We need more playful looking cars.
If you’re anything like me, you’re totally not bitter about Ford’s decision to drop the Fiesta and Focus from their U.S. lineup. As fun as the new European-spec Focus ST and Fiesta ST look, we’re not getting either. Instead, we’re getting a host of updated crossovers, which make this cute and cuddly Ford Puma an appealing prospect for our shores. Ford just revealed this car in Europe, and while we’re not getting it yet, I honestly think we should.
If you are in Europe, you can expect to see this car on sale at your Ford dealer near the end of 2019.
If the name “Puma” sounds familiar to you, there’s a good reason for that. Ford marketed a Fiesta-based small coupe in the late 1990s. And you know what? That looked pretty damn fun too. This car eschews the rather less popular coupe approach for an altogether more practical, yet still tiny crossover package. It’s more or less the size of an actual Fiesta — perhaps a little bit larger. At this point, Ford has not disclosed exact dimensions of the 2020 Ford Puma.
These particular photos show the Puma off in blue, and even goes so far as to match the fender flares and most of the trim to the body. It’s still a small crossover, but it doesn’t try to be rugged with gray plastic cladding everywhere. Even the headlights take a little bit of inspiration from the Ford GT in their shape. Yes, granted, that’s the only place the 2020 Ford Puma gets anywhere in the same solar system as the Ford GT, but it’s a nice touch.
There’s technology too
If you look at our Ford Fiesta — and yes, you can still buy it — the technology is a bit dated. However, the new Ford Puma has a digital instrument cluster in this ST-Line X trim. It’s available with two power outputs, both using the same 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine paired with an electric motor. The top model puts out 152 horsepower and both come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will be available after launch.
Sticking with the technology, there’s also a decent infotainment display and dual-zone climate control. The ST-Line even has a flat-bottomed leather-wrapped steering wheel. It also has Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Emergency Brake Assist, a Park Assist feature and Adaptive Cruise Control.
Against the EcoSport?
You may still think I’m crazy at this point, but I think this car looks fun. Think about it: would you rather buy this or our current (also Fiesta-based) EcoSport? The 2020 Ford Puma, to my mind, has a much more pleasant face, and its proportions aren’t as odd. The Puma’s face looks like a smile emoji, and it’s overall just a car that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
In the wake of $60,000 Ford Explorers and our loss of fun little hatchbacks, I think we need to get some inexpensive fun back. Ford even claims to does 42 mpg, according to the WLTP cycle.
Okay, Eeyores of the world, please disagree with me in the comments below. If you don’t think we should get the Puma, at least let Ford know that we should get another Focus ST, because then I really would be a happy camper.