Ford Puma SUV - Interior & comfort
Sporty and well-equipped but lacking flair
If you're familiar with the latest Fiesta then it’ll be obvious that the Puma is a close relation when you sit inside. The same eight-inch touchscreen with Ford's SYNC 3 software, built-in navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto sits perched above the dashboard, proving easy to use, if not always the fastest to respond to inputs. the interior feels well-built too, even if there are some very plain materials that aren't as striking or colourful as the trim in several rivals.
Ford Puma dashboard
Svelte and minimalist, the Puma's dashboard wraps around the air vents and glovebox, freeing up more space for the driver and front passenger. In fact, the only physical controls are those for essential features like the climate control, headlights and audio volume. It's a purposeful look, but there isn't much design flair for a crossover that's so arresting from the outside - we wish Ford had added some bolder trims and textiles to take the fight to the Peugeot 2008 and Nissan Juke. The Puma does usher in a digital instrument display, in a departure from Ford's traditional blue-needle analogue dials, and it's easy to use and looks good. It doesn't offer quite the same level of personalisation as the Peugeot 2008's i-Cockpit, but the Puma's is good enough and a welcome feature.
Small SUV buyers tend to like a healthy kit count, so Ford is only offering mid- and high-level Titanium, ST-Line and ST-Line X trims at first, with a range-topping ST-Line X Vignale arriving later in 2020 and the possibility of cheaper trim levels lower down in the range. Every version gets Ford's eight-inch touchscreen, FordPass Connect online services, wireless phone charging and cruise control.
ST-Line is similar to Volkswagen's R-Line and SEAT's FR trims, offering a sporty appearance inside and out thanks to a body kit and different alloy wheels. ST-Line also brings a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, while ST-Line X includes part-leather upholstery, tinted windows and a B&O audio system.
From launch, First Edition versions are also available, adding even more luxuries. Titanium First Edition adds a heated steering wheel and seats, tinted glass and extra safety equipment that includes a rear-view camera and adaptive cruise control. ST-Line X First Edition introduces LED headlights, keyless entry and a powered boot, while the range-topping ST-Line X First Edition Plus gets buyers 19-inch alloy wheels and a panoramic sunroof.
Ford's approach is to encourage buyers to pick the trim level with the equipment they need, rather than offer lots of individual options. This is similar to the Nissan Juke, while buyers of the Audi Q2 can build a virtually bespoke car.
There are some options available, however, from a £1,250 technology pack thats adds LED headlights, the 12.3-inch instrument display and extra safety features, to a £300 Comfort Pack that brings a heated steering wheel and seats. The stereo can be upgraded for £500, while LED headlights cost £800.