Ford Focus ST review

 

 PROS

  • Entertaining to drive
  • Spacious rear seats
  • Plenty of standard equipment

 CONS

  • Rivals are faster...
  • ...and cheaper
  • Interior quality a disappointment

Is the Ford Focus ST any good?

If you’re talking hot hatches, you’ll probably soon start discussing products with a blue oval on their nose. That’s because the Ford Focus ST is the latest in a long line of pumped-up hatches from the brand and one of the most potent. Opt for the 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine and you get 280hp and a 0-62mph time of less than 6.0 seconds.

It’s not quite as fast as some rivals, but it’s certainly more practical with oodles of rear seat space, a perfectly usable boot and five doors. If you want even more practicality there’s a versatile estate version and even a diesel for those with an eye on fuel economy.

The regular line-up was joined by an even more focused Edition version late in 2021. This runout model ahead of a major facelift in 2022 gains lighter alloy wheels, uprated suspension and a distinctive shade of blue paint to differentiate it from lesser versions.

The ST doesn’t have an easy time of things, though. It faces stiff competition from the Renaultsport Megane, Volkswagen Golf GTI, BMW 128ti and our current favourite, the Toyota GR Yaris.

2021 Ford Focus ST seats

What’s it like inside?

The scene is set by a pair of part-leather clad Recaro sports seats with six-way power adjustment and a heated ST-specific steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather. The seats hold you tightly in place around corners yet provide good comfort as well, while the heating elements are almost too effective on their hottest setting.

A part-metal gearlever, some contrast stitching and ST branded floormats finish off the sporty makeover and there’s plenty of equipment including dual-zone climate control and a B&O stereo. Infotainment is taken care of by the same touchscreen infotainment system that proves easy to navigate if a bit basic-looking.

 2021 Ford Focus ST dash

A digital driver’s display is standard, but isn’t as customisable as the screen in a Golf GTI although the addition of a head up display is a nice touch. It’s easy to read and projects your speed and other information clearly into your line of sight.

The rest of the interior is familiar Focus, with quality proving passable but by no means opulent and plenty of space for passengers. Those in the back get more leg room than in a Golf GTI and certainly a GR Yaris, and the boot isn’t bad, either. If you want more information about the interior, infotainment and practicality, take a look at our main Ford Focus review.

2021 Ford Focus ST rear cornering

What’s it like to drive?

Two engines are on offer, a 2.3-litre petrol with 280hp and a 2.0-litre diesel with a far tamer 190hp. The former sprints from 0-62mpg in 5.7 seconds with a six-speed manual or 6.0 seconds dead with the optional seven-speed automatic gearbox. The latter takes a yawning 7.6 seconds and is only available with the manual.

We’d recommend sticking to the six-speed manual as the automatic isn’t as sharp as those found in the Golf GTI and Cupra Leon. Besides, the manual ‘box is enjoyable to use and helps you get the most out of the potent petrol engine. Sure, you can leave the engine in a high gear and feel it pull happily from less than 1500rpm, but it does its best work over 3000rpm. 

Yes, there are rivals that feel faster still, but it’s unlikely you’ll feel short changed by the way it pushes you into your seat. The noise is a bit disappointing, even with the sports exhausts popping and banging in the sportier modes.

The diesel is certainly the more economical option and has plenty of shove from low revs, but it doesn’t really feel all that fast and doesn’t allow you to make the most of the car’s agile handling. This option is due to be dropped with the introduction of the updated 2022 Focus.

The ST is great fun to drive, combining taut body control, sharp steering response and plenty of grip – all while maintaining a comfortable ride quality. The 2.3-litre petrol gets a limited slip differential as standard which boosts traction especially when exiting corners. It helps really pin the nose to the road so you can make the most of the power. It does mean the steering wheel writhes in your hands a little when you accelerate, but it’s easily controlled.

2021 Ford Focus ST front

You don’t have to drive very far in the ST before you find yourself building a rhythm down your favourite road, as a result. Think of the ST as more of a Volkswagen Golf Clubsport rival, rather than a Golf GTI– a performance hatchback that’s a little more focused on agility and grip than everyday comfort. It’s certainly more playful than both, tucking its nose into bends more keenly and proving happier to slide its tail if you like that sort of thing. A Megane RS is even more of a hooligan, though.

Performance Pack models add adaptive suspension that gets stiffer as you move from Normal to Sport then Track drive mode, giving even more breadth to the ST’s abilities. It’s certainly comfier in Normal mode although Track is too firm for the road. We also appreciated the rev matching function which makes for smoother shifts when selecting a lower gear.

There’s also a Focus ST Edition which you can tell by its unique black lightweight alloy wheels and distinctive light blue paint with a black roof. You also get motorsport-style coilover suspension that’s lower and stiffer. You can adjust it if you’ve got a set of spanners, but the standard settings provide a great compromise.

It’s certainly firmer than a normal ST, yet the uprated suspension controls body movements exceptionally well even on truly awful roads. It also makes the ST feel even more agile and entertaining and the expense of a little everyday comfort. If you’re a keen driver, it’s the one to have.

2021 Ford Focus ST rear

Should you buy one?

If driving thrills are at the top of your list of priorities but you still need a thoroughly practical car, the Ford Focus ST is well worth a look. It’s far more spacious than the GR Yaris and beats even the Golf GTI and Megane RS for rear seat space.

However, the Golf is a little classier inside, the Megane even more exciting to drive and the Yaris the ultimate hot hatch if space isn’t a concern.

What we like

The Focus’ agile handling and crisp manual gearbox make it a joy to drive, while the suspension is soft enough for day to day use if you avoid Edition models. Plentiful rear seat space and plenty of standard equipment also appeal.

What we don't like

All versions are rather pricey and the interior feels a bit low-rent especially compared to premium-badged rivals like the BMW 128ti.

(https://www.parkers.co.uk/ford/focus/st/review/)

New Ford Mustang Mach-E GT 2021 review

With 480bhp and a 310-mile range, does the new Ford Mustang Mach-E GT offers the perfect blend of performance and practicality? We find out...

 Verdict

The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT proves that EVs can be engaging – to an extent. The performance is a given, but the sharp steering and extra agility in Untamed mode help the GT’s case. However, the mass means this is only true up to a point, although the practicality on refinement on offer, mixed with genuinely usable range and respectable charging, make the GT a solid flagship for Ford’s first bespoke electric model line and a good electric SUV.

Ford has long been known for taking its run of the mill family cars and souping them up into something special. This is the fast Ford recipe, so it’s no surprise that the Blue Oval is taking a similar approach in the age of electrification, and the Mustang Mach-E GT is its first hot EV.

The strength of the Mustang nameplate means that a performance variant should sit naturally here, so the Mach-E GT boasts more power and torque, offering 480bhp and 860Nm respectively. It’s dual-motor powertrain gives strong traction off the line for a 3.7-second 0-62mph time, meaning it’s easily a match for the Tesla Model Y Performance.

