2002 Ford Puma Thunder 1.7 from UK and Ireland


I'm hooked, absolutely love it, would buy another tomorrow, no doubt about that


Suspension (rear shockers replaced).

General Comments:

This car is sleek and looks amazing.

Headlights could be a little brighter.

Some complain about lack of space in back, but hey I'm the driver so wouldn't know.

Don't know if it's just because of the wheels (I'm a woman), but it handles better in dry weather than in wet weather.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2009

2002 Ford Puma 1.7 16v from UK and Ireland


A bargain 'pocket rocket'


I have only had the Puma for about 8 months and the only fault I can find is water (when it rains) getting into the boot.

General Comments:

I am very pleased with the Puma.

It handles extremely well, is really quick and fun to drive.

I liked it instantly as soon as I saw it in the showroom.

I chose it over a Mini Cooper, which I didn't like at all.

I am 5' tall and I find it very comfortable, I love the pedals and I find the seats very supportive.

I would definitely purchase one again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2004

24th Feb 2004, 09:30

The problem with the Puma is not simply the fact that you get water in the boot or that the boot leaks, but more the fact that if the rear of the car is wet, some of the water will drip into to boot as you open it.

The Puma is defiantly the best and most fun car I have ever driven.

2002 Ford Puma 1.7 from UK and Ireland


Superb, but not for everyone


Parcel shelf kept falling off - dealer fitted a new shaped one for free.

Rear windscreen wiper failed to work - switched engine off and a restart sorted it out.

Ford logo badge on steering wheel fell off - got a new one from the dealer fitted for free.

CD player broke - fixed.

General Comments:

Right. Firstly, I want you to realise that all my comments come relative to MY experience of driving cars. I.E. A few test drives, a bit behind a Nissan Micra, and from what I have heard. My scores are compared to what I consider to be a standard car: Micra.

Performance is a good place to start. It gets a 9 because this should really be two separate categories. Performance and Handling. Performance (i.e. acceleration and top speed) and handling (i.e. cornering).

It is listed as hitting 60 in 8.5 seconds. I can dispute this, as my extensive (and obviously highly scientific!) testing came out at 7.5-8 seconds, with a full car. 1st and 2nd have a strong surge, sending you back into the seat. 3rd has a good surge, and 4th and 5th are a little light on power. The only downside of all of these gears (except 1st), is that there is a little delay in reaching the power surge. It hits at about 4000rpm, but doesn't let up until around 5500rpm. In practical terms; this can beat most average cars off the lights. An MX-5 will be no problem for example. Neither will a Fiesta Zetec S. A BMW 330 is about the most comparable. (That was a very close race!) Performance on this side of things gets a 7.

Handling more than makes up for it. The handling is awe inspiring. It took me a while to find the handling, as I was fairly restrained at first. However, take it down the back roads or forest lanes and let loose! The handling is crisp and direct, with the back of the car lending a slight hand in taking corners when needed. Fantastic. I have never been beaten on the twisties, and I think that only a new Mini, or something much more expensive, would come close for ease of handling. Handling and steering gets a 10.

I have had a few little problems. Nothing serious. I do however have doubts about the long-term durability of this car. Just a gut-feeling.

The car is highly comfortable. The seats are large enough, but small enough. They hold you nicely in place through corners and support my back and shoulders. My neck aches after a long drive, but that is the way I sit. Back passengers? Don't bother. However, I am not a cabbie, and thus do not care about back seats. Front seats have lots of room and are more than comfortable: thus an 8.

Dealer: 5. Rubbish. Made a nice deal to clinch the sale, but after sales was crap. CD player multi-changer was not checked (they said it was). It took one and a half months to repair it as the garage then coded it wrong twice! In short, they care not, once they have sold it to you.

Running costs are nothing outlandish for something of this nature. It drinks petrol fairly quickly, so lots of short and fast journeys will see no more than 180-200 miles on a £25 tank of fuel. Insurance is OK, but not for me (being 18).

For anyone that wants something fast, and that handles well: get this. It is not much slower than the Racing Puma (which at £6000 more is ridiculous) or a Honda Civic Type R, or Mini Cooper. Only thing is, it is a little bit more classy. It is a better all round package, and it handles better than the Type-R (which I have test driven).

Yes it has quality problems. But I guarantee that there are very few cars where the chassis and the engine complement each other so well.

One and only problem. It's a Ford. Not badge prejudice. They just cannot look after their customers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd June, 2003

8th Jun 2003, 16:21

Are you seriously comparing a 123 BHP Ford Puma with a 231BHP BMW 330i?

Even a fully loaded estate diesel version of the BMW with flat tyres would leave your Ford for dead!

And you say that it out handles a Civic Type R? If you ever read a car magazine group test, you will see that while some hatches can outsprint the Honda, no front wheel drive models can out corner it!

I drive a Ford Fiesta Zetec S (same chassis, 20 BHP less) myself and would love to agree with you, but your exaggerations are so bad that I feel the need to leave this comment!

Are you the guy who wrote the 1988 Vauxhall Carlton review?