The Ford Puma is Finally Coming to SA
The Ford Puma nameplate has been dominant in overseas markets since its introduction in 2019 as an SUV-inspired compact crossover model that, unfortunately, was overlooked for South Africa.
This, however, left many South Africans disappointed simply because there is a market for compact crossovers, especially in South Africa, and the Puma could have been a welcome addition to the local Ford range.
Speaking of what could be regarded as a once sprawling range, it has been significantly reduced over the past few years since the Focus, Fiesta, Figo, and EcoSport took their final bow. Currently, it consists of the Ranger, Mustang, Everest, Tourneo, and Transit. Though impressive, it was absent for those at the entry level looking for their automotive debut.
Now, Ford SA has announced that its Puma compact crossover will be arriving on local shores in the fourth quarter of the year in two variants: Titanium and ST-Line Vignale.
Competing against the likes of the Hyundai Kona, VW T-Cross, Renault Captur, Opel Mokka, and Peugeot 2008, the Ford Puma measures 4,207mm in length for the ST-Line or 4,186mm for the Titanium; it's 1,805mm wide and has a wheelbase of 2,588mm, as well as a boot space of 456 litres.
Both variants are powered by a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine with 92kW and 170Nm channelled to the front axle via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with five selectable drive models: Normal, Eco, Slippery, Trail, and Sport.
Outside, the Puma features ‘canoe-shaped’ LED headlamps, lower-positioned LED foglights, front air curtain inlets, and LED daytime running lights while the ST-Line upgrades to adaptive LED lights as standard.
As for the range-opening Titanium, it comes fitted with impressive features such as black-machined 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome elements for the grille, side skirts, a rear diffuser, and a skid plate in metallic grey. The interior, on the other hand, features a leather-trimmed steering wheel, wood-effect decoration for the cluster bezel and instrument panel, and distinctive fabric inserts for the door interiors.
The sportier Puma ST-Line adds black 18-inch machined alloy wheels, sports suspension, matte black elements, high-gloss surrounds, high-gloss foglamp surrounds, and a larger roof spoiler.
Moving inside, it features a flat-bottomed steering wheel, red stitching, alloy pedals, aluminium gear, a signature headliner, and puddle lights that illuminate the ground with the Puma logo. To add more charm, the ST-Line comes with an optional ST-Line Styling Pack, which adds a panoramic roof, a black-painted roof, and a 4-way adjustable front passenger seat.
Both variants come with the brand’s SYNC3 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, embedded satellite navigation, a wireless charging pad, a B&O sound system and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster for the range-topper,
The Puma range can be had with a choice of five colour options: Frozen White, Fantastic Red, Grey Matter, Desert Island Blue, and Magnetic.
When it comes to safety, the Puma comes standard with a range of features such as ABS, electronic brake assist, tyre pressure monitoring, electronic stability control, auto high beam headlight activation, hill-launch assist, and lane-keep assist.
Buyers have the option to add the Driver Assistance Pack that kits the Puma with adaptive cruise control with stop and go and lane centering, evasive steering assist, a blind spot system, front parking sensors, and a rear wide-angle camera.
Priced at R569,900 for the Titanium and R613,900 for the ST-Line Vignale, the Puma is expected to launch in SA in the fourth quarter of 2023 to fill the gap left by the discontinued models.
The Puma will compete in the fast-growing compact crossover fold as it capitalises on the strong brand loyalty and reputation that Ford has in South Africa.
As standard, Ford SA offers the Puma with a 4-year/120,000km warranty, 4-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance, and a 5-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty. Customers can purchase service or maintenance plans for up to eight years, or 135,000km.