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Ford's Puma range shows there is depth beyond the headline-grabbing 155hp version.
After our first on-road experience of the Puma in Spain, we sample a lower-power version on UK roads.
Standard equipment on 1.0 MHEV 125 Titanium:
17in alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights with cornering function, LED rear lights, Ford MegaBox extended luggage space, power-folding heated door mirrors with puddle lamps, leather steering wheel, cruise control, lane keeping assistance and lane departure warning, pre-collision alert with autonomous emergency braking, wireless smartphone charging, automatic headlights with rain-sensing wipers and auto high beam, Ford Sync 3 navigation with DAB, 8in touchscreen display, remote audio controls, voice control system, Apple Carplay and Android Auto functionality, Bluetooth, FordPass Connect (embedded modem), electronic climate control , two USB ports, hill-start assistance, rear parking sensors, Quickclear heated windscreen, lumbar massage front seats, selectable drive modes
The new Ford Puma has won numerous accolades in the relatively short time since its introduction at the start of 2020, and it's not difficult to see why.
It manages to translate the sleek styling of its coupé namesake into a modern SUV shape. While car enthusiasts might lament the continued shift from traditional sports-oriented models, manufacturers have no choice but to develop vehicles people will actually buy.
It seems Ford has learned a lesson from the Ecosport, which had a slow start in Europe when it was launched in 2013, and was boosted by an early facelift in 2015.
The Puma seems to tick more boxes right from the start, and has a much more sophisticated feel inside. While Ford does its best to maintain the pretence that both models will sell alongside each other, with the Ecosport leading on price, no one should be fooled.
Once the seven-year old Ecosport disappears (there are no plans for a second-generation version - if there were, we would have seen it already) there will be room for lower-power and entry-grade versions of the Puma, allowing it to sell in volumes that really ensure its profitability,
We spent some time with the 125hp mild hybrid (MHEV) version of the Puma, although Ford will sell you a standard engine without electrification for £1,000 less.
The mild hybrid doesn't have enough capacity to deploy electric power alone in the Puma, but will assist the engine under acceleration so it doesn't consume as much fuel. The benefit in the Titanium model we had is CO2 emissions reduced by 5g/km to 127g/km.
But putting both MHEV and standard models through the KeeResources number crunchers shows that the running costs and BIK tax are slightly higher for the mild hybrid.
The advantages of choosing the standard engine are minimal - perhaps a £330 advantage in running costs over a three-year/60,000-mile fleet cycle, and for 2020/21, a pound a month less in BIK tax for a standard rate taxpayer.
But it would have been nice to see the more fuel-efficient powertrain given more of an incentive to attract buyers.
We do like the high levels of equipment on our Titanium test car, however, as well as thoughtful touches, such as a smartphone charging pad that will accommodate a phone within a chunky protective case.
Performance from the multi-award-winning 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine is strong, too, and perhaps the hybrid technology is a lifeline for these smaller-capacity turbocharged engines that have been caught out by the more arduous WLTP measurements.
The Puma combines responsiveness on the road with refinement, and clearly moves the game on in this sector.