Puma pounces as Ford reveals EcoSport replacement’s price
Blue Oval's long awaited compact SUV replaces not only the EcoSport, but also the Fiesta as a more premium offering.
Puma finally arrives after going on-sale in Europe in 2019. Image: Ford
Its highly awaited reveal effectively outed last month, Ford has officially released price and spec details of the highly awaited replacement for the EcoSport, the Puma.
Wait no more
Revealed back in 2019, the Puma debuts as not only the EcoSport’s successor, but also the model on which it is based, the Fiesta, following the Blue Oval’s ending of production in July after what had been 47 years.
Made in the same Craiova Plant in Romania as the European EcoSport, the Puma, a name used between 1997 and 2002 on a Fiesta-based two-door coupe, switches focus as unlike the Indian-made EcoSport, pricing is more premium and therefore not aimed at selling in the same volumes.
Dimensions and space
Nonetheless, the Puma is newer and rides on platform measuring 4 186 mm long, 1 805 mm wide and 1 555 mm tall while offering a wheelbase of 2 588 mm.
Compared to the EcoSport, the Puma is shorter by 139 mm, lower by 108 mm and wider by 40 mm. Longer on the wheelbase front by 69 mm, boot space increases from 333-litres to 456-litres with the rear seats down.
Additionally, a false floor resides underneath the boot board. Dubbed MegaBox, the outer lining is made out of synthetic materials and is cleanable thanks to a drain plug located at its base.
Familiar non-electrified heart
Sporting a ground clearance of 164 mm, less than the EcoSport’s 206 mm, the initial Puma line-up spans two models, Titanium and the ST-Line Vignale, both powered by the multi-award winning three-cylinder 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine that sends 92kW/170Nm to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
Unlike in Europe, the three-pot does without the 48-volt mild-hybrid system, in addition to the manual gearbox the EcoSport came out with. A drive mode selector with five settings; Slippery, Eco, Normal, Sport and Trail, is, however, standard on both derivatives.
In terms of specification items, the Titanium rides on black 17-inch machined alloy wheels while also sporting chrome accents and metallic grey faux front and rear skidplates.
Also included is keyless entry, fabric inserts on the doors, imitation wood inserts, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and dual USB ports as well as:
- Lane Keep Assist;
- Hill Start Assist;
- Lane Departure Warning;
- Road Edge Detection;
- Auto High Beam Assist;
- tyre pressure monitor
Besides the ST bumpers and doors sills, as well as ST 18-inch alloy wheels, the ST-Line Vignale gets a reworked suspension and retuned shock absorbers and springs to go with its sportier persona.
Carrying the Vignale nomenclature though brings more luxuries in the shape of LED headlights, gloss black exterior trim, LED fog lamps, a black roofliner, alloy pedals, push-button start, plus the following:
- flat-bottom leather covered ST steering wheel;
- cloth sport seats with red stitching as well as a massage function;
- wireless smartphone charger;
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster;
- ambient lighting with 24 colours;
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto;
- embedded satellite navigation;
- electric tailgate;
- metal inserts
As part of the optional ST-Line Styling Pack, the Puma boasts a dual-tone roof and a panoramic sunroof, while the Driver Assistance Pack, also available on the Titanium, adds Driver Attention Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Evasive Steering Assist, Lane Centring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a 180-degree camera system and front as well as rear parking sensors.
Post Collision Braking is, however, standard on the ST-Line Vignale, along with a 10-speaker, 575-watt B&O Play sound system.
Colours and price
On the colour front, five hues have been selected for South Africa; Frozen White, Magnetic Metallic, Grey Matter Metallic, Fantastic Red Metallic and Desert Island Blue Metallic.
A five-year/120 000 km warranty and optional service plan eight-year/135 000 km is included in the Puma’s price tag with sales expected to start in the final quarter of this year.
- Puma 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium DCT – R569 900
- Puma 1.0 EcoBoost ST-Line Vignale DCT – R613 900
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