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    18 Reviews
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      15.04.2013 17:09

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      The love of my life

      This little car was the second car i ever bought. I saved up for ages to buy a second hand 1.7 version on the car. I absolutely loved it. Even now 5 years after selling it i still miss it and haven't had a car since which i loved as much.
      The styling was awesome, people still even talk about the T.V advert now. When it was first introduced to the world it looked so different to everything else on the road at a similar price. It was a pleasure to drive, relatively cheap to run (although it was when fuel was cheaper) In the 7 years i owned it for, it gave me very few problems, and i could forgive it for them because i loved it so much.

      The pumas do suffer with rust around the wheel arch but i got a decent mechanic to fix the body work and it looked like new again.

      I think they can be picked up for a reasonable price even now despite the age of them and they are the most fun to drive. If ford brought out a new version i would be first in line to buy one.

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      15.01.2013 08:10
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      Fantastic little car that`s fun to drive & just keeps going & going

      I`ve got a 14 year old 1.7 Puma which I`ve had for 11 years. I`ve hardly had any trouble with it over the years & it has always started first time. It`s a tight , connected drive which has plenty of pace in all gears. It`s just a fun car to drive with superb handling , especially round corners. When accelerating hard it has a satisfying throaty growl . Running costs are reasonable for a sports car & insurance very cheap for me .
      The only disadvantages I can report are that rear visibility is difficult & the rear seating area is a bit small for adults, although fine for kids.
      I recently thought of buying a new car as mine is now 14 years old & the paintwork is looking a bit tired. I road tested 3 cars : The Corsa 1.4 ; the Corsa 1.6 Turbo & the Fiesta 1.6 Limited Edition. None of these cars ( in my opinion ) quite came up to the standard of the Puma for performance or handling. In view of that I spoke to my mechanic about the possibility of keeping the Puma for a further 5 years. He said that would be fine as the underneath of the car is still not showing any sign of rust. He recomended that a re-spray would be a good idea to spruce the car up & further protect the bodywork.
      I`m putting the Puma in for a re-spray Today & can`t wait to get it back. That`s going to save me about £16000.

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      26.03.2003 18:13
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      Ford Puma 1.4i I've owned my Puma for 6 months now. This is an opinion of my ownership of the car. You can get technical details and specifications from the ford site. this is my experience of owning the car. I cant tell you about fuel consumption and insurance costs because my licence is shot, and I drive at 100Mph everywhere (do you think those two facts are related!) LOOKS ----- The car looks brilliant. I put on a body kit (500quid) which lowered the front and rear bumpers, added skirts to the sides, put a low spoiler on the back, and upgraded my alloy wheels. This gives the car a much more aggressive and masculine look (Just look how many women drive Pumas - 80%?) In standard mode I always found the rear of the Puma a little disturbing - I once heard said that the Ford KA was designed by a woman, and she put a fat arse on it. Well the puma had the same kind or rear end. it rides high up the body, but has huge round "cheeks". With my kit on the back comes a lot future down and straightens out the "arse" of the vehicle. With these modifications the Puma looks stunning and I was immediately attracted to it when I saw it. RIDE ---- The drive is a little bumpy as the car has quite stiff suspension. But for a sports car it is marvelous. The acceleration is responsive and accurate, steering is tight and the small steering wheel adds to the race car feeling. The front seats are quite bulky which make them comfortable for the driver, but give you a lot less room in the rear. The Headrests on the front seats can be extended up or down, but do not have any tilt mechanism meaning you either have to lean right back to rest your head (as if you were pulling 6g's) or "loll" you head about as you drive. Rear seats are pretty small and the curvature of the roof makes it hard to seat two adults in the back. It is fine for kids to jump in and
      out, but with 4 adults in that car (and I have done it) I wouldn't want to drive for any length of time. SPACE ----- As I've said before the rear seats are pretty tight. This isn't a problem and kids could easily fit in. The front has a lot of leg room and fits me and my tall mates in quite easily. The boot is a fair size too, for such a sporty model. I don't know the exact CC capacity but i get my shopping in it (which I couldn't really do in my Mini) and a few bags of clothing. PROBLEMS -------- I haven't really had any problems with the car at all. The only annoying things about owning it are: - The front headrests don't tilt (see earlier) - The parcel shelf clips are constantly dropping off. This is a known issue with the car, something to do with the vibration - It takes a LOT of getting used to the small rear window and the reversing distances. I've reversed into a space and have felt i was almost touching the car behind, only to get out and see about 2 foot of space.I am considering adding those Reverse indicators (the things that go beep) soon. OVERALL ------- A cheap, but good looking, sports car. I am VERY happy with mine. If you have the chance to drive one, get in, pump the gas, and zoom off into the distance.