On the move it feels it. As with many performance-focused electric cars, the throttle pedal’s map means you get a massive hit of torque with only a little travel and instant response to your inputs, so the GT romps forwards with an incredible urgency.

There are caveats, however. As long as you have the Mustang’s mass moving the response is good; this big EV’s relatively high kerbweight, at 2,273kg, means from a standstill it takes a little coaxing, while the thump also tails off at higher speeds. But at anything from town to motorway velocity, the Mach-E GT is more than rapid enough.

The enhanced powertrain is joined by some chassis upgrades in the form of Ford’s MagnaRide 2 adaptive suspension set-up, while 385mm Brembo brakes help stop the bulky machine and rein in its extra performance – but these additions have also been tuned with fun in mind, Ford claims.

Ultimately, that high weight means that the Mach-E GT is compromised; its straight-line punch is startling, but nothing we haven’t seen before from the likes of Tesla, while, despite the chassis tweaks, its mass is still obviously apparent in corners as you start to push the GT harder.

The steering is positive though, with a nice, fast response and relatively good grip, but it’s never truly engaging like the best fast Fords from history have been. You can feel some lethargy in quick direction changes, but it’s still not too bad for a big, battery powered SUV, and we should credit Ford with trying to inject some interest for keen drivers. In areas it has been successful.

 
There are Whisper, Active, Untamed and Untamed Plus driving modes to choose from that subtly change the car’s character from a greater focus on refinement to a greater focus on fun, altering the car’s torque delivery and chassis settings.

You notice the difference as the latter offers an extra edge of adjustability that deserts some of its EV rivals, tightening its line noticeably on the exit of bends as you apply the power. Untamed Plus also preps the drivetrain for repeated high-power deployment. Exploit this punch frequently though, and you’ll not get near the claimed 310-mile range on a full charge. The GT is powered by a 98.7kWh battery, of which 88kWh is usable, while 150kW rapid charging capability means a 10 to 80 per cent top-up takes 45 minutes.

 You can gain more energy back by utilising the GT’s one-pedal regenerative brake setting, and it’s best to use this tech and some anticipation to slow the car, because while those Brembo brakes have enough power, even given the mass they have to stop, the pedal isn’t progressive, and the set-up feels grabby. It means it’s not always easy to make smooth progress, which is at odds with the power delivery.
  
Drop the GT back into Whisper mode and refinement is improved, making this sportiest Mach-E yet a sound cruiser on the smooth tarmac of our Croatian test route.

The chassis is just compliant enough, with enough suspension travel to soak up smoother, more flowing bumps sweetly. However, riding on 20-inch wheels the worst imperfections in the road surface do cause a shudder, and the firmer set-up to control the Mustang’s mass and deliver an engaging edge means that it does feel stiff at times.

Along with the standard-fit alloys, the GT also features more bespoke trim, including Ford Performance seats with extra bolstering to deal with the higher cornering forces. There are also body-coloured wheel arches, redesigned bumpers bespoke to the GT, a 3D-effect grille in grey, and two new body colours – Cyber Orange and Grabber Blue.

Of course, the interior is still dominated by the central 15.5-inch Tesla-style touchscreen, which features Ford’s SYNC4 infotainment with connected nav. It’s an intuitive system to use and responds quickly, although with nowhere to anchor your hand it’s not always the easiest to use on the move. The letterbox-style 10.2-inch digital display behind the steering wheel is delightfully simple and easy to read, though.

GT spec inherits the Mach-E AWD Extended Range’s list of standard kit, so wireless phone charging, adaptive cruise with lane centring, all-round parking sensors and a 360-degree camera, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and a heated steering wheel, adaptive LED headlights and plenty of safety kit are all fitted. But then you’d expect as much given the price.

The tech is fine, but the £65,080 Mustang Mach-E GT could offer some higher quality materials in places compared with similarly priced premium rivals, such as the Jaguar I-Pace.

There’s also a hands-free powered tailgate, which reveals a 402-litre boot. Practicality is boosted by the 100-litre ‘frunk’ (great for storing charging cables), while room in the rear is fine despite the Mach-E’s slightly swoopier coupe-like profile, which the GT’s bespoke styling elements enhance to good effect.

(https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/ford/mustang-mach-e/356340/new-ford-mustang-mach-e-gt-2021-review)

New Ford Tourneo Connect

Today, Ford showed the public a new generation of the Tourneo Connect model, developed in collaboration with Volkswagen.

This is therefore the result of a collaboration between Ford and Volkswagen, with the new Tourneo Connect based on the latest generation of Volkswagen's Caddy model, which otherwise uses the MQB platform.

Certain differences of course exist, so the Ford Tourneo Connect got different LED headlights, modified bumpers and of course a mask with the Ford logo compared to its brother from Volkswagen.

The range will include versions with Active, Sport, Titanium and Trend equipment packages, and there will be versions with different wheelbases and up to seven seats. The short variant is 450 cm long and has a wheelbase of 275 cm, while the extended Tourneo Connect is 485 cm long and has a wheelbase of 297 cm.

As for the rest, the emphasis here is on a large luggage space and excellent variability. Among other things, there is an infotainment system (with 8.25 or 10.0-inch screen), a digital instrument panel of 10.25 inches (with the Sport version standard with others at an additional cost), as well as numerous safety 
The range includes a 1.5-liter petrol engine with 114HP and 220 Nm, as well as diesels with 112HP and 280 Nm and 122HP and 320 Nm, respectively.

Mention is also made of the 6-speed manual and 7-speed DSG gearbox, as well as the optional all-wheel drive for 122hp diesels.

Ford Fiesta Active review

 

With a strong driving experience and trendy SUV styling, the Fiesta Active has a lot to recommend it – but the standard car is cheaper

 The SUV boom shows few signs of stopping any time soon, and manufacturers have tried to cash in as much as possible. Ford not only sells ‘proper’ SUVs like the Kuga, but also jacked-up Active versions of the Fiesta, Focus and Tourneo Connect (plus, previously, the KA+ city car).

The Ford Fiesta Active brings a slightly higher ride height than the standard Fiesta, not to mention roof rails and cladding around the wheel arches to make it look tougher. In pretty much all other respects, it’s the same as the standard Fiesta and features the same qualities.

About the Ford Fiesta Active

It’s another option to consider if you’re after a small SUV like the SEAT Arona, Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and the Citroen C3 Aircross – though it’s slightly smaller than all these models. Ford also sells two small SUVs of its own: the EcoSport and the big-selling Puma.

Good things, though, often come in small packages, and that’s true of the Fiesta Active. Because despite having a ride height that’s 18mm taller than the Fiesta on which it’s based, the Active has had its track widened by 10mm. This translates into a planted feel on the road, fun cornering and a car that’s generally true to the Fiesta’s ethos. All in all, it’s an appealing and likeable small SUV.

