Currently reading: 2024 Ford Puma gains tech upgrade and drops manual ST
Refresh brings bigger, more powerful touchscreen that does away with physical climate controls

The hot Ford Puma ST has gone hybrid-only as part of a model-line refresh that aims to preserve the Puma’s status as the UK’s best-selling car.

There are significant upgrades for the crossover’s interior and the exterior styling has been tweaked, but the headline change for fast Ford fans is the removal of the 197bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine for the range-topping ST, which is now exclusively powered by a less potent 1.0-litre unit.

That engine, launched as an option last year and fitted with 48V mild-hybrid technology, comes paired with only a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, meaning there is no manual Puma ST now either.

With the retirement of the hot Fiesta last year, Ford now has just one pure-petrol ST car, the Focus, and that will bow out by the middle of 2025.

The Puma ST Powershift’s set-up is unaltered and still sends 168bhp and 183lb ft to the front axle for a 0-62mph time of 7.4sec – nearly a second slower than the 1.5-litre car.

2024 Ford Puma rear quarter tracking

As well as the ST, the Puma remains available in standard form with either 124bhp or 148bhp from the mild-hybrid engine, but only the entry model is still available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The 2024 Puma range is differentiated most obviously from the outgoing, four-year-old car by a new front end modelled on the retired Fiesta, with a new Ford badge in the centre of the grille and restyled LED headlight signatures.

But it’s inside where Ford’s best-seller is most obviously altered, chiefly via a new ‘floating’ 12.0in touchscreen that runs the firm’s latest Sync 4 infotainment system, which Ford says has “twice the computing power” of the previous car’s infotainment.

Underneath the screen, there are new ‘soft’ buttons for the climate control and heated seats – part of a move to reduce the number of physical switches for a “cleaner design” – and a new phone storage cubby with an integrated wireless charging pad.

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2024 Ford Puma dashboard

There is also a new 12.8in digital gauge cluster with higher-definition graphics behind the steering wheel.

Also new for 2024 is an enhanced suite of driver assist functions which includes Intersection Assist, Reverse Brake Assist and Predictive Speed Assist - which automatically slows the car down when approaching a bend or junction. Anti-glare matrix headlights are an option now, too, as well as Predictive Bending Dynamic Lights, which use GPS data to automatically adjust the lighting for curves in the road.

Ford also confirmed the name of the electric Puma – Gen-E – ahead of its unveiling later this year.

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Peter Cavellini 8 February 2024

It's a cute little car, but, why ?, if your going to built a car to seat four five people of all ages different builds, then there should be room for then in the rear seats, but, I think designers and bean counters get there way and cars like these are churned out to the fashion conscious .

Cobnapint 7 February 2024
Dear car manufacturers.
Seriously - haven't you got the message yet? Taking away physical HVAC controls is not only dangerous, it stops humans like me buying your vehicles.
Somebody in the hyper-safety conscious EU needs to put a stop to this, it's ridiculous.
artill 7 February 2024

What next? Will we hear that Ford is pulling out of Europe because no one buys theior cars any more?

They have already stopped selling their best selling car, and the car that now sells best is being de-contented with the removal of buttons, and powertrain choice. Can Ford survive until the rebadges Volkswagens come on stream? It does seem they really dont know how to sell anything that isnt an F150