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        05.03.2003 18:57
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        Firstly, just to set the scene a little: I am 18, and this will be my second car; both of which I shared ownership and costs with my mum (more ownership, less cost!). Without going into a review of my first car (the Micra), it was a reliable car, very easy to drive, fun to drive at low speeds due to its low weight, boring at everything else... For my second car I wanted something special. I don't mean looks-wise. I don't care about looks. I didn't want a prestige-type brand of car. I don't car about reputation. I didn't want anything particularly practical, as for a lowish budget that I had, practicality comes at a price of fun. All I wanted was a car that brought my soul alive when I drove it. AND IT DOES! From the moment the engine purrs into action (it is too refined to roar!) you just want to floor the gas. It is a car of two halves. One being a good smooth, pacey drive, and one the monster! I have the 1.7; the most powerful in the range and, whilst it may not keep up with many hot-hatches, such as Clio 172, it is far better at handling the corners and twisties. To my mind, the only car that handles corners better is the Mini. To be honest, the mini does it so well that, for me, all driving enjoyment had just gone out the window and it became gutless. The Puma strikes that balance between safety and outright fun. It really is special. The wheel responds instantly and smoothly, and the feel is straight from the fingers to the tyres. The acceleration is keen and punchy, although to get the best out of it in terms of performance, it is best to keep the revs above around 4,000 as an early gear-change can leave the car in that 'sticky' zone, where it needs a second or two to get sufficient momentum. To summarise the drive, I would say: It strikes the right balance everywhere. The suspension is not too tight at to be bumpy, but is still VERY responsive. The power is fast, without being
        brash and uncontrollable... I could go on. The thing about Pumas are that there are downsides. I could go into the practicallity, and mention the boot being a little awkwardly high, or the lack of rear space for anything other than short journeys. I'm not going to though. If you are looking at the Puma then you should already have your priority on what is important: the drive. Everything else is just mere detail to me. It is like complaining about a Ferrari not doing 50 miles to the gallon. If economy was the point, it wouldn't be a Ferrari. Get it? I would thoroughly recommend a Puma over its competitors, such as MG ZR, or Clio 172, just because it has the whole package in terms of style, performance... On a sideline, Ford has a bad rep. I have heard of no problems with any of my mates cars, or my own, however at Allen Ford. They are thoroughly co-operative and helpful. That is not a plug, I just really think that they were excellent.