The Fiesta Active has two trim levels: the Active Edition and Active X Edition. If you’re familiar with the standard Fiesta range, Active Edition is based on Titanium and features sat nav and cruise control, but adds some extra (mostly aesthetic) trinkets. Active X, like Titanium X, has more equipment by way of keyless entry and a B&O sound system.

In terms of engine choice, you’re limited to three power outputs of a 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. Versions with 123 or 153bhp come with mild-hybrid technology to reduce fuel consumption, and the former is also available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic alongside the standard-fit six-speed manual. On Active Edition models, you can also choose a non-hybrid 99bhp version of the engine.

Both the Ford Fiesta and SUVs are incredibly popular, so combining the two to make the Ford Fiesta Active must have seemed like a no-brainer for Ford. The company expects 15 per cent of the Fiestas it sells to be the Active variant, after all. But while some may have feared a taller Fiesta would lose the handling finesse Ford’s evergreen supermini has long been known for, in truth, the Fiesta Active is similarly enjoyable to drive. 

It is, to be fair, more expensive than a standard Fiesta, but the Active gets a plusher entry-level trim, so this isn’t felt quite as keenly as it might be. There’s room for five adults (at a push) inside, while the Fiesta Active gets the same well-designed cabin and up-to-date eight-inch Sync 3 infotainment system as the standard Fiesta. As a bridge between supermini and full-on small SUV, with the impressive qualities of the Ford Fiesta thrown-in, it makes a lot of sense.

Engines, performance and drive

 Agile, competent and above all fun, the Fiesta Active is a welcome addition the growing band of supermini-based SUVs

The battle car companies face when designing SUVs is that if they make a taller car, they tend to raise its centre of gravity. This, in turn, will lead to more body roll when cornering, which is an enemy of a fun driving experience – something that wouldn’t bode well with the Fiesta’s reputation.  

Ford must have been well aware of this when designing the Active, so while the car has rugged plastic wheel arches, roof rails and more sturdy-looking bumpers, it actually rides just 18mm taller than the Fiesta hatch. To further minimise the impact an SUV stance might otherwise have and to compensate for the slightly taller frame, the Active’s track has been widened by 10mm.

These design elements are worth knowing, because they mean that if you’ve driven the standard Fiesta, the Active doesn’t deviate too much from that car’s impressive handling characteristics. There is a fraction more body lean when cornering, but nowhere near enough to dent the Active’s overall handling prowess. It also has an almost identical – albeit marginally higher – driving position to the Fiesta, plus the same snickety gearbox and sharp steering. 

All models come with what Ford terms “rough road suspension” and a driving mode selector with Eco, Normal and Slippery settings. It’s unlikely the Fiesta Active will get you hugely far off the beaten track, but the slightly raised stance should make taking it into a field, for example, less nerve-racking than it would be in a conventional supermini. The car’s underside will also be that little bit further out of harm’s way when negotiating urban obstacles like speed humps and kerbs. 

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

Ford only offers the Active with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, although a 1.5-litre diesel was available early in the car’s life. The petrol currently comes in 99, 123 and 153bhp formats.

Choose one of the EcoBoost petrols and you’ll be getting an eager powerplant. The slightly gruff nature intrinsic to three-cylinder engines gives the EcoBoost a pleasing amount of character when accelerating, but once on a cruise it’s a hushed companion, and an all-round solid performer. Note the least powerful petrol isn’t available with the better-equipped trim.

Performance, naturally, varies depending on which EcoBoost configuration you choose. The 99bhp version takes 10.8 seconds to go from 0-62mph, the 123bhp version shrinks this to around 9.5 seconds, while the 153bhp engine does the same in 8.9 seconds. We’d argue the 123bhp unit is the one to go for though: it’s swift enough for most needs, and you can have fun wringing out its power, while staying on the right side of the law. A sweet-changing six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the range, with a six-speed auto offered as an option, but only with the 123bhp petrol engine.

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

 The Fiesta Active is slightly less economical than its hatchback sibling, but it should still be a cheap car to run

Remember those compromises we mentioned earlier about SUVs being less agile than more established body styles? The same theory applies to economy. Add size and you reduce efficiency – partly due to extra weight, and partly due to a taller car being less aerodynamic. 

 
Fortunately, because the Fiesta Active is only slightly larger than the Fiesta, and only weighs an extra 100kg or so, its efficiency losses are pretty minimal.

Specify your Active with the 1.0-litre petrol engine and official economy sticks around the mid-50s, with the 123 and 153bhp mild-hybrid engines returning 56-57mpg, and the 99bhp version managing 53.3mpg.

The Active stands up pretty well to the competition where economy is concerned, too. The SEAT Arona officially manages 52.3mpg with the base 94bhp petrol engine, but the 148bhp engine with an automatic gearbox offers an MPG figure in the mid-40s.

As far as road tax is concerned, you’ll pay £145 for the mild-hybrid engines and £155 for the 99bhp petrol engine once the car’s a year old. The first year’s tax is wrapped up in the cost of the car.

Insurance

Insurance for your Ford Fiesta Active should be cheap enough. The Active starts in group 10 out of 50, while the 123bhp engine sits in group 15 and you’re looking at group 17 for the 153bhp unit - regardless of the trim level you choose. Cover shouldn’t be expensive, either way, and should be slightly cheaper than it would be with the SEAT Arona, which sits in groups 8 to 18. 

If cheap insurance is the goal, though, bear in mind choosing a Fiesta hatchback instead of the Active will get you more affordable cover: the Fiesta Trend sits in group 4 – though only if you specify it with the unenthusiastic 74bhp petrol engine.

Depreciation

Our experts predict the Fiesta Active will retain an average of 42.56 per cent of its value after three years and 36,000 miles, which is roughly the same as the standard, Fiesta. Our choice, the B&O Play model with the 99bhp EcoBoost engine, should hold onto 36.5 per cent of its value, while the 118bhp and 138bhp petrols will be more resistant to depreciation - though they’ll cost you more to buy in the first place.

Interior, design and technology

 The Fiesta Active features the same interior design as the Fiesta hatch, so it’s up to date and ergonomically sound

When the new Fiesta launched in 2017, its new interior put criticism of the outgoing model’s button-heavy cabin to rest – so it’s no surprise Ford has stuck with the same layout for the Active model. 

The driving position, naturally, is ever so slightly higher than it is in the standard Fiesta, but your feet and arms adopt an almost identical position, and you’d be hard pushed to tell much of a difference between the two cars from behind the wheel. This is a good thing, though, as it means the gearlever is where you instinctively reach for it and feels satisfyingly chunky, the steering wheel sits comfortably in your hands, and the pedal box can accommodate even larger feet.

Interior quality is decent enough. The Volkswagen Polo feels plusher, sure, but in general the Fiesta Active acquits itself well. Unique upholstery patterns help it stand out from the crowd. As is common in the supermini class, lower down in the dashboard there are scratchy plastics, but higher up things are more pleasant, and softer to the touch.

