I don't own a Puma, but have driven several. In chassis terms you're looking at the likes of the 205 GTi before you find a significantly better front driver. Whilst developing the chassis, Ford actually dissected several hot Peugeots including the 205 GTI and 306 XSi, in an effort to replicate their excellent handling as closely as possible. What they ended up with was 99% as capable, but with a little less tendency to snap into oversteer on a closed throttle.
I have driven a Clio 172, a Clio 182 Cup, a Civic Type-R and a Peugeot 206 GTI 180. All great cars, all vastly quicker than the Puma in a straight line, but none of them touch it for handling, and for feel. All understeer sooner and more doggedly at the limit, none have the Puma's steering feel, and the French cars transition to oversteer is much less exploitable.
The Puma isn't about outright headline grabbing speed (unlike the Clio), but about fun and exploitable handling, and value for money. Unlike anything with a Renault badge on it, it's also likely to be capable of covering more than 40,000 miles before it looks, sounds and feels thoroughly knackered. Renault consistenly perform appallingly in reliability surveys and had 3 models in the bottom 10 in last year's TG survey.
The Puma is not the best car in the world by any stretch, but great fun per pound.
Hi. I'm thinking of buying a Ford Puma, but have found the comments above very contradicting. I want a cheap sporty car with comfortable and plush interior. The Ford Cougar and Puma are the two cars I am interested in. Simple question: Ford Puma or Ford Cougar?
I am 49F, have owned a Puma for 2 yrs (bought a 1978, loved it and have just updated to 2002). I am not into all the technical stuff, but just wanted to say how much I enjoy my little car to drive. I love the look - they are so sexy, the handling, the 'everything' about it. They have problems like all cars, I just think it looks great and a treat to drive.
You beat the new 2005 Golf GTi in a 1.7 Puma?
The 2.0 Petrol Turbo one with 197 BHP against your 123 BHP, which hits 60 mph in 6.9 seconds aginst the Pumas 8.7 seconds.
You must be an incredible driving talent, why don't you contact Frank Williams to see about an F1 contract?
I was going to buy a Focus ST, but will save my money and buy a 2002 Puma instead!
What is this speed thing all about? if you want a race I will race you in my 2ltr fiesta or if its speed you want get a kit car that does 0-60 in 3 seconds. I own a racing puma and it gives me a smile on my face every time I go out in it with it's looks, best handling front wheel drive car, and brakes that would halt a scania great fun!
HI, 49f again. My husband nearly bought the Puma Black just after I bought my Puma, but instead bought a Cougar and loves it. It has the power, style and sound of a 'real' car. Must say the Puma is a Fiesta with a Puma shape so making it more individual, as the Cougar is a Mondeo with its own individual shape...
If he had the cash now he would probably buy the new Mondeo, a super looking car - as all the Mondeos have been, but he does love being different.
Hi I used to own a ford puma 6 months ago, someone pulled out in front of me and it is now written of. so I've bought a renault 19 16v meant for a cheap run around. but I'm so impressed with it I'm going to keep it. it is a lot faster than the puma when you go higher than 4000 rpm, and out handles the puma in the dry as well. these cars come with strut braces as standard. i was gutted when the puma was written of, but now I think its for the best, BUY A RENAULT 19 16V EVERYBODY!
Yeah, I don't understand why all these people are concerned with 0 - 60 times.
You buy a hot hatch or any small sports car really for handling.
My Chevy Aveo, hardly sporty, gets blown away by other cars in a drag race (no surprise there) but I'm always beating them around corners, especially on mountain roads around here. And that's what I bought it for besides its insanely cheap price ($6995 NEW).
The Puma is a great little car. Drove the std 1.7 and racing a couple of years ago and enjoyed both. In fact was quite amazed. However it is a little car and the racing's suspension will rock your bones so not the best car for long journeys. Regardless of that small negative, well done Ford for bringing out a car that was well priced, great fun, cheap to run and stylish. And they haven't stopped... Focus ST, this car is fantastic, drove it before Christmas and was overwhelmed by the power and that glorious 5-pot sound. Am awaiting a March delivery and cannot wait and that was not planned! Recommend you all drive one if you can find a demo and talk nicely to your bank managers.
CTR owner back..
I would like to see such a review! Both Top Gear and 5th gear have raced the Civic around their tracks against other hot hatches including Clio 172/182, Leon Cupra R, Alfa 147 GTA, New (05) Golf GTI to mention some, and in all cases the Civic (driven by a professional) was quicker than the lot!
So what you’re really saying is that if your Fiesta (sorry I mean Puma) is quicker than all of these cars... I think not!
Don't get me wrong, I have owned a Racing Puma (and did really like it), but it’s just not up to par with today’s modern hot hatches. After reading your previous comments am I right in thinking that you don't even own a Racing Puma, just a standard 1.7?! You talk about the Civic having suspect handling, slipping over manhole covers etc. what rubbish, so would any car in the wet, especially your Puma. Don't forget that I have owned a Puma (racing version) and there's no way in the world that it handles better than my CTR. I don't car what you say, it's a load of garbage, you know it and so does everyone else!
Maybe buy a car that can even hope of slaying the cars you claim to have, before comparing it to ones that are just way out of your league!
Get over your Puma and get a new car! In keeping with Fords, buy a new Focus ST, the reviews to date have been pretty good. Although, hang on, your Puma is quicker than a CTR round a track... the CTR is only marginally slower than the new Focus ST (Top Gear Powerlap)... which means...
Nah screw it, stick with your Puma and save yourself thousands!
I have just bought a Clio 182, and have read very good things about it and particularly against the CTR, I am interested to know which tests showed the CTR to be faster than the 172 / 182 Clios?
In 2002, Autocar tested the hot hatches on sale at the time and the quickest round a wet lap of a track (Castlecombe I think) was the Clio 172, followed by the MG ZS 180 and then the Pug 206 GTi 140, the CTR came 4th and they said it just does not handle well in the wet. The Cooper S, Leon Cupra, T Sport Corolla, ST170, a47 Selespeed and Golf TDi were well behind.
The Puma would have come last in this test or any other against real hot hatches, the author of this joke review needs to drive a 182 or Civic R to get a sense of reality.