This is it: new Ford Puma compact SUV revealed in Europe
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"It looks like a bulbous Focus. Like, if you drew a Focus on an un-inflated balloon then blew it up."
Calls have come across the Driven desk thick and fast regarding the looks of Ford's latest release; the new Puma compact crossover. But, those could all well prove to be moot, given that the model is unlikely to touch down in New Zealand.
The first official images of the new Puma emerged on Ford's UK website, with the full formal unveiling still to come later today.
The Puma is the latest new SUV to borrow from its name from the parent manufacturer's performance-car past (following in the footsteps of the Mitsubishi Eclipse, with a Mustang SUV on the way too).
In the markets that get it, it'll be a rival for the likes of the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3, Nissan Qashqai, the aforementioned Eclipse, and more. We're not talking about a big beast here — but instead a crossover that bridges the gap between hatchback and SUV.
The design shares plenty of similarities with the Ford Escape that was first shown off in early April. But, unlike the Escape, the Puma is an unlikely starter for the New Zealand market. While it hasn't been confirmed just yet, Ford Australia has confirmed that the Puma has "no bearing on our Australian product offering" in a statement issued to CarAdvice.
Naturally we contacted Ford New Zealand ourselves, and they were slightly less pointed. "[It] looks fantastic and a Ford crossover like that would certainly be popular in New Zealand but it hasn’t been confirmed for our shores," said a Ford New Zealand spokesperson.
For what it's worth, it'd be nice to see the Puma in our line-up (ahem, especially if it meant the end of the EcoSport).
The Puma will initially come with three different engine options. Most will be powered by the 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder petrol engine from the Fiesta hatchback, which comes in two formats; a 92kW option and a more powerful 122kW option. There's also an EcoBoost hybrid engine, with details around power output still to be confirmed.
Naturally, like everything else that's fighting for youthful buyers, the Puma will come layered with kit. A 12.3-inch digital cluster is perhaps the biggest get, digitizing the speedometer, sign recognition, and other important driver information.
A Bang & Olofsson sound system, massaging front seats, panoramic sunroof (like in the Focus Titanium), adaptive cruise control, and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection are among the other features — some standard, some optional.