The range starts with the Fiesta Active Edition. This includes a leather steering wheel, keyless start, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, rear parking sensors and a range of online features through the FordPass Connect modem. For most buyers, we’d say this is the trim level to pick as it offers a generous level of standard equipment.

Top-spec Active X Edition cars add power-fold mirrors, part-leather seats, an upgraded climate control system, auto high-beam assist and a B&O sound system. Active X is a further £2,500 or so over the Active Edition though.

Individual options include an opening panoramic sunroof for £995 (note that this means you lose the roof rails), full LED headlights for £700, pop-out door-edge protectors for £100 (worth having) and a £300 winter package.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system may not be the best in the business but it still has a lot to recommend it. It features physical shortcut buttons at its left and right edges to easily bring up the radio volume, for example, while the central screen hosts large, easy-to-prod icons, and there are physical play/pause and skip buttons at the screen’s base. 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included in the Sync 3 system, as is a physical knob for the volume and power – no prodding at a screen for these functions. Helpfully, there’s also a button that turns the screen off without shutting the entire system down – useful if you’re travelling at night and want to avoid screen glare while you listen to the radio.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

 
The Fiesta Active is a pretty practical supermini-cum-SUV, but don’t go thinking it’s a commodious car

The latest Ford Fiesta has a more spacious cabin than its predecessor, and the Active continues to make the most of these gains. Although five adults will be a squash, this is true of most cars of a similar size, which tend not to be bought by drivers who regularly carry a full complement of passengers. 

Legroom, headroom and passenger space

As with similarly-sized cars, those in the rear of the Fiesta Active will be forced to adopt a relatively upright seating position, and front-seat occupants will have to be considerate of how far they have their seats forward if adults are behind them.

While the Fiesta Active makes a strong fist of the space its small dimensions provide, and young families should do well with it, if you want to maximise the amount of interior space your small car offers, look into the Honda Jazz– it’s the epitome of clever packaging.  

Boot 

At 311 litres with the rear seats up, boot space in the Fiesta Active is identical to the Fiesta hatch. Drop the seats in the Active and luggage space grows to 1,093 litres. These figures are reasonable, if nothing to write home about. The SEAT Arona, for comparison, offers 400 litres of luggage space with the rear seats up, while the Citroen C3 Aircross has 520 litres if you slide its rear seats forward. 

Towing

Ford will fit the Fiesta Active with a tow bar for £225 – though not in conjunction with the optional panoramic sunroof. So equipped, the Active will tow up to 1,000kg, and will do so most comfortably if you choose the 118bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine.

Reliability and Safety

 Ford offers a decent range of safety equipment with the Fiesta Active, though its warranty is only average

The Ford Fiesta was awarded the full five stars for safety by Euro NCAP, and this should apply to the Active variant. Adult occupant protection was rated at 87 per cent, child protection was similarly strong at 84 per cent, and safety assist was given 60 per cent.

 

Go for the Active X Edition model and you’ll get traffic sign recognition (helpful for sticking to the speed limit), auto-dipping headlights and fatigue detection. A £350 ‘Exclusive Pack’ adds this tech to the Active Edition, plus adaptive cruise control.

The Driver Assistance pack, meanwhile, bundles adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking (which operates at speeds up to 50mph), blind-spot detection, auto park assist and a reversing camera. It’s not cheap, costing £600 or £900 depending on trim level, but this kit is worth having. 

It seems a lot of Fiesta owners aren’t particularly enamoured with their cars, according to our 2021 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. Rated 68th in our list of the top 75 cars on sale, the Fiesta didn’t score that highly in any one area. The best score was for low running costs, but neither the engine or the Ford’s reliability impressed.

The results aren’t any better for the wider Ford brand, which flopped to a 25th-place finish out of 29 manufacturers.

Warranty 

Ford’s three-year, 60,000-mile warranty is average for the industry, A number of other manufacturers, including Toyota, Kia and Hyundai, offer longer, more generous policies.

Servicing

Ford’s fixed-price service plans come in a number of flavours. A basic two-year plan covering one service is £260, and high-mileage drivers can opt for a two-year/two-service policy for £500. A three-year/two service policy is £530.

(https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/ford/fiesta/active-suv)

2022 Ford Expedition

* Ford has renewed the current fourth generation of the Expedition model for the 2022 model year, and a Timberline version has been added to the offer

* Expedition Timberline is an off-road oriented version, so it has, among other things, increased ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles, protective elements, Goodyear Wrangler AT all-terrain tires, a new honeycomb mask and orange details

* The engine is a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with 440HP and 692 Nm of torque

* For the model year 2022, the Stealth Edition Performance Package is also ready, a sportier version with more aggressive styling (gloss black details, 22-inch black alloy wheels, red brake calipers), modified suspension and 440HP engine.

* 2022 Ford Expedition also gets Ford's BlueCruise autonomous highway driving system, as well as a SYNC 4 infotainment system with a 12.0-inch screen (a SYNC with a 15.5-inch screen is also available as an option)

* The refurbished Ford Expedition will go on sale from the first quarter of next year

Renovated Ford Fiesta

Ford will soon officially present the significantly renewed Fiesta, and until that happens, here are the first pictures.

Aesthetic changes include a different front grille, as well as tweaked LED lights and bumpers. In addition, some versions will get alu wheels of a new design and there is a wider range of colors.

Inside are a modern multimedia system and digital instrument panel.

Customers will continue to be offered the Mild hybrid version, along with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine with a 48-volt mild hybrid system.

The Fiesta Active also remains on offer, a (pro) off-road variant of the five-door Fiesta.

The Fiesta Active comes with increased ground clearance and a wider wheelbase compared to the regular Fiesta, as well as a modified suspension, several driving modes, alloy wheels, additional protective elements on the exterior, trimmed bumpers and roof racks. For the interior, among other things, aluminum details and sports seats with contrasting seams are provided.

All-wheel drive, however, is not available.

In the end, the sports Fiesta ST will still be in the range.

The ST package also includes an aero body kit (modified bumpers, sill set, rear diffuser, rear roof spoiler ...), honeycomb front grille, red ST markings, alloy wheels, modified suspension, sports exhaust system, stronger brakes and a sporty interior with a new seats, sports pedals and a leather steering wheel with a flattened lower part.

Also, there is, among other things, a touch screen, voice commands, Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto, and there are also numerous safety and driver assistance systems on offer.

Under the hood is a three-cylinder turbo gasoline, while more details follow after the official promotion.

The electric Ford Explorer arrives in 2023

From an American point of view, the Ford Explorer is one of the most prestigious models in the company's long history. It was this model that started the whole trend of affordable SUVs in the early 1990s, and then forced the competition to follow in the same footsteps. This brought him great fame as a pioneer, but at the same time criticism of all those who are dissatisfied with the fact that such vehicles have completely retired passenger cars.

In any case, the Explorer is still extremely popular today "across the pond" and 226,217 copies were delivered last year. That was enough to keep the position of a bestseller in the class, and the success was achieved thanks to the rich offer. In addition to the base model with a 2.3-liter turbo engine, this SUV is also available in the ST edition with 400 "heads", then as a hybrid (in versions with 318 and 444 "horsepower") and finally a plug-in hybrid.


