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Ford Puma consumer car reviews and road tests

Ford Puma

4 stars - average customer rating
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Ford Puma consumer reviews by year of make: 1998  1999  2000  2001 

Ford Puma consumer car reviews

Simon T, Oxfordshire

Ford Puma 2000

4 star review

Very fun little car, sublime handling, and for a 1.4, surprisingly nippy! I did have some problems with it, mainly due to wear and tear after 181,000 miles (!), but also the headlights were woefully dim, and the seats were not massively comfy for someone of my height (6’3"). Other than that I would recommend it, I loved mine!<br /><br />

Submitted: 2011-12-28 | ID: 40389

Jo Galliher, Middlesex

Ford Puma 1998

4 star review

This car was a joy to drive, I had the 1.4, it never gave any problems, was cheap for road tax and to ensure. It is a good looking car and drives nicely. I had 17inch alloys on my car, I would not recommend this as you could feel ever bump the car went over. One common problem with this car is that the parcel shelf on the boot falls down, this also happened on my friend’s and cousin’s Puma. Overall an excellent car.

Submitted: 2011-03-20 | ID: 40386

Richard Cliff, Bedfordshire

Ford Puma 2001

4 star review

Hi, I have a Ford Puma 1.7 Zect S SCT and I think it is a great car. The engine pulls hard in whatever gear (just to add what someone else put on here, is that it does rev high when in 5th at about 70 to 80mph, it is normal), sticks to the road like glue. I really do give my car some stick and it holds out, I have raced a Racing Puma and I didn’t see much difference, he pulled away at about 130mph, I got up to 135mph going after this guy, so guys do not worry about getting the Racing Puma - it is not really worth the money when you can have the 1.7 zect s vct and these will only cost you about 2k to 4k for a really good one. I got mine for 2k with only 50k on it, it has now done 68k. I also was side by side with my mate in his RS Turbo and he couldn’t get away and he had loads of work done to it, so I say if you want a fun car then get a Ford Puma and show all these cars up with big bhp. How to really drive and do them round roundabouts. Have fun guys, drive fast :-)

Submitted: 2010-09-16 | ID: 40388

John, Essex

Ford Puma 1999

5 star review

A great car, had it for nine years, bought it at a year old, only needed a new clutch in those nine years, perfect. Sold it a year ago, my how I miss my cat, lol. If you’re getting one get the 1.7.

