Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Basic layout and shape is very Fiesta-like
  • Two large screens now dominate the dash
  • Neat trim options depending on model

Inside, there’s a similar design to the Fiesta and its 8.0-inch Sync 3 infotainment system – it’s a cleaner, less cluttered look than previous-generation Fords.

Visual and tactile interest is amplified In the Puma with more upmarket looking trims, including fabric on the door cards, plus a choice of carbonfibre- or wood-effect dashboard fillets and infotainment surrounds depending on model.

New for this segment and for Ford in general are the wireless charging, massaging seats and 12.3-inch digital dials, all of which lend the Puma a more technologically advanced and luxurious feel than the Fiesta.

The latter has a choice of crisp and clear graphics depending on which driving mode you’re in, which are neither too abstract in design nor a pointless digital rendering of a set of analogue dials. Just a nice balance between the two with plenty of info available at a glance.

A panoramic glass sunroof (optional) running the length of the car (albeit interrupted in the middle), brings plenty of light to the cabin but will trouble taller drivers as it brings the ceiling height down to a hair-tickling altitude.

The main infotainment screen is just as bright and easy to read as it is in the Fiesta, which is to say it’s excellent, and if you don’t get on with its interface there’s the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at no extra cost.

Pick an ST-Line model and you get a flat-bottomed steering wheel with red stitching, plus alloy pedals, an aluminium gear shifter and black headliner for maximum sporty appeal.

Also available as an option is a B&O sound system with plenty of power across its 10-speaker range and a commendable amount of bass thanks to a well-hidden subwoofer in the boot.

Sportiness over outright comfort

  • Sportier ride than rivals
  • ST-Line models are firmer still
  • Supportive front seats impress

There's no escpaing that Titanium model feels a bit softer and more compliant than the taut, sports-tuned suspension of the ST-Line versions, although all feature 17-inch alloys as a mimumum, shod with skinny tyre sidewalls. Neither is conducive to a marshmallowy ride.

In fairness both cars feel like they have longer suspension springs than the Fiesta and this gives the Puma a degree of cushioning even on cracked tarmac that you wouldn’t get in the hatchback.

Titanium models feature massaging seats as standard for both the driver and passenger, with three areas of focus taking in your lower, middle and upper back, plus a choice of rolling direction. These aren’t quite as sophisticated as you get on a limo like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class but they are surprisingly effective.

The seats themselves feel like they’d be comfortable on a long journey although the under thigh cushion is a bit short for taller drivers (a product of this car being based on a Fiesta) while the ST-Line X model features a bit more bolstering for additional support during moments of sporty driving.