According to the American media, they will soon be joined by the electric version, which should arrive in showrooms by 2023. Ford previously announced that 40% of the company's offer will be on electricity in the domestic market, by the end of this decade, while in the same period in Europe it will sell only such vehicles.

After receiving over 120,000 orders for the F-150 Lightning electric model in just a few months, the decision to expand the offering to Explorer was clearly not a difficult one either. Colleagues from the editorial office of the specialized newspaper Automotive News say that "close sources" told them that the factory in Mexico was recently informed that it would undergo a major modernization in order to meet the production of another model.


It already produces the Mustang Mach E, so this news is somewhat interesting, since the Explorer on petrol is coming off the production lines of that factory in Chicago. This could be one of the few cases where Ford's two versions of the same model don't share the factory, so the question quickly arose as to how much of an electric Explorer it actually would be.

A few months ago, the American vehicle manufacturer announced that it is currently developing a new platform called GE2 that will run the next generation of the said Mach E model, then electric editions of Transit and Transit Connect, then Bronco and a medium-sized pickup truck that everyone assumes is designed as Ranger. So far there has been no talk of the Explorer, but it has always been speculated that such a popular model must certainly exist on electricity, if Ford really wants to achieve all the set goals.


In addition to all the models mentioned, the company is also developing a new TE1 platform for those larger trucks and SUVs such as the aforementioned F-150 Lightning, Expedition and the luxury Lincoln Navigator.

There is no more information on the electric Explorer, and we can assume it will offer powered by several motors and batteries to choose from. As we know, Ford has given up passenger vehicles in order to concentrate on these four-wheelers, so it has no right to make a mistake with its second best-selling model.

Ford Kuga SUV review: PHEV and diesel versions driven

They say to understand where you’re going you need to know where you came from, but so stark is the contrast between this third-generation Ford Kuga and the Blue Oval’s first European mid-sized SUV – the developed-with-Nissan Maverick of 1993 – that the scholastic learning is worthy of a Masters dissertation in crossover evolution.

In fact, it’s quite the leap from its immediate eight-year-old predecessor, having grown (89mm longer, 44mm wider), yet become more lithe (6mm lower, up to 80kg lighter) in the process.

Doesn’t it look, you know, very Focusy?
As with both previous iterations of Kuga, the Mk3 shares its platform componentry with the contemporary Focus, but this time around the styling closely apes its hatchback sibling. Perhaps too much so.

Lucid Red 2020 Ford Kuga ST-Line First Edition PHEV side elevation driving

It looks softer, less aggressive, with a lower window and bonnet line than before, giving the impression that it is a Focus that’s been stretched vertically – there’s a fine amount of headroom, incidentally.

Plus, if you opt for an ST-Line or Vignale trim level – this is an ST-Line First Edition in the pictures – there’s so much colour-coding going on that the Kuga loses some of the visual toughness associated with unpainted plastic bumper mouldings and wheelarches. You’ll have to stick to the lower end of the range if you favour those cues. Or buy a Focus Active…

How’re those Focus underpinnings working out?
Very nicely. We’ve previously lauded Kugas for their handling prowess among others in a segment where it’s previously been high on the R&D wish list. Certainly, while the competition’s caught up considerably, the latest Kuga still noses ahead.

It’s not quite the zesty class leader the latest Ford Puma is in the category below, but we’d go as far as to say that the Mk3 Kuga is a better drive than many Focus hatchback derivatives.

Sorry, I nearly sprayed my tea everywhere – better than a Focus?
Absolutely – don’t forget the majority of the Focus line-up makes do with a less-sophisticated torsion beam arrangement out back, whereas all Kugas benefit from all-round independent suspension.

Lucid Red 2020 Ford Kuga ST-Line First Edition PHEV front three-quarter driving

In short, not only does the Kuga feel superbly composed when tackling a series of sweeping bends – aided and abetted by feelsome, if a tad light, steering – body control is well-contained, too, ensuring it doesn’t list around corners like a vessel on the Solent.

Ride quality is the other beneficiary of the trick suspension, although it’s slightly compromised by the firmer damping arrangement on ST-Line models with their Sports set-ups. Still, the 60-profile rubber further irons-out the sharpness of most road surface imperfections.

What’s new on the engine front, then?
It’s a blend of EcoBoost petrol and EcoBlue diesel powerplants familiar from across the Ford line-up, with all but the pokiest 188bhp oil burner available solely with front-wheel drive. If you’re considering using a Kuga where the asphalt runs out, you’re off-roading wrong.

More importantly, Ford’s finally getting its act together in terms of electrification: there’s an EcoBlue mild-hybrid with a 48-volt system, plus the plug-in hybrid range-topper tested here. There’s also a non-plug-in version of the same package.

Unlike rivals’ PHEV offerings where a tiny turbo petrol motor’s used, Ford’s plumped for a 2.5-litre four-pot operating on the more efficient Atkinson cycle. Rather than the electrical powertrain components simply being added to the engine as a bolt-on, here the two work as a package: the electrical energy is used to compensate for the lack of a forced induction system at lower revs, with the engine joining in when it can do so efficiently.

Together the power units produce 222bhp, with the electric motor accounting for 108bhp of that, confirming the unstressed nature of the engine. Ford claims over 200mpg under the latest, more rigorous WLTP testing regime, but once you’ve sapped the batteries, a figure closer to 40mpg is more likely in the real world.

Various driving models are on offer, as well as the ability to store electrical energy ready for driving in a ULEZ area. Officially, the 14.4kWh battery pack will serve up to 35 miles of zero-emissions driving and should only take around three hours to charge on a dedicated wallbox.

It’s brisk, rather than quick – the 188bhp diesel Kuga’s faster, stat fans – but at 32g/km of CO2 this one’s going to have user choosers drooling in a way Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV simply doesn’t.

Channelling that grunt to the forward axle is a Ford-developed CVT transmission, with artificial ratios within its software to mimic a more conventional automatic. It works to a degree, but it still causes the engine to work harder at lower speeds, which sounds loud and gruff in the process.

How easy is the Kuga to live with?
In typical Ford fashion: very. That it’s a Focus facsimile inside – albeit roomier – is not a shock, so it’s very easy to use, if not the most exciting dashboard to look at. Acres of black plastic and fabric doesn’t help give it much sparkle, either.

More importantly, it’s riddled with cubbies and sensibly shaped mouldings to keep all manner of cabin detritus located securely. Plus, there’s a smattering of USB points, an optional three-pin domestic plug socket and an available smartphone wireless charging plate with its own rubberised well.

Lucid Red 2020 Ford Kuga ST-Line First Edition PHEV dashboard viewed from passenger side

Back seat occupants are especially well catered for in what Ford claims to be the roomiest C-segment SUV for those in the rear. It feels spacious, even on models without a glazed roof, a feat improved further by a sliding 60:40 split rear bench that also reclines.

