I have been reading my way through these comments for the past few days and they have provided great amusement, however it is a concern that a large amount of misinformation has ended up being posted and therefore anyone genuinely considering buying a puma might be mislead.
The truth is that the puma is a great little car, indeed it is based on the fiesta, but this is no bad thing (snobbery aside) as the fiesta is a sharp handling car and running costs and parts will be cheaper. The engine in the puma is also good, but certainly can't hold a torch to BMW straight six, Honda VTEC or turbocharged performance units it has been compared with at various points in the debate. The notion of 'super chipping' a puma to get 300 bhp is complete fantasy.
As, I am afraid, is the idea of a puma winning any kind of race with the hot hatches and performance cars also mentioned. The debate went of at this tangent as the original author claims to have beaten a BMW 330 off at the lights, and again down a country road, and to have beaten a Golf GTI from 10-70 mph (also a clio 182- this may not have been the original author, I can't remember). If any of these claims are true then either the other driver wasn't playing or was in the wrong gear. This is the reason the discussion seems to have spanned so many posts (and years!).
In conclusion, you can pick up a decent used Puma for 2-3 grand now, and if I was buying my first car again (i graduated from Puma to 182) I would because it's fun to drive, cheap to run and hair-dresser car or not I like the way it looks. However, if you are after a serious performance car, you are going to be disappointed.
Wow what a read! The humble Puma causing such a stir.
Like many (or not so many) people in this post I DO own a 1.7 puma. I love it to bits. Just can't leave it alone. We decided to buy a puma not just because of the awesome reviews (try finding a bad one) and write ups, but because it ticked all the right boxes for us (looks, performance, costs, practicality, price range). I wanted a TVR Tuscan S, but my wallet wouldn't let me.
It drives faultlessly whether I'm cruising at 30mph or chucking it round corners or flooring it at the lights. It may not be the quickest thing on this planet, but it always puts a smile on my face when I pull away from some boy racer in his neon mobile Halfords at the lights.
The car does have performance limits compared to the more serious 'petrol head' cars mentioned in this post, but the driving experience you get far outways what it lacks in BHP. It is a gutsy brave little motor that surprises many people with its performance and handling and can out perform lots of 'petrol head' cars manufactured specifically for performance and speed.
This car was never originally produced to be a serious 'petrol head' car, if it was they would have stuck a cosworth or turbo engine in it. However If I wanted to buy a car for its sheer speed I would probably buy a gti sti turbo v6 type-r sport injection 16v or similar, but the puma is more than a 0-60 statistic car.
For a practical, fun, cheap 'drivers' car you ain't gonna get much better than the Puma in my opinion. If you're a more serious petrol head and have got the money to do so go buy an M3 its quicker.
Like marmite you either love or hate the Puma. I love it!
I Would like to see this post kept alive with other peoples comments. Lets keep them coming. Its fascinating how passionate people are about their blocks of metal.
Hi, I have just finished reading some of the comments posted on this site. I am in the process of buying my first Puma, a Thunder. I haven't taken delivery of it yet, but I have recently test driven a couple of Pumas. At this stage I should say that I have been a Honda driver for the last 25 years+ - no not sports or performance models, but an Accord, Aerodec, Civic etc. My wife recently purchased a Honda IMA (an amazing vehicle). They are probably the most reliable cars you can get. Anyway, I am changing my old Civic and wanted to get something that looked interesting, had reasonable performance and wasn't too expensive to run - particularly mpg. After much looking around, lots of reading website reviews etc., and magazines, the Puma looked like it did most of the things I wanted. I have to say that when I had my first test drive I was really impressed and now understand why people talk about the fun factor. It certainly has much more performance than my recent cars though is not a full blown sports car - in my youth I had an MGBGT V8 which could leave Porches standing!, and a Bristol 405!! I'm sorry that some people seem to be very agitated about car comparisons, particularly when the cars being compared don't really bear any similarity to each other. Anyway, the Puma certainly has a certain style to me and I'm sure will deliver loads of fun - something that there is too little of these days. Oh and by the way I am neither female nor a hairdresser, but male and middle-aged. I will post again once I have my car.
I own the Starship Enterprise and I'm afraid to say that me and Scotty were gutted when a 1.4 Puma blew us away at the lights.
Seriously, the Puma is not a fast car, it's just fun and that's all to be said.
As an owner of a Clio 182, I am well aware of what the car can and will do; the Civic Type R is every bit just as quick and maybe a bit more... depending on the driver.
Let's face it, if you're not a great driver or don't have the balls, the other guy will win every time.
As an ending statement, I would urge people to think who is behind the wheel of whatever car the try to race.
The driver of the BMW 330i was more than likely to be mid age and in a hurry home for his fix of viagra.
Everyone's taste is different, and from time to time, gives us a good laugh and a good slagging match.
The Honda is a good car, and the Puma is a good car.
But can the puma owner afford to run a Type R Civic?
Is the Honda driver interested in a Ford Puma?
Who cares? The fact of the matter is, you are the owner of the car and you made the choice of which one to buy and look after. If everyone drove the same car and had the same shoes and the same haircut, the world would be pretty boring.