2001 Puma 1.7. Bog standard, owned for the past four years.
It does a 16 mile commute along some of the best driving roads in the South East every day of the week. If you want to talk stopwatches and pub bragging figures, it's not the car for you. If on the other hand you want to enjoy a perfectly balanced chassis, set up and fine tuned by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, it is perhaps one of only three or four front wheel drive cars ever made that is capable of doing what it does. Can be driven past its mechanical limits of grip yet remain steerable, confidence inspiring and controllable, delivers feel by the bucketload, and yes, is quite capable of showing up some far more powerful machinery on the right road.
Being a Ford it's also mechanically tough and cheap to look after. Why the venom on here? Is there a law anywhere forcing you to buy one?
I know (and the professional opinions of some far more capable drivers over the past decade than myself, and I suspect most of the ranters on here back me up) that you won't find a finer balanced or more engaging chassis for anything like the money. But believe what you want - it's your life. I really can't believe people get so wound up.
I speak as a Puma owner. In 0-60 terms, the car is pretty sluggish although it's slightly quicker than the likes of a Saxo VTR, Golf GTI, etc. Would be left for dead in a straight line by a Clio 192. The Puma is very much a 'junior' hot hatch, as someone said.
What marks it out above much more illustrious competition is the handling. The car sticks to the road like its on rails, you feel in control taking open roundabouts at 50mph plus. You can go into corners quicker, maintain a better line and get back on the power in a straight line quicker than in many sub 6 second 0-60 cars. Over the right sort of twisty road the Puma could stay in front of bigger engined cars. It is an exhilarating drive and no one can take that away from it...
Original author here: I love checking in as I do it once in a blue moon thinking no-one would still be commenting and comments are still being made! Love it. Surely I need an award for most comments...?
Anyway, I am now mid 20s and have a motorbike license as well, so I ride a Kwak and an Alfa spider and can honestly say I really do still have fond memories of the Puma. If they were making fresh ones I would be tempted. I agree the car world has moved on, but I don't really see it as being that different from the Mini Cooper S in its philosophy: there are faster cars, there are better looking cars, but it is handling and fun that are the priorities.
Anyway, see you in 2010.
Hi, I have recently purchased a Ford Puma Millennium.
Having come from a SportKa 1.6 8v, I was very impressed.
Don't get me wrong, the SportKa is a wolf in sheep's clothing, but the Puma annihilates it in every aspect. IT IS NOT faster than an M3, Corrado, VR6, CTR, Type R, Bugatti Veyron, Space Shuttle or Concorde, but is a remarkable car for the money. Had mine timed at 8.3s 0-60, so is quite quick and it handles like a dream. Faster than a VTR, not a VTS.
What a bargain too as I paid £1200 and it only has 56000 miles on the clock, and the Recaro seats (standard) are sweet. All I can suggest to you all is buy the best car you can afford, taking into account tax, insurance, consumables etc and you can't go wrong. I have read all the previous comments, and all this should be turned into a Jeremy Kyle show. Stop complaining for 5 minutes and just take a look at your car on your drive, and be proud of what you've got.
LMFAO, so funny, had a Puma when when they came round in 97. Pukka motor for the money. Now I have a 330, but also just bought another Puma for abusing round town, as they're so much fun. Plus all you boys with bigger, more powerful, more expensive cars, when on the road, pick on a motor that can fight back.
I had it 9 years so changed a few bits and pieces, so let me teach you a thing or two. People keep saying it's a Fiesta with a coupe body, but not one of you piped up and mentioned that is actually a YAMAHA engine, that's right, a Yamaha engine that's totally different to a 1.6 Zetec (please feel free to check!!!)
For starters the crank was designed to rev to 9k, just read this post, it explains:
For all you peeps that doubt what can be done with a Puma, check out the link!!!
0 to 60 in 1.8 seconds, 0 to 130 in 6 seconds.
What more can I say.
Wow to the above comment - I thought you were joking! Now... that, is faster than a BMW 330!
The only thing is, if it has a Cosworth engine, new suspension, new brakes, new gearbox, 4wd transmission, bespoke tubular spaceframe chassis and carbonfibre bodywork, and stripped out and race prepped interior, in what sense is it still a Puma, given that none of the original car in fact remains?
I have a 1.7i Puma. I got 0-60 in 7 seconds with 3 people in the car; that's not bad.
What a great thread! And all because the OP assumed all those years ago that any time he overtakes a car or drives faster than a better car, that the other car's owner is racing him! Just because you "beat" another car from one end of a road to the other, doesn't mean your car is quicker or better!
For the record, I've been driving a 2.5L V6 Cougar for the past 6 years. I'm not under any illusions about it - it's a fun car to drive, big enough to take a small family, but not anything like a decent modern rear-drive sports car. It looks great and handles well.
The Cougar is getting a bit high in miles, and running costs are going up, particularly in fuel (only 23MPG on my regular run), so I'm just about to pick up an old 2001 Puma 1.7 with 50K on the clock as a replacement.
The test drive showed the Puma to be another good fun car; in many ways it drove just like a small Cougar, but with more comfortable seats and a better low-speed ride! That is fine for my journey to work along windy B roads in rush hour every day. The fuel savings alone will pay for the car in under a year!
Like most Puma/Cougar owners, I don't really care what sort of "hairdresser" or "ladies" car labels that the willy-wavers give the cars. They are good fun to drive, it's easy to get a lot out of them, and servicing costs aren't going to be crippling. As an old second hand car, it's hard to go wrong. Parts are still cheap and easily available, and it's not high on the local thieves list of cars to nick!