Boot space is also generous, but the flimsy, fabric loadspace cover – which completely lifts out of the way when the tailgate’s open – smacks of requiring a Heath-Robinson trademark label.

Packed with tech
Whether it’s technology to keep you safer on the roads, such as the various driver-assistance systems that contributed to the Kuga’s five-star EuroNCAP rating, or it’s a slicker, higher resolution edition of the Sync 3 multimedia touchscreen with colours that at last don’t look like they’ve been through a boil wash, most versions are well kitted-out.

Titanium versions upwards feature a generous equipment roster, but we’d especially pick out the quad-projector LED headlamps as an extra worthy of serious consideration.

ST-Line models and higher also have a very slick 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that’s configurable and changes colour depending on the driving mode. Most also include an icon of the rear of a Mondeo – well, Fusion, really – but Sport is illustrated by a Mustang GT and Sand/Snow with an F-150 pick-up. Neat touch.

Don't forget the mild hybrid!
As Ford ups its electric game – even unveiling an EV version of its F-150 pick-up in the US – it’s easy to overlook the modest-sounding mild-hybrid version of the Kuga. Especially as it’s a diesel – yes, those old things.

Lurking in the middle of a line-up that also includes petrol, diesel, ‘self-charging’ hybrid and plug-in hybrid, the EcoBlue Hybrid version of the Kuga works extremely well on the road, and for many it could also be the version that consistently delivers true economy and efficiency.

It’s based on Ford’s 148bhp four-cylinder turbodiesel. The alternator is replaced by a multi-tasking belt-driven integrated starter-generator. It captures energy from braking and coasting, storing it in a 48-volt battery. That energy makes the automatic stop-start system more effective; it can be used to support the engine; and it helps run various electrical ancillaries.

The BISG works as a motor, but takes up little space and adds little weight. Similarly, the 48V battery has a modest capacity – it doesn’t allow electric-only driving – but it’s enough to help ease the load on the engine, reducing emissions and improving fuel consumption. And it does that throughout every journey, unlike a PHEV, which only works at its best if charged frequently.

On our brief test drive, we couldn’t match the official 55.4mpg, but we did manage figures in the high 40s, which is impressive considering that we were gettting a move on, and enjoying the EcoBlue unit’s hearty pulling power. On the move it’s smooth and quiet, and married to a six-speed manual gearbox that’s slick enough to encourage frequent shifting, so you keep the engine in its sweet spot.

Ford Kuga: verdict
So, how much is all this going to set you back? The Kuga line-up starts at £26,445, and carries on almost as far as £40k. So it's not the cheapest of relatively compact mainstream crossovers. But why should it be? It drives well, it's well equipped and has an all-round air of quality about it.

It’s going to have user choosers reaching the end of their Outlander PHEV leases clambering for a more satisfying SUV to drive.

In benefit-in-kind terms, a 20% rate taxpayer’s only going to be looking at a £60 monthly bill to run one as a company car. Expect to see a lot of these on the road, and know that the drivers are enjoying more than just good real-world value – it's also good to drive.

(carmagazine.co.uk)

Ford Puma review

The Ford Puma is back - the small, sporty coupe is now a stylish, practical compact SUV that’s good to drive, but lacks cabin space.

We’ve waited a while for Ford to give us a proper compact SUV based on the Fiesta. Until now, the firm’s sole offering in the B-SUV market - the EcoSport - has not been good enough. The new Ford Puma hits the right notes and is precisely what you’d expect of the brand, blending practicality and affordability into a package that’s good to drive.

The Puma’s looks won’t appeal to everyone, but few rivals can better it for boot-space and virtually none can outshine the Puma from behind the wheel - equipment levels are strong too. However, there are more upmarket-feeling and spacious rivals out there for this sort of cash.

About the Ford Puma
Cast your memory back to 1997, and you may remember Ford launched a fun, small, front-wheel-drive coupe based on what was then the fourth-generation Fiesta. It added a bit of richly needed desirability at the smaller end of the brand’s British line-up. It was a hit - the Ford Puma had landed.

Now, the Puma name is back, and it’s an extremely similar story save for one very important detail; the new Ford Puma is not a small coupe, but a small five-door SUV. It’s based on the current, seventh-generation Fiesta supermini, sharing its chassis and its engines, as it enters a market that’s overflowing with choice at the minute.

Chief rivals include the Renault Captur, the Peugeot 2008, Skoda Kamiq and SEAT Arona, while the handsome Mazda CX-3 and spacious Volkswagen T-Cross offer further possibilities for customers considering a small family SUV. Left-field alternatives include cars like the design-led Nissan Juke, chunky Jeep Renegade and the retro Fiat 500 X.

The Puma line-up isn’t quite as expansive as the Fiesta’s, but there are still plenty of models to choose from and even more engine options will be available soon. The trim structure is very straightforward too, with four core versions: Titanium, ST-Line, ST-Line X and luxury ST-Line Vignale. The Puma ST performance model sits at the top of the range.

The Titanium is the entry-level trim for the Puma range, but it’s still well equipped and finished with flair, including 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel, power folding mirrors, navigation via an eight-inch central touchscreen display, cruise control, rear parking sensors and even a wireless charging pad. The other side to this is that the Puma’s starting price is relatively high compared with rivals, many of which start from below £20,000.

ST-Line models add a bit more standard equipment such as a widescreen 12.3-inch digital instrument display and automatic headlamps. But these cars major on sporty touches including a body-kit, different alloy wheels, sports seats and pedals and a sports suspension setup that helps the Puma to shine as one of the best crossovers to drive.

ST-Line X builds on this with luxury features such as partial leather upholstery, privacy glass in the windows and a 10-speaker audio setup from Bang & Olufsen, while the Vignale upgrade brings heated front seats, front parking sensors, keyless entry and Windsor premium leather upholstery.

The Puma is front-wheel-drive only and buyers are offered three engine options. The EcoBoost 125 uses a 123bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine as found in the Fiesta, while a 48-volt mild-hybrid version of this engine is also available. It doesn’t bring any additional power, although there is a slight increase in torque, and it introduces marginal reductions in CO2 emissions and gains in fuel economy, too. The third option is another 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol with the same mild-hybrid system, but power is pushed up to 153bhp.

Mild-hybrid versions of the Puma use a six-speed manual gearbox for now, with a seven-speed automatic available with the 123bhp non-hybrid variant, although Ford has plans to introduce the auto transmission throughout the Puma range.

For the performance enthusiast, the Puma ST is arguably the best-handling compact SUV on sale, powered by the Fiesta ST’s 1.5-litre engine for a total of 197bhp.

 Ford Puma review - Engines, performance and drive

The Puma’s proven 1.0-litre EcoBoost units are a known quantity, but the mild-hybrid system isn’t flawless.