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          27.10.2002 23:33
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          The Puma is Ford's version of a sports coupe- sleek, sexy, fast but yet affordable. Though production stopped in late 2001 (it is built on an old Fiesta platform, and the demise of that car meant the demise of the Puma) as of late October 2002 it is still (just about) possible to get your hands on a new one- the list price (with no extras such as metallic paint, air con, 6 cd player etc) is £12, 995- but you should be able to negotiate something in the region of a 5% discount depending on how eager the dealer is willing to clear up space. However, pretty much the only colour left is silver- though in my opinion this is not such a bad thing as that was the best colour they come in. I think most people would agree on the outside the car looks good- and it does not disappoint on interior looks either. The dashboard is a lot less "clunky" than other Fords (even though it has similarities to the old Fiesta dashboard), the metal gear knob goes well with the demeanour of the car, and the charcoal trim of the seats is also good. Space wise it is somewhat deceptive- when I first got it I thought it would be embarrassing to ask my friends to sit in the cramped back seat, but I'm assured that the room at the back is more than sufficient for adults. There is a fair amount of space in the boot too- you'd have to look at a brochure for an exact cu ft measurement, but it is more than sufficient for a weekly shop or even taking friends to the airport- though admittedly larger cars such as the Focus and Mondeo are better in this regard. The car drives very well too- good 0-30 and 0-60 acceleration from the 1.7 zetec engine, and it is nice to be driving on the motorway and still be able to accelerate quite rapidly at 70mph. There are 5 gears, and clearly the quicker you move through them, the quicker the acceleration of the car. Power steering also comes as standard, as do EBS brakes, meaning you can swerve and brake at the same time. Fuel consumption is good- I usually go about 300 urban miles on a full tank. Though I wouldn't dream of selling my Puma for a good few years yet, residual value is high- 53% on average after 3 years. Given that Ford do not look to be bringing out a replacement to the Puma in the near future it is generally anticipated this will not diminish in the near future. Like all Fords the car comes with a 12 month unconditional warranty, which can be extended to a limited 3 year warranty at no cost (basically Ford do not guarantee fair wear and tear in the latter policy). There is an airbag automatically in the drivers area- a passenger seat one is available as an option. Indeed, the only bad point regarding the Puma I've come across so far is its insurance group- 12- which means you are looking at paying around £500 a year insurance. Tax at £140 per year is not so good either. However, these points aside, £ per £ this must be the best sub £20,000 coupe on the market- maybe the TT looks sexier and performs better, but if it is economy you are interested in as well as performance and looks, I would highly recommend the Puma.

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            21.08.2002 23:10
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            • "Hard on tyres"

            Anyone reading this will have an interest in the Puma. And for good reason. I wonder how many other cars have been independently assessed as 100% satisfied. It's a car that combines the best of all worlds. It's elegant yet practical (not everyone wants 4+ seats and it's got the biggest boot space with the back seats folded). It's responsive and holds the road like a limpet. Although it's fast it still drives well when limits are strictly abided by! And did I say reliable, comfortable, economical and easy to manoeuvre, or am I taking it for granted so soon? I can truly say it's brought real pleasure back to driving. So, here is this fantastic car and they've deleted it. Why? Apparently it was the most successful in its field. Is there anything we can do to get it reinstated?? I drove Mitsubishis (another fantastic manufacturer) for 21 years before the Puma tempted me away. After having driven the Puma, I don't know what can take its place. Unless they bring out Puma II, it's either Subaru or Shank's!! Come on Ford, make a middle aged playgirl happy - bring back the cat!

