RAY MASSEY finds Ford’s new family-friendly Puma SUV boot-iful
Ford really has excelled in the small SUV market, with its new family-friendly Puma taking top honours in the motor industry ‘Oscars’ this week.
Reborn after two decades’ absence as an SUV (the 1997-2001 original was a sporty coupe) — it has defied early doubters to be crowned Car of the Year 2020 as well as best small SUV in the annual What Car? awards.
Ahead of first deliveries next month, priced from £20,545 to £25,195, judges hailed it as ‘truly outstanding’ thanks to its stylish looks, practicality, sharp handling, gutsy engine and clever mild hybrid technology which promises ‘fun and frugality.’
Boot-iful: Ford’s MegaBox is a deep, submerged hidden space (764 x 753 x 306 mm) in the boot
But these points aside, one of its biggest selling points is its boot. With the second row of seats folded flat, a flexible rear load compartment expands the luggage space to 456 litres and can comfortably accommodate a box 112 cm long, 97 cm wide and 43 cm high.
But the real genius lies under the boot’s flexible floor — with three positions easily adjusted using one hand. Ford calls it the MegaBox, a deep, submerged hidden space (764 x 753 x 306 mm) adding another 80 litres.
This is sufficient to hold two full sets of golf clubs in bags or a foldaway bicycle, or to house unstable items up to 4ft tall, such as plants, upright.
Smart technology means with your hands full you can open the rear tailgate with a kicking motion under the rear bumper.
In the fast lane: Based on the Fiesta, and built in Romania, there is a choice of three 1-litre EcoBoost engines
Based on the Fiesta, and built in Romania, there is a choice of three 1-litre EcoBoost engines — a 125 hp version available with or without a mild hybrid (most buyers will choose to have it), and a 155 hp version.
The 125 hp mild hybrid, costing from £20,845, will do 52.3 mpg with CO2 emissions of 99 g/km, rest to 62 mph in 9.8 seconds and a top speed of 119 mph.
The more powerful 155 hp, in mild hybrid only, does rest to 62 mph in 8.9 seconds up to 127 mph but still manages 51.4 mpg and CO2 of 101 g/km.
LAND ROVER’S NEW DEFENDER WINS PUBLIC VOTE
Land Rover’s new Defender won the public vote to claim the What Car? Reader Award — one of a hat-trick for the UK car maker.
Its Range Rover Velar took the inaugural Coupe SUV title, with the Evoque named best family SUV.
Driving force: The Range Rover Velar took the inaugural Coupe SUV title, with the Evoque named best family SUV
Audi, BMW, Skoda and VW were also among the most successful manufacturers in the 28 categories at the event in Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.
BMW picked up four awards, spearheaded by its new high-tech 3 Series winning a hat-trick for best executive car, best plug-in hybrid and the safety award, while its larger sibling 5 Series was named best luxury car.
Audi’s Q7 was named best luxury SUV, while its sporty two-seater TT was named best coupe. Skoda’s Scala was named best family car and the Skoda Superb the best estate.
LANDMARKS MOST LIKELY TO TRIGGER ACCIDENTS REVEALED
The landmarks in Britain most likely to trigger an accident involving ‘rubbernecking’ motorists have been revealed.
Perhaps adding to the Royal Family’s recent woes, Buckingham Palace leads the field, says research by Select Car Leasing, using data from 2013-2018.
Centre of attention: The Angel of the North is on the list of ‘rubbernecking accidents’
The Queen’s London residence was top with 203 accidents, followed by Brighton Pier (124), the Scott Monument in Edinburgh (89), the Houses of Parliament (79), Stonehenge (60), and the Angel Of The North, near Gateshead (56).
- Reflecting perhaps the sober times in which we live, grey is by far the most popular car colour, accounting for nearly a quarter (22.55 per cent) of cars last year, up 5.3 per cent to 521,273 vehicles, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed. It means downbeat grey, black (20.20 per cent) and white (17.93 per cent) together accounted for six out of ten (60.68 per cent) new cars sold in 2019.