Puma facelift adds a new front end and restyled light units
There are significant upgrades for the crossover’s interior and the exterior styling has been tweaked, but the headline change for fast Ford fans is the removal of the 197bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine for the range-topping ST, which is now exclusively powered by a less potent 1.0-litre unit.
That engine, launched as an option last year and fitted with 48V mild-hybrid technology, comes paired with only a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, meaning there is no manual Puma ST now either.
The Puma ST Powershift’s set-up is unaltered and still sends 168bhp and 183lb ft to the front axle for a 0-62mph time of 7.4sec – nearly a second slower than the 1.5-litre car.
As well as the ST, the Puma remains available in standard form with either 124bhp or 148bhp from the mild-hybrid engine, but only the entry model is still available with a six-speed manual gearbox.
The 2024 Puma range is differentiated most obviously from the outgoing, four-year-old car by a new front end modelled on the retired Fiesta, with a new Ford badge in the centre of the grille and restyled LED headlight signatures.
But it’s inside where Ford’s best-seller is most obviously altered, chiefly via a new ‘floating’ 12.0in touchscreen that runs the firm’s latest Sync 4 infotainment system, which Ford says has “twice the computing power” of the previous car’s infotainment.
Underneath the screen, there are new ‘soft’ buttons for the climate control and heated seats – part of a move to reduce the number of physical switches for a “cleaner design” – and a new phone storage cubby with an integrated wireless charging pad.
There is also a new 12.8in digital gauge cluster with higher-definition graphics behind the steering wheel.
Also new for 2024 is an enhanced suite of driver assist functions which includes Intersection Assist, Reverse Brake Assist and Predictive Speed Assist - which automatically slows the car down when approaching a bend or junction. Anti-glare matrix headlights are an option now, too, as well as Predictive Bending Dynamic Lights, which use GPS data to automatically adjust the lighting for curves in the road.
Ford also confirmed the name of the electric Puma – Gen-E – ahead of its unveiling later this year.