Ford’s reputation for fun family cars has been sealed with models like the Focus and Fiesta, while the original Puma - though short lived - is another prime example of the Blue Oval’s proficiency in chassis development.

Much the same can be said of this Puma, thanks in the main to the Fiesta chassis that sits beneath it. It links up with a solid 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine to deliver a family crossover that’s good to drive.

When we pitted the Puma up against the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008, we hailed the Ford as being “easily the best to drive.” The driving position is fundamentally sound, and once you’re settled in, you’ll quickly see why the Puma has won plaudits.

Get on the move and the steering feels light - even if you put the Puma into the Sport mode using the drive mode selector. But, it’s well resolved for a car like this, accurate, keen to re-centre and with a great steering ratio. There’s a good level of grip too, so immediately the Puma feels like a crossover that you can flick through corners nicely. The six-speed gearbox is lovely, too, while Ford’s engineers have also done a good job with the Puma’s suspension.

Even with the sports suspension on the ST-Line model, the damping is very well set up and it has a decent level of compliance. It all comes together to mean that the Puma has brilliant composure and the ability to offer an engaging drive.

The Puma ST is based on the sublime Fiesta ST hot hatchback, which means a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine under the bonnet, making the same 197bhp and 320Nm of torque.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
All three engines are based on the same 1.0-litre engine block, but there’s quite a difference between them, owing to the Puma’s various drivetrain technologies and power outputs.

The 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine has been a really strong contender in its various applications over the last few years, and the Puma is another vehicle where this small engine shines. It may no longer be the outright best three-cylinder engine on the market and some engines - such as the TSI units used in the Volkswagen Group cars - may be more refined these days, but you shouldn’t be disappointed.

The 123bhp and 170Nm torque served up by the base model is enough for most family motoring, propelling the Puma to 62mph in 10.0 seconds and on to a top speed of 119mph.

Hybrid badge
What is a hybrid car? Mild hybrids, full hybrids and plug-in hybrids explained


Pick the mild-hybrid version and the power stays at 123bhp, but torque improves to 210Nm thanks to the small amount of electrical assistance. Top speed is still 119mph, but the 0-62mph time falls a little to 9.8 seconds. The real benefit is lower CO2 emissions from the exhaust pipe and better running costs from improved fuel economy, which we’ll come to on the next page.

The only downside to the mild-hybrid system is that to fill the small battery pack with energy, the Puma features a very minor amount of brake energy regeneration. It’s set at a constant, unchangeable level, that’s just about detectable when you lift off the throttle and feel the car slow more quickly than it otherwise would, and takes a little getting used to.

If you need more power, the 153bhp car has you covered. It also has braking recuperation that cannot be altered in strength, but it takes 8.9 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill and goes on to a top speed of 124mph.

The 197bhp ST performance model dispatches the same sprint in 6.7 seconds, with a 137mph maximum.

 Ford Puma review - MPG, CO2 and running costs

Ford uses proven 1.0-litre petrol engines for the Puma, with mild-hybrid technology helping to improve economy and emissions.

Ford’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost unit has received much praise for its versatility and ability to blend decent power with good returns from a tank of fuel. So, it’s probably no great surprise that the engine is at the core of the Puma range.

The flexible 1.0-litre powerplant comes in three guises for Puma customers. The base 123bhp version returns a maximum 46.3mpg, with 138g/km of CO2, while the same unit with 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance is able to improve on these figures a little by delivering a claimed 50.4mpg and CO2 levels of 127g/km.

The 153bhp variant produces the same economy and CO2 figures as its lower-powered sibling, while the 197bhp Puma ST still performs pretty well with 41.5mpg on the combined cycle and 155g/km of CO2.

Most economical SUVs, 4x4s and crossovers 2021
The mild-hybrid system captures kinetic energy naturally lost while driving, particularly during braking, before storing it as electricity in a small battery. This electrical energy is then used to assist the engine during acceleration, reducing the amount of petrol needed to make decent progress.

Drivers can view a display on the digital instrument panel to see exactly when the system is in action. Alongside it, cylinder deactivation means the engine can run on two cylinders where driving conditions allow, to save more fuel.

Insurance groups
Insurance premiums for the Puma range should be competitive with those of rivals. The base 123bhp Titanium model comes in at group 11, while the ST-Line Vignale cars with 153bhp occupy group 15. The 197bhp ST variant is in group 22.

Competitors such as the Renault Captur start at group 8 for an entry-level 99bhp version and move through to group 21 for a top-of-the range model with 152bhp.

Depreciation
Our experts predict the Ford Puma will retain a healthy 51% of its original value over 3 years and 36,000 miles, whereas the Renault Captur keeps an average of 43% over the same period.

 Ford Puma review - Interior, design and technology

The Ford Puma has a familiar cabin design and good levels of standard kit, but overall quality can’t match rivals.

Ford’s new small SUV is based on the best-selling Fiesta, which is no bad thing. Despite being one of the smaller B-segment models, the Puma has ensured it stands out from competitors with a distinctive design and impressive levels of standard equipment.

In the cabin, the dash and centre console will be familiar to those who’ve peered inside a recent Focus or Fiesta, although the visible plastics aren’t the Puma’s greatest quality. There’s far too much hard black stuff to be found, while other small SUVs are available with nicer interiors, and for similar money.

Ford offers four individual trim levels for the Puma. The entry-level Titanium is still very well equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED rear lights and daytime running lights, body-coloured exterior trim, power-folding heated mirrors, rear parking sensors and selectable drive modes.

ST-Line models include a muscular body-kit, sports suspension, a leather sports steering wheel and alloy pedals, although the ST-Line X car adds stylish 18-inch wheels, partial leather seat trim, privacy glass and carbon-effect interior accents.

The luxury Vignale version ups the luxury count with heated seats, Windsor premium leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, front parking sensors and keyless entry, while the ST car features 19-inch alloy wheels and a body styling kit.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
All Puma models come with Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system, including navigation, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. There’s also a wireless charging pad as standard. Bearing in mind the high list prices as you climb the range, the Titanium trim offers a sweet spot in terms of equipment and on-board tech.

ST-Line cars feature a 12.3-inch digital instrument display which, along with the central touchscreen, is sharp and easy to navigate. And, if you feel the need for better quality audio while on the move, the ST-Line X models add a B&O Premium stereo with 10 speakers.

 Ford Puma review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Although smaller than most rivals, the Ford Puma remains practical for family use and offers clever storage solutions.

Ford has worked hard to ensure the compact Puma combines its athletic low stance with plenty of practicality and comfort. From the driver’s seat, the links to the Fiesta’s chassis are clear, with ability to tackle the twisty stuff with vigour as well as being a solid, quiet performer at motorway speeds.

ST-Line cars get sports suspension, and while on the firmer end of the spectrum for SUVs of this size, it’s not overly harsh. The driving position definitely feels sportier while there’s a great level of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel, a typical Ford trait.

