2000 Ford Puma 1.7 from UK and Ireland
Good, cheap, reliable fun..
Rear parcel shelf hanger popped out of the tailgate (broken).
Occassional stalling (unexplained; engine ECU fault?).
A lot of people rave on about the Puma being "incredibly fast", "a true sports car", "handles like it's on rails", etc.
Well, yes, it's a good car - and it IS a sports car - but I think it's important to be realistic and realise there's plenty of quicker things out there.
But the key point is this: for the money, it's a veritable bargain. It's nippy enough that it's not embarrassing. The handling is the perfect balance of poise, grip and comfort - it will slide around on the throttle quite happily.
But if outright performance and ultimate sport riding/handling is what you're after, there are other things out there that will float your boat (Lotus 7 replica, Citroen Saxo VTS) for less money.
What you get with the Puma is an overall balance - cheap, reliable, quality fittings (comparatively speaking), acceptable performance, wonderfully entertaining chassis, air con and other luxuries, etc.
...and seats that don't fold forward fully because they hit the roof!!! Top design feature, Ford - well done!
Paintwork does seem to chip easily on the bonnet.
The rear seats, it is fair to say, are a little cramped! Front occupants fair better, but the seats aren't the most comfy for me.
Air con, quick clear screen and CD changer are worth having - get the Lux pack.
Worth looking into importing (what I did).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th July, 2001