Say hello to…
…the Ford Puma Hybrid. It’s a compact crossover/SUV styled car that competes in the same sector as the Renault Captur and Hyundai Kona.
There’s the choice of a variety of trims, currently:
Pricing is in the region between £22,795 to £27,345, and for those small fleet business owners who want a dash of SUV pizzazz, there’s also the well received ST version with a 200PS engine.
The ST-Line X version we’ve been driving is fitted with Ford’s fabulous 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine. There’s a choice of power tunes, either 125PS or 155PS, which is the version we have been driving.
There’s also a degree of hybridisation to improve economy and performance: a mild hybrid or mHEV in the Ford lingo. This boosts engine performance under acceleration and helps assist economy, too, with cylinder deactivation when cruising; it also stores energy and releases it to help acceleration, for example. What it won’t do is give you electric-only running. That’s not its remit.
Is The Ford Puma Hybrid mHEV Suitable For My Fleet?
While the amount of electrification is modest on the Puma mHEV, it does help the car to reduce emissions to a CO2 of 126g/km. While this is really out of court in the current zero emission and ultra low emission game, the combination of the car’s pricing means a 20 per cent tax payer can expect an average benefit in kind monthly tax bill of £116.
So for drivers that are unable or unwilling to take a plug-in hybrid or zero emission vehicle, then the cost to the driver is very manageable.
In terms of cost to the business, the average monthly rentals are £258. However, using a whole life cost calculator that includes your expenditure (plus tax relief) on maintenance, insurance, NIC, and fuel costs, expect £400 a month*. It’s bang on the average cost for running this type of compact vehicle, so the car offers small fleets a really viable option without going the full electric route.
There’s more to consider, too, such as the good level of safety tech provided on the Puma, including the brilliant blind spot alert – the door mirrors signal a warning that, maybe unseen by you, motorists, cyclists or motorbikers are in close proximity. Another great Ford feature is the heated front screen for defrosts without you standing outside scraping the windscreen in the cold and the ingenious easyfuel filler cap to avoid misfuelling. Not to mention the always useful rear parking sensor to prevent unwanted reversing bumps.
*Costings: based on 3+33 profile, 10,000 miles a year, source: BCF Wessex/Gensen.
Leasing A Ford Puma Hybrid mHEV
There are usually plenty of deals around on the Ford Puma, so leasing the Puma Hybrid should be relatively easy. We saw headline deals of £162 + VAT on a business contract hire rental from Gateway2Lease on a 9+47rental profile over 8000 miles per annum. While Ford itself had a June promotion on the model for £221+VAT a month over a 36 month period with 12 rentals up front.
Driving A Ford Puma Hybrid mHEV
The Puma’s EcoBoost three-cylinder is a wonder – we’ve said it before, but it continues to deliver urgent acceleration accompanied by a growling audio from the small turbo, while there’s also plenty of mid-range acceleration instantly on tap.
It delivers well on economy, too. During a 360 mile long motorway run the trip showed an average of over 57mpg while we averaged 47.1mpg over some 750 miles with the car. Official consumption figures are 50.4mpg, so it shows what the combination of a mild hybrid combined with a small turbocharged engine can achieve for small fleet users.
Of course, one of the great attributes of the Puma’s SUV stance is the good visibility it provides from the driver’s seat, and the other is the great practicality. Talking of which…
The Puma comes with automatic boot opening – waggle a foot underneath the bumper and the boot hatch will pop open – while even better is the hugely adaptable boot, including the MegaBox.
This is brilliant. Basically it’s a deep, lined box area below the boot floor that can be the receptacle for dirty walking boots, a wet swimsuit or wetsuit, dirty football kit, in fact anything that’s wet, mucky or soggy can be placed here. TheMegaBox can be washed out thanks to a plug in the bottom that allows water to drain out. For lovers of outside sports it offers superb practicality. Meanwhile the actual boot floor has three positions (two different height settings) or an upright storage setting, making it easy to take a full set of upright golf clubs in the boot.
And while the car is compact, it certainly feels deceptively spacious inside, so there’s little fear of being shortchanged for company car downsizers.
The Puma does have a few niggles. Under braking the nose will dip forwards, which is annoying, and the ride on uneven surfaces is unsettled. But otherwise, as it’s based on Fiesta underpinnings so you get most of that car’s brilliance transmuted into an SUV experience. Which is a good thing.
FleetandLeasing.com Verdict On The Puma
There’s an awful lot to like about the Ford Puma mHEV, from the revvy and tuneful engine to the superb practicality, not forgetting the car’s safety features.
It’s economical, and offers affordable running costs for the business in terms of whole life costs, and the same in terms of driver BIK.
If you’re looking to downsize your company car to reduce company car tax exposure, or wanting a good-looking, great-to-drive vehicle for your fleet without going down the plug-in route, then the Ford Puma Hybrid is a rewarding alternative that delivers both for your small fleet and the business driver.
Ford Puma Hybrid mHEV Specification
Model: 1.0T 155PS Ecoboost ST-Line X 6-speed manual
Max speed: 125mph
0-62mph: 8.9 s
Economy official: 50.4mpg
Economy test: 47.1mpg
CO2 emissions: 126g/km
BIK tax band 2021/22: 29%