Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Should you buy a Ford Puma SUV?

Ford already has a small SUV in the EcoSport but it’s fair to say the Puma has it beaten in all departments – with a better selection of more modern engines, unrivalled handling dynamics, a nicer interior and a practical and flexible boot too.

The Puma was always going to be good to drive thanks to its Fiesta chassis, but what’s really impressive is how Ford hasn’t simply relied on that fact to push sales and rival the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke.

It’s also incredibly practical (not just because of the Megabox boot enhancer) but also down to clever touches like completely flat boot walls and a parcel shelf attached to the tailgate where it’s out of the way.

New engines with mild hybrid (mHEV) tech that boost economy and performance put the Puma ahead of its rivals in the powertrain sophistication stakes while a much more modern interior than the EcoSport means the bold exterior design continues inside the car.

Those orb-like headlights and gaping grille won’t appeal to all but we think the Puma’s divisive styling will soften with time and at the very least, you can’t call it boring or derivative.

The lack of all-wheel drive means this is not going to suit mud-plugging adventurers quite so well as something like the Suzuki Jimny, meaning it’s likely to attract those looking for a more practical version of the Fiesta that’s a bit more special than a Focus.

If that’s what you want then the Puma is a very easy sell – fun to drive, economical to run, interesting to look at and flexible in use.

Further reading:

>> Everything you need to know about SUVs is here

>> What do we think of the Puma's bigger brother? We test the Ford Kuga

>> Find out how much your car's worth with a Parkers valuation