Ford unleashes all-new Fiesta-bases crossover

Ford has applied its famous Puma tag to a different type of car with the revelation of this new Fiesta-based SUV-inspired crossover. The Puma badge previously graced a mini-Tiburon-like two-door coupé in other markets, but this new one is set to become a far more common sight on our roads as it takes aim at the fastest growing motoring niche on the road.

Puma’s new 48V mild-hybrid drivetrain is based on Ford’s award-winning 999cc 3-cylinder Ecoboost petrol unit and replaces its conventional alternator with a belt-driven 11.5kW integrated starter/generator to muster the choice of 90 or 115kW. The more powerful version turns a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. 

While it also allows for a lower compression ratio and a larger turbocharger to be fitted, the mild hybrid system harvests braking and coasting energy to a small lithium ion battery to both mitigate turbo lag by keeping the engine turning faster, while also assisting the engine during acceleration. With 50% more torque on offer, performance at lower speeds is most enhanced, while the engine can also run on two cylinders to drop fuel economy by 9% for 124g/km carbon emissions.

All that said, Puma flies in the face of the anti-diesel lobby as it introduces an all-new Ford 1.5-litre blue turbodiesel engine with a six-speed manual gearbox that is more economical than the new hybrid petrol at 123g/km and which Ford claims to be as clean as any petrol engine. Puma also gets a revised electronic power steering, stiffer beam axle attachment and five-stud hubs versus Fiesta. 

Boasting 'seductive styling' and ingenious rear stowage, Puma is 30mm taller than the Fiesta with the front seats lifted by the same amount in a longer car that remains compact but offers surprising interior space for its size. In fact its 456 litres of boot space is significantly bigger than Focus’ 370 thanks to a versatile 'lower load box’ and a lightweight fabric load cover.

Puma is also tech rich — it for instance, uses local hazard information with live updates of congestion, crashes, ice and pothole warnings, while adaptive cruise control, blindspot information, pre-collision assist and even lumbar massage front seats bring executive-level spec to a town-friendly package.