Ford has confirmed UK pricing of its new Puma SUV ahead of the first examples being delivered to customers in January.
The rebirth of the Puma name as a sporty high-riding model will see it start from £20,845 in Titanium trim, with Ford not initially looking to offer a lower-spec variant.
It comes as standard with features not usually confined to 'base' models, such as lumbar massage front seats and wireless phone charging, plus lane-keep assist and pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection. However, Ford won't be taking orders for this model until the start of next year.
Instead, a number of First Edition variants are being offered first for January deliveries. The Puma Titanium First Edition starts from £22,295 and gets intelligent adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera, heated seats and a heated steering wheel. It's powered by a 123bhp version of the 1.0-litre Ecoboost mild-hybrid three-cylinder petrol engine.
Also offered is a Puma ST-Line X, which gets the option of a 153bhp version of the same engine alongside the above unit, adding an exterior bodykit and sporting cabin details, sports suspension, alloy pedals, a digital instrument cluster and LED headlights. The initial First Edition adds 18in alloys, an electric tailgate and a 10-speaker B&O audio system to that tally, and is priced from £25,195.
Finally, a fully loaded ST-Line X First Edition Plus, solely available with the 153bhp unit, adds 19in wheels and a panoramic roof from £27,345.
The lower-powered unit comes with the mild-hybrid system in everything but the base Titanium trim, reducing its CO2 output from 103g/km to 96g/km. Both engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.
Officially, the company describes the Puma as an “SUV-inspired crossover”, with its three standout virtues claimed to be “seductive styling”, “ingenious rear stowage” and the new 48V mild-hybrid petrol drivetrain.
The body’s flowing surfaces have been developed under what designer George Saridakis labels an “anti-wedge” policy. What he calls “separated” headlights and tail-lights are also a move against the current trends for “joining everything up”, Saridakis citing the industry fashion for full-width light bars across a vehicle’s tail.
The new Puma is based on Ford's existing B global small car architecture, the same as the Fiesta, but the platform’s inherent flexibility has allowed the Puma to be sized very specifically.
It is just 30mm higher than the new Fiesta and the front seating position is raised by the same amount. This is still a compact vehicle, but it is usefully longer than the Fiesta as well as wider, with a wider track. And it squeezes a surprising amount of interior space out of a vehicle that’s smaller than the Focus.