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              08.03.2002 14:05
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              When my husband bought this car I was rather irate. £13,000 spent on a small tin box with four wheels seemed like a waste of money. However, on the quiet I really do quite enjoy driving it! THE CAR The car is small but sleek and sporty looking with only three doors. The boot, however, is miniscule and inadequate for even a main food shop (this is made even harder when your husband leaves everything in the boot – golf shoes, squash racquet, old Christmas cards, Telewest cable box – you name it!). The lights are another grumble of mine. The full beam gets full marks, as it is excellent but the side-lights are very small and provide little light and they do not seem adequate for the job. THE CABIN From the front seats you could almost be inside a Fiesta. The dials are a different colour but most of the instruments are the same and similarly placed. It is all eerily familiar. The driver and passenger have plenty of room lengthwise but not widthwise; do not make the mistake I did and get your leg trapped between the steering wheel and the door when you close it. The speedometer and revcounter have white backgrounds to them and I suppose it is a matter of taste as to whether you like this rather tacky feature (guess whether I do). The gear stick is toped with a chrome handle, which is again down to personal taste, so those of you who like your hand to be cold in winter and hot in summer will like it and those of you who don’t can always replace it with something a little more traditional. If you have annoying friends who are constantly asking for lifts, this is the car to get. The back seats seem to be there for aesthetic value, as most human beings would not be able to sit in them and be driven any great distance (certainly not without a loss of circulation resulting in the necessary amputation of at least one leg). There is no leg room in the back (and that is coming
              from a short-arse 5ft 5 like me) and you will find that even with the front seats as far forward as they will go your backseat passengers will have their knees crammed against the front seats. DRIVING Well, here even I have to begin to grudgingly admire the car. It is nippy. It accelerates well from a stationary position as well as at higher speeds. The steering wheel feels nice in your hands and the car is responsive. It grips the road well and driving is a real pleasure. Overtaking is a thrill and can be done with ease. However, having said that the car revs a little high, so that second gear is almost redundant! On motorways you begin to think that your pointer is going to whiz off the end of your revcounter but, then, this is really not a motorway car. The puma does not want to be driving monotonously up and down long stretches of nondescript road but wants to be whizzing along winding country roads or nipping down short cuts in a busy city and fitting into tiny parking spaces to the annoyance of BMW drivers! UNDER THE BONNET The standard model is 1.7 litres, which on a small car such as this provides sufficient oomph. It is 4 cylinder, 1679 cc with 125 brake horse power. It can do 0 – 60 mph in 8.8 seconds and does 38.2 miles per gallon. The insurance group is 12. A new car will set you back between £12,280 and £13,995. If buying second hand problems to look out for are merely boy racer type damage: scuffed alloys, damage to bumpers or spoilers. One bonus is the parts. The parts are mainly the same as those for the fiesta and, therefore, are cheap, cheap, cheap! THE FELINE ANIMAL This car is ideal as a second car to be used for nipping around town or just for driving at the weekend for fun. It is not a practical car, so don’t get rid of your Volvo yet but it is fun and it is effective and, all in all I do like it (but don’t tell my
              husband).

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                13.02.2002 18:18
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                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 dr
                iven. 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.

