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Ford Puma ST 1.0 EcoBoost Powershift (2023) review: the sense and nonsense of a second ST - AutoReview.nl

Wasn't there already a Ford Puma ST? That's right, but in many respects this second variant settles for less. It has a smaller engine with less power, but also lower consumption thanks to mild hybrid technology. The popular manual transmission makes way for an automatic. What does this Puma ST actually add?


What stands out about the Ford Puma ST 1.0 EcoBoost?

Ford provided some relief in the respectable B-segment in 2020 by introducing the 200 hp Puma ST. It received, like all ST models from Ford, rave reviews. In fact, it is the only really fun-to-drive car in its class. From competitors like the Renault CapturToyota Yaris Cross or Volkswagen T-Cross there are no sporty variants.

There can be even more laughter now; Ford is launching a new engine variant with mild hybrid technology. The 200 hp version is joined by a 170 hp and 248 Nm strong Ford Puma ST 1.0 EcoBoost. The Azura Blue color of the photo model is new (additional cost: 1200 euros) and provides the much-needed color in the gray Dutch winter weather.

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Although we also have to frown at that smaller engine with less power, mild-hybrid technology and a dual-clutch transmission. Is the sporty driver looking forward to that? Or does this version have unexpected trump cards?

What is good about the Ford Puma ST?

Ford is not making it easy because of the 125 hp 1.0 EcoBoost bread and butterversions of the Puma just a little more power. For example, the mild hybrid technology has been improved especially for the ST to deliver more spirited performance. The system provides faster energy recovery, allowing the 48-volt lithium-ion battery to be charged faster. The result is that the engine has extra torque available at low speeds for a while. Furthermore, the maximum power can be briefly increased from 160 to 170 hp.

When you start the car and drive away, you immediately notice that you are not dealing with a good Puma. Every steering command and every throttle movement - no matter how small - is immediately followed. There is no delay. This initially causes the front wheels to spin when driving away - the enthusiasm of the Puma ST can hardly be contained.

The chassis is the same as that of the 200 hp ST, with a stiffer torsion beam, a special stabilizer bar and sportier shock absorbers. In practice, this means that you can forget about comfort, but on beautiful back roads that is not a problem. The ST is nicely balanced in fast corners and changes direction quickly. If you prefer to shift gears yourself, you can do so via the paddles on the steering wheel. Fortunately, the engine responds quickly to switching commands. If you choose automatic shifting, lower gears will be held for longer in Sport mode.

All praise also for the controls; it is sharp and very direct, and makes you want to explore the few fine bends of the Dutch road network. Perhaps best of all are the fantastic Recaro bucket seats, which are perfectly adjustable and provide everyone with an optimal driving position - unless you're too keen on all you can eat-buffet sweets. Then things can get a bit tight.

What could be improved on the Ford Puma ST (2023)?

A 1.0 EcoBoost with 170 hp does not sound very exciting on paper. Certainly not if you know that the 30 hp stronger Puma ST 1.5 EcoBoost will remain in the price list. And as a point of criticism, let's say that we have always had the engine. The three-cylinder engine does not feel like a real sports bike and sometimes seems to be short of breath.

This applies even more to the 1.0 EcoBoost. An intermediate sprint does not want to be truly sensational, despite the extra engine sound in Sport mode and the support of the small electric motor. Everything can be done just a little bit faster. The fact that it has less power is also reflected in the specs. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes 7.4 seconds instead of 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 210 km/h the 1.0 EcoBoost just cannot keep up with the 220 km/h that the 1.5 EcoBoost manages to clock. .

Moreover, in daily traffic you have to accept that you always have a hard-tuned chassis under your buttocks - the downside of sportiness. You're probably familiar with bumps and tricky speed bumps on your daily routes. If you know the instructions for the Puma ST, you will learn to master them wisely.

Less bad, but indicative of the rapid developments, is the outdated multimedia system. The screen is tiny and the touchscreen only responds when you hit it firmly with your fingers. The physical buttons for the air conditioning and seat heating make us happy again.

What is the price of the Ford Puma ST 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid?

Why would you choose the Puma ST with 1.0 EcoBoost and accept 30 hp less and slower acceleration times? You can do it for two reasons. Maybe you don't like shifting gears yourself and would rather leave it to the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. On the congested roads in the Netherlands and Flanders, we cannot blame you if that is your decisive argument. Certainly not if you use the Puma ST as a daily means of transport.

It may also be that you want to do the climate a favor; less power, a smaller engine and (mild) hybrid technology should yield significant fuel economy gains. But that's disappointing. The 1.5 EcoBoost consumes 6.6 l/100 km (1 in 15.2), the 1.0 EcoBoost consumes 6.3 l/100 km (1 in 15.9). OK, it makes a difference, but it is not substantial. Moreover, the cars are exactly the same price. Well, for the really nice Puma ST you pay 5 euros less... The Puma ST 1.5 EcoBoost costs 46,215 euros, the Puma ST 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid 46,220 euros.

What do I think of the Ford Puma ST 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid?

With its appearance, the blue Puma ST makes a great entrance. The splitter in the front bumper, the roof spoiler and the diffuser at the rear make it sporty, without becoming vulgar. Pessimists say: the second variant of the Puma ST adds little with less power and longer sprint times. Unless you really don't want to switch gears yourself. Optimists say: Ford now not only delivers the nicest crossover in the B-segment, but also the second nicest.

This post was last modified on December 19, 2023 3:30 pm

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Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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