Sorry mate. I have to say that this all sounds a bit bitter. I have just ordered one and obviously only after a lot of research. Firstly, if 'other puma owners' have all these problems then it wouldn't be deemed the fantastic lower value sports car that it is. It wouldn't have just about every car magazine recommending it for its drive over its practicality. Oh yeah? Why not moan about that whilst you are at it! No room in the rear? So what. You buy an MPV if you want rear room. This is a pure drivers car and contrary to your opinion (and it seems to be only your opinion) it achieves that perfectly.
We all know Ford suck, so you were accurate there, but tone down the personal vengeance theme you have going!
I don't think the owner of this car is a one off case with a personal vendetta against ford, I've had my puma now for 14 months, I have had basically all of these problems and then some, and now I don't even bother going back to ford (who also won't let me watch any work). It is a nice car, but be prepared to pay more than you expect for repairs.
I bought my wife a new Puma 1.7 in September 2001. More than 3 years and 30,000+ miles later, I still smile when I get in it. It's been trouble free. Local Ford dealer collects and returns it from/to her work place for service (the only 3 times it's been to a workshop - other than for tyres). Can't remember how much the services were, but they were less than £100 and NO extras ever needed.
We both drive it 'enthusiastically', returning 22-25mpg on average. Though it doesn't have an appetite for tyres (nearly 12000 miles on first set).
I've suprised much more powerful cars down the country lanes where we live, driven hard it really rewards. It certainly is not unstable or unpredictable. The car is so well balanced and easy to drive, the road really needs to be very greasy for traction control to cut in, likewise ABS. Stomp on those pedals, you'll get TC and ABS working - no indicator light for either though!
Door cards work lose.
Steering wheel surface has worn rough (wife's rings?).
Head lights have extremely hard cut-off on dip.
Tail gate does drip water into boot when wet.
Nothing else that wasn't apparent on test drive - ie: we knew it was noisy, we knew the interior was a bit plastic, we knew the gear knob would be a hot/cold thang! We knew it was bloody good fun.
I recently delivered cars for a living. I've driven nearly everything available in the UK from Citroen C2 to AM DB7 (great job, crap pay!) I've not found anything I'd replace the Puma with. I have found plenty of fellow 'platers' that don't like them, but then some people like Marmite! I'll not tell you what to like, but I do tell you to go drive one before you dismiss them as a Fiesta in drag! As a small fun coupe it's unmatchable for performance and value (IMHO!)
My Puma is about to hit 100,000 on the clock its been relatively awesome! I have had a few problems (suspension needed replacing, parcel shelf is terrible - I just threw it in the garage eventually!) I am thinking about getting a Vauxhall VX220 next, but am worried it won't be as reliable... the puma goes plenty fast enough, I have a stock engine, and one night I did push it to 130 MPH... thank god no one can track my email on this thing! acceleratioon leaves a bit to be desired, but if you hang longer on the gears than feels right you can get a bit more out of it... great affordable car!
Ford Puma!! What a car! My wife and I have owned one since '99 and we've still got it. It gets through disks and pads a bit quick, but I think that's because the rear brake adjusters seem to seize up so the front gets hammered. It's got 65000 mls on it now so the suspension bushes are on the way out, but that's cars for you. All the time we've owned it's never let us down and it doesn't cost a fortune to run.
The best thing though about the car though is the handling, it's incredible, a proper b-road stormer!! Still brings a smile to our faces every time I take it out. Seems a bit shallow to judge a car by it's gear knob!
I imported my Puma myself from Belgium 6 years ago from new and can say it has been a great car.
I agree completely with the OP regarding the rear parcel shelf. It is more of a nuisance than anything else, but when it's raining hard and you just want to load up the boot quick and go you have to muck about putting the shelf back first.
My other observation of this car - which has only really appeared in the last 2 winters is the way the inside keeps steaming up unless you have the air con on all the time. It's quite distracting when driving and the although both front and rear screens have heaters - the side windows are a nightmare with the steaming up.
I've tried every variation of the heaters, the air con, the blowers etc... to no avail. So unless there is something else I can do I just live with it.
"Out of all the Fords this IS the BEST. I still like the car, BUT I wouldn't have bought it, had I known about all the problems, and the lack of support from Ford."
Gooooood God, this is the best? No wonder Ford is in trouble.
Response to post @ 6th Nov 2006, 06:17.
Make sure the recirculation button still works (the note of the blower should change when the button is pushed).
When the recirculation flap is stuck in the recirculate position, it will always draw air from inside the car, regardless of the button. That will make the car mist up very quickly.
"Car has started smelling really bad inside, of mould and wet rotten compost. This is despite a full valet, and constant use of air fresheners. Apparently, the Puma develops a interior water leak, a fault similar to older Fiesta models - Ford won't admit it. Other Puma owners have the same problem."
Above is a statement from the comment's on 24th Jan 2003. I have a 98 Puma, which has lay in my driveway for about 6 weeks. When I went into it a few days ago, I have noticed a nice swimming pool in the front floor panels (lying on slant) and mould patches on the interior. Does anyone know if this is a common fault, and if so, where could it be coming from, as there is no clear indication as to where it is coming from???