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                  07.05.2001 18:36
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                  Ever heard the story of the Emperor's New Clothes? Well, when I purchased my 2001 Puma 1.7 I started to wonder if there wasn't an element of that old fable to be found in the hyperbole and all-round praise lavished on Ford's baby coupe. To be short, it's a very good car, but that final step towards being a truly great car isn't really there. Firstly, the impracticalities. Forget Ford's claim that the car seats four adults - three is a more realistic alternative. Furthermore the front seats can only go a certain distance forwards before the top of the seat hits the curvature of the roof despite there being more room on the runners. Think of it as being a pure 2+2 and you won't be disappointed. The boot is surprisingly large, but there is a high 'lift' over the rear bodywork to get anything in which rules out heavy paving slabs or the like. Furthermore the design of the boot lid means that standing water runs in if opened too quickly and the oval rear window coupled with the high rear end of the Puma hampers the driver with very poor rearwards visibility. However, if either of these bother you then frankly you probably aren't the sort of customer that Ford is targetting. Don't forget it's a sports coupe and a certain amount of impracticality goes with the terrority. None of the above really bothers me, and I have owned cars with only 2 seats and much worse practicality issues. Equally bad, but much more important, is the apparent impotence of the brakes in their front discs/rear drums setup. The brakes are progressive which is the perferred performance setup, but dangerously lack any final bite - they'll slow you OK, but that final bite to actually stop the car isn't quite there and an emergency stop will have to be followed with a massive second stamp on the pedal to avoid tapping into the back of someone else at walking pace. These brakes have later been replaced with discs all round
                  - I haven't driven one of these so can't comment. Anyway onto the drive... There's no doubt that the Puma does handle exceptionally well, assisted by PAS that is responsive but does remove a lot of feel from the road. There is perhaps more body roll than would be expected in a car of this type, but this never seems to affect the car's stance. It is certainly less affected by bumps mid-corner than my old XR2 was. Unfortunately, like that old Fessy, it is badly prone to tramlining when you meet recently repaired road. It's in cross-country travel that the Puma shows its trump cards. Although the 1700cc 16v Zetec is smooth, it's isn't staggeringly fast, and the smoothness of the engine and ride tends to insulate the driver from his speed. As a result, on my commute along a long stretch of B-road I find Beemers and the like catch me up (or leave me standing), but the corners really sort them out and you can make rapid progress through the bends totally effortlessly. Sit at speed behind a Beemer or similar and watch how much work they have to do to match your speed, compared with how little you really have to. This is the true brilliance of the Puma design. Unfortunately, fast cornering is made a trifle tricky by the cockpit layout. Firstly, Ford's bloody irritating habit of placing the rear view mirror a long way down the windscreen leaves a dangerous blind spot ahead of you and slightly to your left. Like many modern cars, the pillars are thick and wide enough on the Puma for another car to hide in, just ahead and to your right. This makes urban junctions more hazardous than they need to be. Motorway performance is surprisingly good for a car based on the humble Fiesta. Top speed is a claimed 126mph. The Zetec uses Variable Valve Timing to keep the valves open for longer at peak revs. This means that there isn't a dropoff in acceleration performance in 5th, and joining a motorway is a ple
                  asant surprise as the grunt available in 5th seems to match that available in 4th. It does seem prone to sidewinds unsettling it though. So, to sum up, an excellent cross-country car that, due to quietness and insulating PAS, doesn't quite deliver enough feedback to the driver to rely earn it's 'drivers tag' label. The engine is smooth and revvy if not quite as fast as one would expect. A few impracticalities of design range from unimportant (seats) to quite poor (brakes and visibility). I love the car, as it does have a lot of character and style and I can overlook most of the faults. Not as earth-shaking as some have said though. Would I recommend one though (he asked rhetorically). Yeah, I suppose I would. It has the marketing advantage of being sellable to enthusiastic drivers and to people who want a more stylish alternative to a Fiesta. If do you buy one though and live in an area with harsh winters do yourself a favour and get a replacement screw-on gearknob for the winter - the famous aluminium gearknob is absolutely horrible on a bitterly cold morning! There is a good egroups mailing list for the Puma. Try http://www.pumapeople.co.uk for a friendly, non-profit club.

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                    10.04.2001 02:33
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                    Get out of your kitchen and rattle those pots and pans! Sort out your best heavy metal C.D.s, and prepare to kick some serious butt, as the ride of your life, (outside the bedroom) is about to start. “Silver dream machine” That is a title of a song by David Essex, wrote about 25 years ago, long before this car was even a sparkle in its fathers eyes But this is sex on the road. A car to adore A sight to excite And all the other clichés in the world. FACTS. You don’t want to know these do you? All right then The 1.7, is no longer produced, only the 1.6. This is slightly inferior, but only slightly, and is about 2k cheaper than the 1.7 was. Available in 5 colours Radiant Red Melina Blue Panther Black Green (cant remember the name) Stardust Silver I like silver, as it is so sporty, but hard to touch up if you dare to scratch it. Metallic paint cost £250 extra. Air con £250 extra, if you have one without it, WHY? The re-sale value of your car without air con is about 500-1000 less. If the salesman did not tell you this, kick his butt and don’t buy a car there again. Electric windows standard Central locking standard Sun roof optional extra (not advised as it looks crap) Boot space OK for small shopping trip. Seats 4, but only 2 Adults comfortably, 2 medium kids at the most in the back. Fuel consumption, about 8 gallons, 220 miles full tank, so roughly 27 MPG. Don’t worry what government figures say, I have had 8 Pumas, and they all worked out to this on a trip up to Newcastle, which I made fairly regularly. Drive. Wow, stop me and buy one. This is where you come alive. Its like driving a go cart! It handles the road so well, it was made for the Pretty woman quote, “it handles like its on rails” And
                    it does. You can be a formula 1 driver, A poor man on a Ferrari, You can be anything your imagination lets you be. You can pick up an R reg Puma for around £7K, and I suggest that you do. Shot through the heart, and your to blame Get out the way, Bloody Sunday driver Toot toot Yeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaa Angus

