Thanks no doubt to decades of experience making great hot hatchbacks, and just the right approach to this new one, Ford Performance has come up with an enigmatic, quietly convincing and pleasingly versatile car in the new Puma ST.
It’s no dynamic conjuring trick. The car has plenty of ST-typical attitude, driver engagement and handling agility at normal speeds. When push comes to shove, that last degree of tenacious, swivelling balance of the car’s Focus and Fiesta hot hatchback range-mates is ultimately missing, though. But, for a car better able than some of its ST siblings to tackle the fetching and carrying of the everyday, plus to cater to the hobbyist lifestyles its owners may aspire to have, that could be just the right compromise.
The Puma ST has just enough fast Ford performance and character to amuse, and not so much to compromise. It’s proof that ‘less is more’ can apply just as plainly where go-faster crossovers are concerned as it can anywhere else in the performance car market.
But if you don’t need the space and convenience it affords? As a driver’s car pure and simple, a Fiesta ST is certainly more still.