Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

WATCH: Can the new Ford Puma justify its lofty price tag?

The Blue Oval's new compact SUV is not a like-for-like replacement for the outgoing EcoSport.

The local arrival of the new Ford Puma has been a hotly debated topic.

Watch the Ford Puma from up close

While the Puma takes the place of the discontinued Ford EcoSport in the compact SUV space, it’s not a like-for-like replacement. Billed as a Fiesta that has “grown up”, the Ford Puma is a more premium finished product conforming to European standards in comparison to the Indian-built EcoSport.

But in offering more premium finishes it also comes at a more premium price tag. At a starting price of R569 900 for the Titanium trim level, the most affordable Puma is more than R100k more expensive than the most expensive EcoSport was.

The ST-Line Vignale derivative starts at R613 900. If you add the optional Driver Assistance Pack (R21 100), the Styling Pack (R17 300) and a standard service plan (R17 692), the price moves closer to R700k.

ALSO READ: Ford Puma makes strong statement in defence of its lofty price

Quality time

After a short little drive around the Cape Peninsula during its local launch in Cape Town in December, The Citizen Motoring got to spend more time in the Ford Puma recently. And we made sure we put the tester in ST-Line Vignale spec through a proper test.

Charl Bosch took it to Bethlehem to put both its fuel economy and suspension over the Free State’s infamous pot holes to the test.

Once back in Gauteng, its was Road Test Editor Mark Jones’ turn to run the Ford Puma against the clock at Gerotek. While the 92kW/170Nm three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharger petrol engine felt punchy down at the coast, up at the Reef is different story altogether.

ALSO READ: LISTEN: Is Ford Puma’s price justified as EcoSport replacement?

Tough crowd

Two feisty rivals which Mark tested in the last two years, the Opel Mokka and Renault Captur, recorded decent sprint times and the Puma’s EcoBoost mill has its work cut out for it. The 96 kW/230 Nm Mokka clocked 9.97 seconds from 0-100 km/h and the 113 kW/270 Nm Captur ran a 8.61-second sprint.

Next week we will reveal all during Charl’s road test story. Watch this space.

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