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                      14.01.2001 03:09
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                      The Puma 1.4 holds her own against similarly sized cars. The engine is quiet - very quiet. The 16v Zetec had me stalling a few times on the run home from the garage, but given half a chance, the Puma started to live up to it’s expectations. Absolutely stunning looks, a very smooth ride and stylish interior complete with climate control and CD player. The handling is superb, acceleration not bad, and the sports shift gear box gives the overall feel that you’re driving a very well built car. The only aspects of the Puma that let the side down are the rear passengers area and visibility. I wouldn’t even contemplate attempting a reverse park in this baby, there’s practically zero visibility when reversing. But those two defects aside, the Puma is a top notch automobile.

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                        29.07.2000 00:28

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                        I have owned a Ford Puma for just over a year. It was my first brand new car purchase, why? Because it seamed so right. It has the looks the performance and the equipment and yet it is still reasonably affordable. The image with the TV advertisement really helped, but it was justified the finish of the car was very good the only points that are negative are, that when it rains and the boot is opened the rain has a tendency to over run the channels and drip in the boot. The other slight niggle is that if the headrests are extended and the front seats are moved to allow rear access then they catch the roof. Not bad eh? After over a year of motoring in the Puma these are the only two things the rest is impressive the handling is something else and can quite simply out handle cars worth twice as much. Pound for pound the Puma is unbeatable.

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                        06.07.2000 23:50
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                        Ford decided to make the Racing Puma a limited run, specialist car for a few people who put driver enjoyment and involvement at the top of their list. Many people may not understand why, but I can assure you, I put this factor above just about everything else. Of course, to achieve such a goal, IMHO the car must have certain attributes: * Quick, well weighted, steering (with plenty of feel) * Good chassis, suspension and composure - over most surfaces * Good, slick gearbox - with well spaced ratios * Powerful, reassuring, brakes - to stop time after time - without a hint of fade * Reasonable pace - in gear acceleration rather than shattering 0-60 or top speed is more important to me Other attributes such as looks, cost, quality etc. do play an important part in the decision making process, too, but a car for me is more than just a means of getting from a-to-b: its /how/ you get there that is the important part. When choosing cars to replace my much-loved Puma, I drove numerous cars - some just for fun - and some as a serious alternative. I had originally discounted the FRP as being far too expensive for what it offered: At £23,000 I wanted 200+ bhp (Scooby Turbo). However, as time went on from October (1999) through to the new year, road test reports began to flood onto the scene with amazing reviews for the Racing Puma. My sights were all-but-set on the Honda Integra Type R - that is, until the FRP was rated a superior machine in a few, trusted, magazines. So, my heart began to settle on the Racing Puma - but I was still not prepared to spend £23,000 on it. I looked at the Fiat Coupe, Audi TT (dreamed about the Boxter), Alfa GTV and so on. Still, none of these cars truly left me breathless with desire when I walked away from them. Then a few friends - that also owned Puma's - said
                        that they were getting Racing Puma's and I turned green with jealousy. I walked into my dealer, looked at the finance packages available (after adding up how much it would cost to get my Puma to FRP spec) and temptation gave into desire. I had never driven a Racing Puma (FRP) - nor sat in it outside the Motor Show, but I knew I just had to have it. The sensible part of me says to just wait a year or so and get a second hand one... but when has being sensible ever been fun?! On April 29th I picked it up, added a monster security system and a few other personalised items and started to find - or should I say try to find - the limits of the car. I cracked 140 mph on the way to Le Mans, hit 60 easily within 7 seconds and took corners faster, more accurately, than I had ever thought possible: more so than even the mighty Elise! Every time from the moment I have picked the car up to this day - teething problems and all - has there been a time where I have not emerged from the car with a big grin on my face, with a sense of true appreciation and satisfaction. The experience is so addictive: After 15 hours spent on the road on the way to Le Mans, I just could not wait to get behind the wheel again the next day. I do not feel that it is safe to try and exploit the full potential of the car on public roads which is why, in 2 weeks time, I will be taking her to Silverstone to try and find a chink in her armour.... .....I think I'll come away disappointed - not being able to find one - but all the more satisfied that I made the right decision. You can keep you form-over-function TT's and your I-burn-a-litre-of-oil-a-month Integra Type R's, the Racing Puma is for me and anyone who disagrees, well, I was only voicing my opinion, after all ;) ------------------------------
                        --------------- (19.09.01) After more than a year of ownership, my initial enthusiasm (just look above!) hasn't diminished whatsoever! To date, the car has covered more than 25,000 painless miles of all types - including many track days - which I just can't get enough of. Be it on the road or track this car is at home and will reward in equal measure. One point worth mentioning is that these cars are amazing value second hand - some good examples (considering that all owners cherish these cars) going for £16 - 18 grand! If nothing else, try to find one and take it for a test drive down your favourite stretch of road....

