New 2019 Ford Puma: famous nameplate to return on small SUV

The new Ford Puma will arrive this year as a Nissan Juke-rivalling small SUV and our exclusive image previews how it could look

The Ford Puma is poised to make a dramatic return, but it won’t quite be the small, affordable coupé we once knew. 

That little sports car still makes every best used car list we produce. However, the Puma name will be reborn on a five-door SUV that will be a rival to the likes of the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur. It will arrive at the end of this year and our exclusive image previews how the new model could look.

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The new Puma sits on a version of the Fiesta chassis, as the old model did, with Ford insisting that the new car features “athletic and desirable styling” like its famous namesake.

A brief glimpse of the new model in the metal at a special Ford Preview event revealed some Fiesta touches, too. The car also looked to have similar proportions to the Captur (it’s actually ever so slightly longer, at around 4,200mm) with family styling that clearly links it with the new Ford Kuga. 

Speaking to Auto Express, Ford of Europe’s director of design, Amko Leenarts, said: “It’s important to have a family focus. A consistent look is vital.”

The front of the car uses the latest Ford family face, with LED DRLs around curved headlights, but they sit higher up on the front wings, allowing for a wider and taller gaping grille flanked by further air intakes.

Ford claims that the tall new Puma is spacious and hugely practical, which answers concerns from customers of rival SUVs about a shortage of useful space. The rear hatch opens up to reveal a boot which, with the adjustable floor at its lowest setting, offers 456 litres of luggage space; that’s 46 litres more than a Peugeot 2008 can muster, but just one litre more than a Renault Captur. However, Ford does say that the Puma’s boot will hold two golf bags sat upright.

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Although Ford used its Go Further event in Amsterdam to tease the Puma and reveal its bigger brother, the new Kuga (Ford stepped away from this year’s Geneva Motor Show), few further details were released of the new small SUV.

What we do know is that it’ll feature the 48-volt mild-hybrid technology that will also find its way into the Fiesta and Focus.

The hybrid system works with Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. A belt-driven integrated starter/generator will grab energy from the braking system and feed it into a 48-volt lithium-ion air-cooled battery pack. The generator never actually powers the car, but provides a boost to raise performance and lower emissions. There’s no word yet on the latter, but power is rated at 153bhp and torque at 240Nm, with 50Nm of that coming from the integrated generator system.

Ford has said nothing on pricing, either, but assuming the Puma gets an engine line-up similar to that of the Fiesta, we’d expect a car featuring the 99bhp version of the EcoBoost engine to cost just north of £21,000, with the mild-hybrid version weighing in at around £23,000.

While the Puma will join the new Kuga in Ford’s SUV line-up, the existing EcoSport will remain. However, it will be the entry point to Ford’s SUV range, with the Puma sitting between the EcoSport and Kuga.

Are you pleased to see the return of the Ford Puma name? Let us know your thoughts below…