puma," said the spokesperson.
"Stay tuned, we are working on that indeed, along with a sister model, a commercial model, so-called V769, the Courier successor that the Ford Design team is developing, which is also desperately asking for battery electric vehicles.
"So the platform is prepared for that."
The Courier referenced is not the Ford Ranger's 1980s ute predecessor, but a small commercial van that was sold in the UK and Europe in the 1990s.
Ford Puma competitors
However, the Puma sports a higher level of safety spec than the base ASX, while Mazda has shifted the new CX-30 - which starts at $29,990 - into the small SUV space and bumped the CX-3 down to light SUV status.
“The all-new Puma is a cutting-edge, sharply designed and smartly packaged urban SUV that strengthens customer choice in Australia,” said Andrew Birkic, the new CEO of Ford Australia.
What do you think of the Ford Puma? Let us know below!
2020 Ford Puma pricing*
- Puma - $31,990
- Puma ST-Line - $33,990
- Puma ST-Line V - $36,990
*Driveaway pricing until 31 December 2020