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                          06.07.2000 22:38
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                          Got my puma back in January 1999, couldnt wait to get it, and as soon as i got behind the wheel I was smitten. I was particularly impressed with the level of equipment forethe price, air conditioning, power adjustment on the drivers seat, heated front windscreen, power mirrors, traction control, abs, great looks and nice inside trim multi play cd(that was an option but i got it free due to late delivery). The first few months saw a few problems with rattles and loose trim, and the discovery of the downside of owning fords baby coupe, you have to have it serviced by Ford dealers and not all are any good!, I finally gave up trying to get them to cure the rattles and had ago myself and what would you know, all sorted with a week of evening fiddling. Once all the rattles were out of the way I have been able to get down to the fun business of racing around in the car, and in my opinion it must be one of the best handling cars on the road (and I have tried a fair few), very hard to make it skid/slide and it turns on a sixpence which has got me out of trouble more than once, performance is strong too especially considering it is only a 1,7 the VCT (Variable can timing) does a great job of making it drivable throughout the rev range, the only let down is the brakes which are ok but no great acheivment, they have scared me a few times and wore out after 16k pads at 8k, i am replacing them with Tar OX pads+discs (cheaper than the standard "fiesta bits" and much better so i have been told). All in all I would recomend it to any one who enjoys spirited driving, the only car in this range I would buy to replace it is the 23K racing Puma (enough said). Hope this helps any prospective driver's. Ps, dont buy in the UK import opne from abroad it is about 4K cheaper, and for more info check out this web site run by Jason Aspinal who runs Puma Peopl a forum for 300 of us puma owners.http://go.to/tech-info

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                          06.07.2000 22:25
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                          The Puma is an excellent blend of performance, looks and easy affordability. It looks sexy and sporty, and handles like a dream, with a lovely throaty engine roar, it sounds superb. It is cheap to run, being based on the Fiesta, and all the early build problems appear to have been sorted out on the newer models. I had an original Puma from new Aug 97, and enjoyed over two years of fun motoring in it, and as there was nothing to beat it for price looks and performance i bought a 2nd one to replace it, and it still has me hooked. Imports are now becoming commonplace for Pumas with average savings of around £4000, and are making them even more affordable. Take the Puma for a spin, and enjoy the feeling as it races away, take corners at speed and feel completely safe as it grips the road like glue, whether the drive is for getting from A to B or just for sheer pleasure (which becomes a habit as most Puma owners will tell you) the journey will see you arrive with a grin on your face a mile wide!! if in any doubt at all about buying a Puma, ask someone who owns one, test drive one and you will be smitten

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