It’s no secret that we’re just as much about the journey as we are about the destination, especially when we’ve got some throttle behind us.
Ford told us that their new Puma SUV-inspired compact crossover is one of the best rides on the road, and we were tasked with giving them a second opinion. This was a challenge that required a destination that matched the Puma in cachet and comfort – and Marbella was the one true contender.
The first time behind the Puma’s wheel was just after touchdown at the airport in Malaga, geared up and raring to go. It’s easy to get lost in those big automative words, so simply put, the Ford Puma is a sporty SUV crossover car, which means it’s still small and nippy, but with all of the style and clout of a sporty SUV. Of course, one of three versions is a non-hybrid alternative.
Our first mission was to drive to one of Marbella’s most exclusive golf clubs. Lucky for us, the Ford Puma’s USP is a secret hidden surprise within its boot. The floor of the trunk is actually a trap door which reveals 68 litres extra boot space which is enough to stand up a couple of large suitcases (road trip, anyone?), or conveniently, a set of golf clubs. This feat of engineering is known professionally as the MegaBox – which even features a waterproof lining and drainage plug, in case you need to hose off your muddy dog, or fill it with ice and beers for a car-boot-bar. The boot size, to put into perspective, can fit up to eight carry-on size suitcases (or even a few large ones), so it’s the top of our list when it comes to budding travellers like ourselves.
There’s a lot of talk about hybrid cars packing a less punchy ride but we’re here to tell you they’re not true. The Ford Puma is a MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle), which means an electric motor works with the engine to maximise fuel and therefore produce less emissions.
The engine isn’t the only thing that’s a hybrid either. The design fuses all of the compact utility we enjoy about small models of car with all of the style and sportiness we love about SUVs. The task of the new Puma sent designers right back to the drawing board, and the elegant curved lines and handsome styling are the result.
According to a mixture of fuel consumption tests, car buying forecasting and in-real-life driving, the Puma is actually a more economical vehicle than all of its rivals. It drives just as fast, but loses value a lot slower. Depreciation is bases on the quality, flat cost and running costs of a car, which means the new Puma ticks the right boxes for all three.
The general consensus around the car is that it takes driving back to basics and makes it what it should be… fun. It packs a punch but doesn’t guzzle fuel, it’s roomy but still looks good, and it handles well without being overly sensible. It’s the kind of car that you can buy with your practical head on, but still be just as excited about all the same.