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Ford Thinks Americans Don't Want This Cool Crossover

Crossover / 14 Comments

This could have filled the void left by the Fiesta being discontinued in the US.

Produced between 1997 and 2001, the Ford Puma was a compact coupe that was essentially a sportier version of the Fiesta. It was great fun to drive and even earned Top Gear's coveted Car of the Year Award back in 1997. But now Ford has turned it into a subcompact crossover since there's a lot more demand for this segment. Sadly, the reborn Puma won't be sold in the US just like its predecessor, so the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show was our only chance to see how it looks in the metal.

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The new Puma is stylish and doesn't look much larger than the Fiesta hatchback it's based on, but being a crossover means it has a higher ride height. It's much more than just a pretty face, however. Ford boasts that the Puma offers the best cargo capacity in its class at 16 cubic feet. It's also extremely comfortable and high tech, thanks to its lumbar massage seats, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and an eight-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.

Driving assists include adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, emergency brake assist, a tire pressure monitoring system, electronic stability control, semi-autonomous parking assist, and emergency steering assist.

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The Puma is powered by a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, with a mild-hybrid assist provided by a 48-volt electrical system and 11.5-kW starter/generator unit, as well as stop/start and cylinder-deactivation systems. Ford's stylish subcompact crossover will be available with either 123 horsepower or 153 hp, with power being sent through a six-speed manual transmission exclusively to the front wheels. A dual-clutch transmission and diesel engine will be available at a later date.

It's a shame the Puma isn't coming to America, because it could fill the void left by the discontinued Fiesta and offer a more stylish alternative to the EcoSport.

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