In partnership with Ford
There’s a persistent cliché that, when it comes to making a decision about which car to drive, women tend to prioritise what a car looks like over how it performs. In fact, research across the board suggests that women care as much about performance as styling, with safety consistently showing itself to be a number-one priority, though comfort and practicality feature highly as well.
As the design manager for a leading car manufacturer put it: ‘women tend not only to see the big picture, but pay close attention to the details as well.’ In other words – it all matters. Which is hardly surprising. When you consider that buying a new car is the second biggest purchase (after a home) any of us is likely to make, of course we want to get it right.
Just because a decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, however, doesn’t mean it has to be a hard one to make. Enter the Ford Puma. A mild-hybrid SUV crossover, the Puma is both sporty and stylish, comes heavy on the safety features (a five-star NCAP rating) while being nimble and fun to drive.
In other words, it ticks pretty much every box that’s likely to feature on your new-car wishlist – and probably a few more besides. Read on and you might just find that your search for a new car starts and finishes right here.
Let’s be honest. It might not be all about the design, but we all want to drive a car that looks good. The Puma does that and then some. Outside, it’s all sleek ergonomic lines and sporty detailing. Step inside, and along with ample space for such a compact model, you’ll discover little touches of luxury – such as the contrast stitching and leather steering wheel, gear stick and handbrake on the inside – that puts the Puma firmly above the rest. (So far, in fact, that it was WhatCar’s car of the year for 2020.)
Front and centre is the eight-inch touch infotainment that comes fully bluetoothed up for seamless integration with smartphones and is ready and easy to use from the off. There are intuitive controls for everything from navigation to air conditioning, and a seven-speaker sound system that will soundtrack any journey perfectly.
Front seats are fully adjustable, with lumbar support and even a massaging function,** alongside clever ‘extras’ such as rear parking sensors as standard. In other words, this is a car where real attention has been paid to elevating the overall driving experience – and that applies to long-distance drives as much as day-to-day commutes and nipping about town.
This is a car that’s as easy on the eye as it is deft on the road. And, as an electrically-assisted mild-hybrid – or MHEV in car parlance – the Puma is both efficient and economical to run.
And then there’s the space. So much space! The ‘standard’ boot alone can accommodate six carry-on-sized suitcases (and of course the back seats fold down for more room
again).*** But it’s under the boot floor where you’ll find the real surprise.
The MegaBox is a hidden recess beneath the boot-line that’s big enough to take another two of those cases, and deep enough to allow you to transport anything from pot plants to golf clubs upright. Fully watertight, it’s fitted with a plug for easy cleaning (rinsing off sports equipment or the dog after a muddy country walk, or even draining out an icebox should a spot of winter picnicking take your fancy).
All the above come as standard, but there are a host of extras to choose from too. Take your pick from the comprehensive range of Puma Packs (Technology, Performance, Comfort and Driver Assistance) as well as dedicated upgrades for audio and navigation.
Not to mention, of course, even more of those head-turning design features: fixed LED headlights, say, or an optional (and openable) panorama glass roof that will really let you experience the full joy of the open road.
The Puma, in other words, is about as versatile as it gets. All that space and flexibility makes it more than a match for pretty much anything, whether you’re a solo driver with a streak of adventure about you or have a young family that’s constantly on the go. And did we mention that five-star NCAP safety rating for additional peace of mind? (We did, but it bears repeating.)
See what we mean about that search for a new car possibly starting and finishing here? You’re welcome.
* The Puma B&O audio system is standard on ST-Line X, ST-Line Vignale & ST and available as Option on Titanium & ST-Line at additional cost
** Massage function on both front seats is standard on the ST-Line Vignale
***Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and weight distribution
Please note: some features described are part of the optional Drivers Assist Pack, which is available at additional cost