Submitted: 2010-08-06 | ID: 40387

Adam Namsoo, Yorkshire

Ford Puma 1998

4 star review

My cousin rang me up one day to tell me that his friend had a minor crisis. She was fed up with public transport and needed a car badly. It was her first car mind you, so I had all sorts of hideous ideas in my head about what car she would choose. To my surprise, she said she wanted a Ford Puma. The last time I actually drove a Puma was back in 1999, so I was keen to get behind the wheel of this pocket rocket again. We found a reasonably priced one at around £1300, which had a few optional extras, namely a 6-Disc Changer, Electric Mirrors and Aircon. For those of you who don’t remember, the Puma was Top Gear’s Car of the Year back in 1997 and with good reason. Yes it’s based on a Fiesta, which let’s face it, isn’t exactly the best starting point, but a little nip here and a little tuck there to its chassis, topped off with a snazzy new suit and new heart and she was ready for the road. As far as the styling goes, it’s mostly feminine, but with a few aggressive tweaks. The back end is kicked high, with a definitive crease that makes the car have a ’lean forward’ stance, much like the big cat it’s named after. The front looks aggressive yet seductive, especially the front headlamps with their unique design. The light spread on the other hand is a bit useless, compared to modern standards. I found myself reaching for the high beam switch a little too often on some well lit country roads. Performance wise, I have no gripes whatsoever. OK, well maybe a couple tiny grumbles, but nothing serious. One, the engine could use a little more torque as in gear acceleration could leave you wanting a bit, and the brakes could use a bit more bite with extra cooling, for when the road gets challenging. Other than that the 1.7 Zetec-S VCT engine knock out a reasonable 123bhp, really urges you on, making wonderful fizzy noises lower down the rev range, turning into a spine tingling snarl when touching the 6750 rpm limit. 0-62 takes a scarcely believable 8 seconds, while top speed is 127mph. The steering is wonderfully weighted, feeling quite meaty and forgive the pun, changes direction like a Puma. It tucks in wonderfully, feeling for grip and holds its line everytime. Once touching the limit of the chassis, it lets you know with well controlled understeer, lift off and you can swing the back round in a controlled lift off oversteer situation. The gearbox is wonderfully weighted too, with a precise short shift action, and pedals placed well for heel and toe down-changes. As mentioned earlier, the brakes do tend to give up quite easily when making swift progress. Ford did realise this and gave the Pumas built after 1998 bigger front brakes. On a motorway cruise 38mpg is achievable, while in town you average drops to about 25mpg. My best which included town, motorway and twisty country roads I averaged about 24mpg, which still isn’t too bad. I kept thinking to myself that the car could’ve benefited with a 6th cog for a more relaxed motorway cruise and better fuel consumption. As far as ownership goes, the Puma has not let myself or my friend down once. She is utterly reliable and is a joy to drive around. The boot is huge and deep and if extra space is required, the rear seat can fold down, albeit in one piece only. The load lip is quite high and it can be a bit of a struggle to get heavy items in. If you were over 6ft tall, I won’t recommend sitting in the back seats. Headroom is tight and thanks to stiff suspension, concussions are a given on the UK’s pockmarked roads, not to mention the rear window is no bigger than a cat flap. Up front though, the seats are WAY too high, but comfortable and relatively supportive. Height adjustment was available (as an option of course) and even then the seats were too high. Never mind. the steering wheel had no adjustment for reach and rake either, but oddly enough everything fell into place perfectly. Equipment-wise, the little Puma was at the mercy of ruthless Ford dealers. Passenger airbags, CD Players, electric Mirrors and air-conditioning were all optional extras. Go for the 1.4 model and ABS and traction control were also extras. In terms of value for money, the little Puma was always a winner. It was cheap to buy new, and it’s still cheap to buy used. Limited edition models hold their value a little better than the regular specced models, but they can be had for as little as £950 now. Of course it will be a bit of a nail if that were the case, but find a clean pre 1999 model for about £1250 to £1800, while the revised models can be had anywhere between £2000 to £5000, although £5k is closer to Racing Puma money. All in all, the Puma is a wonderful little car for not much money. I dare anyone to find a small performance car for less. I severely doubt that it’s possible.

Responses to this review

Hi, I found your review really useful, and it would seem that no one has anything really bad to say about Pumas. I am however looking for some advice. My daughter has just bought a 2001 1.7 model, which, despite having a 5 speed box, seems to rev quite high - 70mph in 5th, revving at nearly 4000 rpm - is this usual? On most modern cars, 5th equates to revs = half the speed, less a bit more 70 mph = 3000 rpm? Any advice would be great - Thanks! - Jay Bee from Northamptonshire

Hi. Sounds fairly normal to me. I admit it seems quite high, but as far as I am aware 3600/3750rpm sounds about right for 70mph. Have the car checked over by a specialist. Oh and another thing- keep checking the oil. The 1.7s love to have a bit of a swig once in a while. This is an engine you really need to take care of - Adam Namsoo from Yorkshire

Submitted: 2009-06-26 | ID: 40390

What Do You Say...?


  • A response has been made to Adam Namsoo (26/06/2009 10:19:39)



  • Toni Copland's question has been answered: "I believe the culprit may be drive shaft(s). Under load from the off it is more noticeable. They are easy to replace. - Puma Cup from East Sussex' '..." (30/04/2017 11:21:39)
    Read the full question and answer
  • Stephanie Baker's question has been answered: "Where does the water come from when it leaks. Sounds it maybe a head gasket fault or maybe a split hose. Also check the Heater Control Valve as they a - Puma Cup from East Sussex' '..." (30/04/2017 11:19:11)
    Read the full question and answer

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