On the right side of the Atlantic Ocean, the option to purchase a Fiesta has also come to an end, as Ford recently announced its discontinuation. However, the spirit of the Fiesta lives on in the form of the Puma, a subcompact crossover built upon the same platform as the seventh-generation supermini.
Ford has been producing the Puma, which has no connection to the small coupe of the same name that was discontinued in 2002, since 2019. Manufacturing takes place at Ford’s Craiova factory in Romania, and due to the strong demand for vehicles with decent ground clearance and an attractive price point, the Puma has found favor with European consumers.
In fact, the Puma has proven to be a smart investment for Ford, and the company is now preparing to introduce its successor. However, this won’t entail an entirely new generation; instead, Ford has planned a mid-cycle refresh. The updated model will feature revised exterior styling at both the front and rear, minor improvements in the interior, and potentially upgraded powertrain options, including the introduction of a battery-electric version alongside the internal combustion models.
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Design at a Glance
The upcoming facelifted Ford Puma will introduce fresh lighting units at the front. While they may bear some resemblance to the outgoing model, they will feature updated graphics. The grille, retaining its size, will showcase a distinct pattern, while the lower section of the bumper is set to receive a redesign. This includes alterations in the central intake lines, revamped side vents, and potentially a slightly more robust integrated apron.
If this were a completely new generation, we would have dedicated a paragraph to its profile. However, the Puma continues without significant changes in this regard, except for the likely addition of several new wheel options. The rear view also maintains a familiar appearance, although there are notable differences in the taillight pattern. The reflectors remain in their original positions, and the bumper has undergone subtle updates. The tailgate will likely still feature the “Puma” lettering below the iconic Blue Oval logo.
More Important Updates in the Cabin
While we haven’t had a detailed glimpse inside the updated Ford Puma just yet, it appears that the brand’s designers have given more attention to the interior than the exterior. It seems that they have relocated the climate vents, and there’s a possibility of a new steering wheel making its debut. Minor enhancements may be in store for the center console, but the overall look is expected to remain quite similar.
Regarding the two primary screens, the digital cluster and the infotainment system, there’s a possibility that they could be entirely replaced with new units featuring updated software. The infotainment system, in particular, could see a size increase to 12 inches diagonally, replacing the previous 8-inch unit, while the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster might undergo some revisions as well. Additionally, we anticipate the introduction of new interior trim options, helping to differentiate between the two iterations of the subcompact crossover and likely bringing more advanced driving assistance systems into the mix.
Revised Oily Bits and an EV Option?
The Ford Puma shares its construction with the previous-generation Fiesta and offers a range of gasoline engines, some of which incorporate mild-hybrid technology. The 1.0-liter mild-hybrid three-cylinder engines, producing 123 hp (125 ps/92 kW) and 153 hp (155 ps/114 kW), are expected to make a return. These engines are also likely to be featured in the sporty Puma ST variant.
In the current version, there’s a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine generating 168 hp (170 ps/125 kW) paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission, and a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine borrowed from the discontinued Fiesta ST, producing 197 hp (200 ps/147 kW) and equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. These engines may continue with minimal or no updates, although a slight power increase wouldn’t be surprising. All versions of the Puma are front-wheel drive, and this configuration is expected to remain unchanged.
The most significant power-related news revolves around reports of an upcoming electric variant of the Puma, set to debut next year. If these reports are accurate, the electric Puma will share the same platform as its internal combustion engine counterparts. It’s projected to have a range of around 400 km (~250 miles) on a full charge under optimal conditions.
The updated Ford Puma with an internal combustion engine (ICE) is expected to debut in a few months, while the electric vehicle (EV) version is likely to be introduced sometime next year. It’s important to note that the current Puma is not available in the North American market, and this situation is not expected to change with the mid-cycle refresh. In the United States, the most affordable crossover offered by Ford is the larger Escape, which has a starting price of $29,345. On the other hand, the current Puma is priced at a minimum of €27,400 (equivalent to $28,870) in Germany.