The Puma ST sits a lot closer on price to a ‘bone-stock’ Focus ST than to the entry-level Fiesta ST with which it shares much of its construction; something that will doubtless prompt critics to look at its value proposition and wonder why you wouldn’t simply save yourself £6000 and drive the better-handling, identically engined conventional supermini instead.
However, to those for whom a Fiesta simply isn’t practical enough, and who want something that feels a bit more 21st century than a Focus, the Puma ST should seem like reasonable value, which isn’t something you’d say about every go-faster crossover. It undercuts its nearest rival from Mini and can be had with the ST Performance Pack option for less than £30,000.
It should also be a fairly easy car to ‘upsell’ Puma buyers into. Since the next most powerful Puma Vignale is barely £2000 cheaper, you can well imagine people leaving Ford showrooms as Puma ST owners who didn’t enter them necessarily intending to end up that way.
Moreover, you wouldn’t say those ‘accidental’ Puma ST owners will find much to object to about the car, which is pleasingly fun but still fairly tame and good mannered. When running on two of its engine cylinders during relaxed UK motorway touring, our car returned better than 40mpg.