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Firstly I must apologise if you’ve already read this opinion. I have reworked it for two reasons. Firstly as my second op I felt it wasn’t as good as I could make it, also if I edit it now I can submit it for the review your current car competition ;). I have tried to make it different enough.
I bought my Puma in September 2001. It was 11 months old then and I paid 10995. I was fed up with my silver/grey Cavalier with its blue door, and at the last service the cav was starting to need some mechanical replacements – see my op on it for more details ;)
The time was right for me to buy a new car. I'd looked at the Ford Ka and that was well within my budget and I was looking a brand new Luxury version. What put me off was the sheer number of them about and the fact that it didn't really have street cred.
I looked at the 206 which has some very good looks, but in the end again there are too many of them and I felt they were over priced. Then I thought of the Puma, ever since it came out, I knew there was something special but I had never thought I could or would own one.
To compare the 206 and Puma isn’t fair, the 206 is a top of its class hot hatch. The Puma is in a whole different category. Maybe the only possible comparison would to a 206 CC, the gorgeous 206 open top with Mercedes SLK style working. However the 206 CC costs 15 – 16k new wheras the Puma costs under 13k. Also the 206 CC wasn’t available second hand as it had only just been released.
I had a budget of about 8 or 9k I went over this by quite a way, this is some indication of how good a car I think this is. I still smile when I see it in the car park and think that it is mine. Anyway this is how I bought it:
I went along to the Great Trade Centre in White City, London. They have a large selection of new and nearly new cars. They had one Puma available in a silvery grey, that I now know is called Moondust Silver. It was quite high mileage (17k), and I wasn't sure about that. But I stared at it, and it called to me. I sat in it and it hugged me. I went for a test drive and it purred at me. I was hooked. I picked it up the next day.
I haven't looked back. It is far and away the best car I have ever owned, the best car I have driven. It might well be the best car I ever own - we'll see.
The handling is superb, the acceleration surprising. The looks fantastic. Also very impressive are the standard features: Anti-lock brakes with Electronic brake force distribution Power Steering, Traction Control, The punchy 1.7 litre VTEC 16v engine Alarm Immobiliser Remote Central deadlocking Electric Windows Heated electric mirrors Alloy wheels Drivers airbag Body coloured bumpers and wing mirrors Drivers seat manual height adjust Headlamp leveling Machined aluminium gear lever knob One piece folding rear seat
My version also has the lux pak: Metallic paint, CD player, Air Con, Front electric demistor.
The interior layout looks good, with chrome mixed with black plastic, also my friend really likes the way the dash is backlit in green when the lights are on. The visibility whilst being limited by the small rear window is still enough, as the mirrors make up for it, meaning that I have almost no blind spot on the drivers side, and only as small one on the passenger side. Also I have noticed that the front columns (the bit between the windscreen and the side windows) are quite large and this will restrict vision a bit too. Finally the rear demistor button is obscured (to me) by the steering wheel.
The heating is very effective and when combined with the electric demistor, my front screen clears in seconds. The rear screen however is a little temperamental some days it works fine, however on my recent trip to Scotland it didn’t work at the worst moment – when it was snowing. It could have been the severe cold, or something to do with the contacts as I found out on the Pumapeople newsgroup.
The downsides, and there are some (nothings perfect is it?) are the insurance costs, it is a group 12, but for what it is, thats quite low - I think. And fuel consumption, I've never calculated my mpg, but the tank is 40 litres and on a good day I can get 75 miles per quarter tank (possible the quarter marks aren’t quite right, but this works out at about 300 miles for a tank. But anyway you don't buy this car for its fuel economy, you buy it for the fact that in 5th gear at 70 miles an hour, you still get good acceleration. A final niggle that along with the rear demistor behaving erratically as I mentioned, the brake is sticking, this could be something to do with lubrication according to my pumapeople newsgroups sources.
I would recommend this car to anyone who doesn't have kids, and who wants a fun sporty car for all types of journeys.
Liked the review - having been in a household which had the 206, Tigra and Puma, you certainly made the right choice over the 206.
The Puma is/was the best small coupe on the market - boo to Ford for calling it a day way too early on the car (you can blame the new Fiesta for this!). Glad you are having a blast in the car! You have a possible classic on your hands!
lizzihop 27.04.2004 16:26
Great to read your op - I'm picking my Puma up at the weekend and can't wait!!! :)
emmorticia 26.11.2002 16:40
Wow, so much information! Think this isn't really affordable on a student budget though.....never mind! Great op, Em x