By Otsile Kadiege
For the past month or two there’s been a rumor that Ford South Africa will soon introduce the new Puma to their local model line-up. Shortly after those rumors, our colleague spotted a vehicle delivery truck on the N3 fully-loaded with new Pumas – confirming the rumors. Today, Ford SA officially confirmed that the quirky-looking new Puma will be sold in SA. It will be available with two trim levels and will be solely sold with a single EcoBoost powertrain.
Exterior design and styling
Ford’s new crossover SUV’s exterior design is sporty thanks to the Puma’s low, sloping roofline, pronounced arches and unique design and styling cues. Highlights include its instantly recognisable front grille, “canoe-shaped” LED headlights (adaptive LEDs are standard on the ST-Line Vignale) with LED daytime running lights, LED fog lights, wheel sizes up to 18-inches, an integrated rear spoiler for the ST-Line Vignale and LED taillights. The Titanium grade gets chrome trims all-round while the ST-Line Vignale gets matt and gloss black accents.
A palette of five vibrant exterior colours is available, comprising Frozen White (non-metallic), Fantastic Red, Grey Matter, Desert Island Blue and Magnetic. The new Puma measures 1 555mm in height, 4 186mm in length, 1 805mm in width and has a wheelbase of 2 588mm.
Interior design, practicality and technologies
Inside, the design and styling of the new Puma looks very similar to the EcoSport, however it sets itself apart with a handful of new tech and practicality solutions. Highlights inside the new Puma include a multifunctional steering wheel, an 8.0-inch touch display running of the brand’s SYNC3 infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, a large 12.3-inch digital cluster for the Puma ST-Line Vignale, standard fabric seats for the Titanium grade while the ST-Line Vignale gets partial leather seats with contrast stitching and a massage function.
The Puma has a luggage capacity of 456 litres. It also has a flexible load compartment that can accommodate a box 112 cm long, 97 cm wide and 43 cm high with the second row of seats folded flat. Customers can also an optional Ford MegaBox that Ford says provides a deep, versatile storage space that is capable of comfortably accommodating two golf bags in an upright position. The storage solution offers a capacity of 80 litres in a space 763 mm wide, 752 mm long and 305 mm deep, which can house unstable items up to approximately 115 cm tall.
The ST-Line Vignale is equipped with a high-end Bang & Olufsen sound system. The 10-speaker system is powered by a 575-watt Digital Signal Processing Amplifier that controls equalisation and audio mixing including selectable Surround Sound.
Safety and driver assistance systems
As standard, the new Puma is equipped as standard with a raft of active safety features including ABS, Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control, Hill Launch Assist, Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Auto High Beam headlight activation, and the Lane-Keeping System – which incorporates Lane-Keeping Aid and Alert functions as well as Lane Departure Warning.
Both variants of the Puma are available with the optional Driver Assistance Pack that adds the following features: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go and Lane Centering, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert, Front parking sensors and a rear wide-angle camera, Active Park Assist with Perpendicular Parking and Driver Impairment Monitor.
Powering the new front-wheel drive Puma is Ford’s award-winning 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine developing a healthy 92kW and 170Nm matched to seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It has five selectable drive modes, namely Normal, Eco, Slippery, Sport and Trail.
The engine incorporates Ford’s cylinder deactivation system, which automatically switches off one of the engine’s cylinders when full capacity is not needed, such as when coasting or cruising.
Pricing and warranty
Puma Titanium – R569,900
Puma ST-Line Vignale – R613,900
Included as standard is Ford Protect comprising a four-year/120 000km warranty, four-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance and five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty. The recommended service interval is 15 000km or annually, whichever occurs first.
Customers have the option of purchasing service or maintenance plans up to eight years or 135 000km. The warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200 000km, while the Roadside Assistance can be extended for an additional one or two years.
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