Written on: 09/05/2009 by NickyD89 (2 reviews written)
I have only owned my Puma for a short while but already feel very pleased with this sporty coupe.
My Puma is a 2001 (Y) 1.7 in Panther Black with 30,000 miles. I was chuffed to find such a low mileage example because most 8 year old pumas have covered a fair bit more mileage. Its only my second car and an upgrade from a diesel Seat Arosa! Quite an upgrade but I was looking for a decent drivers car that is still reasonably practical and not too common (was initially looking at a mk5 zetec-s, glad I went for the much more stylish Puma).
before purchasing the car I had done a fair bit of internet research and found out that the Puma was voted Top Gear's car of the year in 1997 and What Car's favourite used sports coupe in 2001. Being an owner I can completely understand why...fantastic road holding, yeah I know all these reviews say it but honestly you won't realise how good the handling is until you drive a Puma for yourself. Great feedback as to how the tyres are feeling, huge grip, quick turn-in and virtually no body-roll. Whats really impressive is how the suspension is sporty enough to allow this but also, when you're not going for it it is a very compliant and in my opinion comfortable ride.
The engine is a 1.7 Zetec-se unit that punches out 123bhp and 116 ft/lbs of torque. All very well and good but what that translates into on the real world is strong low-rev and midrange acceleration (if you don't feel up for thrashing it you really don't need to). However, if you do rev it past 4500 rpm you will be treated to very good acceleration that is always silky smooth in its delivery, accompanied with a great exhaust note!
Downsides? Visibility out the back is poor, boot is actually probably better than you think its going to be but still not great (obviously), economy is poor when revved past 4000 rpm regularly but not bad if driven casually (30+ mpg is achievable without too much difficulty) and finally you'll only fit adults in the back if you really make an effort to put the seats forward in the front.
So in conclusion, the plus sides completely outweigh the down sides for me personally. So you are looking for a sporty, great driving coupe then the puma will fit the bill a treat!