Size
The Puma is one of the smaller options in the supermini sized SUV class. It measures 4,207mm in length, 1,805mm wide and stands 1,537 tall. By comparison, the Peugeot 2008 and Mazda CX-3 are 93mm and 68mm longer, respectively.

Leg room, head room & passenger space
The Puma manages to maintain decent passenger space, despite its sloping roofline. Room up front is very good, while the rear bench is an acceptable size.

Passenger space in the rear is compromised when compared with a Renault Captur. Passengers in the back sit higher up, which brings your legs back towards the seat base, so although there’s enough space overall, the seating position might not be as comfortable.

Boot
A boot of 456 litres is on-par with competitors in this class, and there’s virtually no lip to get over, so awkward items shouldn’t be too tricky to load. In comparison, the Peugeot 2008 offers 434 litres of boot space and the Renault Captur 12 litres less than that, although the Captur has an ace up its sleeve in the form of a sliding rear bench seat. When the bench is pushed all the way forward it frees up a 536-litre capacity.

One area where Ford has been rather clever is in the Puma‘s adjustable boot floor with the so-called ‘Megabox’ hidden storage area beneath. This is a 68-litre plastic compartment that you can use to store muddy boots or wet clothes, for example. It also has a drain plug so you can hose it out. Plus, Ford claims that using the MegaBox allows you to stand a golf bag upright in the Puma’s boot.

 Ford Puma review - Reliability and safety

Ford has a lot riding on the success of the Puma. It’s previous effort at a small SUV, the EcoSport, was a poor one, so the brand has to get this right. Fortunately, the Puma arrives with proven engines, a chassis based on the best-selling Fiesta and interior tech already in use across other model ranges. We’d expect the Puma to be a car you can rely on, and also one that keeps the driver, passengers and other road users as safe as possible.

All models include cruise control, a lane keeping aid with departure warning, Pre-Collision Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Pedestrian/Cyclist Detection and Post-Collision Braking. Other useful features include auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Those wishing to upgrade further can opt for the Driver Assistance pack (£900), which adds a blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control and a rear view camera among other features.

The Puma was tested by Euro NCAP in 2019 and achieved a full five-star rating. Adult and child protection was rated at 94% and 84%, respectively, while the car scored 77% for pedestrian safety.

Although Ford finished a disappointing 24th out of 30 manufacturers in our 2020 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, it’ll be looking towards cars like the new Puma to guide it to improved results next time.

Warranty
Every new Ford car comes with a 3-year/60,000 mile warranty. There’s also the benefit of Ford Assistance for 1 year, providing roadside cover in the UK and throughout Europe.

If you plan on keeping your car for longer than three years or are a high mileage driver, you can extend the standard warranty to either 4 years/80,000 miles or 5 years/100,000 miles.

Servicing
Ford offers the Ford Protect Service Plan giving you the option of scheduled services and extended Ford Assistance. It covers scheduled servicing including associated parts and labour, and vehicle hire for up to 7 days. The Ford Protect Service Plan can be purchased any time before the first service is due.

autoexpress.co.uk

The Empire Strikes Back - Ford is the new model F-150 Raptor

While the rest of the world still sees pickup trucks as "prehistoric" work vehicles whose sole purpose is to do work on farms or construction sites, Americans have long found a way to make them civilized enough to be in every garage "across the pond." parked one copy.

The trend actually began in the late 1970s when pickups first received identical equipment from passenger cars, so American buyers quickly realized that they could use such vehicles for transportation to the office on weekdays and then for small chores around the house or weekend fun.

During the nineties, the trend spread to high-performance street racers, but no one dared to make an extreme SUV that will be able to compete on the world's largest "off-road" tracks. And then, in 2008, Ford debuted with the release of the Raptor bestseller F-150 and once again changed the way the "Yankees" see pickups.

There really was no such extreme racer in that period, and how good the Raptor is is perhaps best confirmed by the fact that one of the series finished second in the very demanding Baja 1000 race, which is considered the second biggest field competition after the Dakar Rally.

Ford will say it has sold more Raptors in the last twelve years than Chevrolet has delivered units of the Corvette sports model. Although at first glance these two vehicles have nothing in common, their price is almost identical, so they attract customers with an equally deep pocket.

The Raptor also now has competition and a look at the Ram 1500 TRX from Fiat-Chrysler Corporation, whose 702 horsepower looks impressive in addition to Ford's "only" 450 "throats". The second largest American manufacturer is now arriving with the new Raptor and wants to be in the spotlight again.

At first glance, the novelty still doesn’t seem to match the TRX, but Ford assures us that it doesn’t all lie in raw figures such as engine power and acceleration from standstill to 100 km / h in the direction. For starters, the company says that mass is the biggest enemy of high performance, so the solution is not to add strength but to reduce the weight of the truck. And the Raptor definitely delights in that category as it weighs "only" 2,475 kilograms.

We say "only" because the stated figure is as much as 400 "kilos" lower compared to the Rama thanks to the aluminum construction of the chassis and shell. Perhaps such a figure still seems insignificant, but for vehicles that spend a lot of time "in the air", every gram is worth paying attention to.

The Raptor is not only significantly lighter than the TRX but also dominates in terms of ground clearance. For example, the Raptor boasts 37-inch tires, while those on the TRX are "only" 35-inch. Ford is also better in terms of overall ground clearance (38.1 by 35.5 centimeters) and has developed a suspension to be able to withstand the effort at greater angles. Translated into a simpler language, if you find yourself on difficult terrain from which you need to get out with a slower and planned ride - the Raptor is still the king of its segment.

The category we expected the most detail about is the one where Ford has yet to release information. It is, of course, an engine. The Raptor has in the past provided a 3.5-liter with 450 horsepower, which is significantly less than the 6.2-liter petrol with 702 “heads” in the TRX. Ford has announced to us that the novelty will continue to be available only with a V6 engine, at least initially, but its power is still unknown. It is quite certain that the number will be higher than in the past and we can optimistically hope that it will approach the figure of approximately 500 "horses".

Ford also said that the Raptor R with a V8 engine will arrive next year, and we are quite sure that it is a 5.2-liter model from the Mustang Shelby GT500 with 760 horsepower. In all cases, power is transmitted to all four wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission.

We will mention another very interesting detail, and that is adjusting the driving style. We have already seen some of the regimes from them, such as Normal and Sport, while Baja serves to storm at high speeds through the desert parts of the American federal states of Arizona or Nevada.

But what is completely new is the so-called "Quiet" regime, or literally "Silence". It allows the Raptor to become even more civilized and not wake up your neighbors if you come home late in the evening or early morning.

The design changes are as we expected. Although the Raptor may look like a standard F-150, the two vehicles actually share only a roof and headlights. Every other stylish part was developed especially for the SUV and we will easily recognize it by aggressive details such as the radiator grille and hood. The interior and equipment have not changed significantly, so we recommend that you read the earlier edition of the new fourteenth generation, where we described in detail what new technology the F-150 brings.

In any case, production will start in the summer, and the new Raptor will arrive in showrooms in October.

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