Ford commits new baby SUV to Australia
Priced from $29,990 before on-road costs
Will replace unloved EcoSport in local range
Ford is set to bolster its SUV range later this year with its European-sourced Puma compact SUV. The Ford Puma is an all-new model for Australia, with Ford announcing that it’ll find its way into Australian dealerships in the second half of 2020.
Ford will offer the new Puma in three grades when it lands Down Under later this year. An entry-level car simply named Puma will kick off the range from $29,990, before stepping up to the sporty-styled ST-Line for $32,340. Capping off the three-strong range is the ST-Line V which will cost $35,540. All prices are without on-road costs added.
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 current contender in the light SUV segment.
The Puma features a low, tapered roofline that slopes back toward the boot, which offers a generous 456 litres of cargo space. The interior borrows a number of design cues from the new Fiesta (which will only come here in ST spec) and Focus, like an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and adds a fully-digital instrument cluster.
Safety equipment and driver assist technologies make up a strong base of standard equipment and includes 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'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 which adds 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.
The Puma is powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine. It’s offered with two different tunes in Europe, a 92kW/200Nm version and a more powerful 114kW/240Nm specification. Australian cars will get a 92kW/170Nm tune with cylinder deactivation technology. All cars are front-wheel drive.
Built in Romania, the Puma is also offered with a 48-volt mild hybrid system as standard, with Ford predicting that half its passenger car sales worldwide will come from vehicles fitted with some form of electrification.
European cars are manual only, but Puma will be specced with a seven-speed automatic transmission for Australians.
“Puma will appeal to customers looking for a fun-to-drive, stylish SUV that’s loaded with smart tech,” said Kay Hart, CEO of Ford Australia.
“The Puma is a great opportunity for us to connect with Australian customers in a new way, and we’re excited that it will arrive alongside a new-generation Escape [in] 2020.”
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2020 Ford Puma retail pricing
- Puma - $29,990
- Puma ST-Line - $32,340
- Puma ST-Line V - $35,540