New Ford Puma Takes on Volkswagen T-Roc in Small Crossover Comparison

The Ford Puma is an interesting new offering from a company that already had a crossover of this size, the EcoSport. It's difficult to know exactly who its rivals will be, but the Volkswagen T-Roc is a good place to start.
New Ford Puma Takes on Volkswagen T-Roc in Small Crossover Comparison 2 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot/L'argus
New Ford Puma Takes on Volkswagen T-Roc in Small Crossover Comparison
Small crossovers are by far the fastest-growing segment in Europe, jumping 37% last year. And while the Renault Captur is still segment leader, many automakers are doubling down with two models. VW now has the T-Roc and T-Cross, Ford the EcoSport and Puma while Kia boasts the Stonic and Niro.

The T-Roc is a good rival for the Ford for two reasons. First, it's the 4th best-seller with about 140,000 units, about 70k less than the Captur. Second, it's sporty, being based on the Golf platform and thus boasting independent rear suspension.

The Puma, at about 4200mm long, which bridges the gap between the smaller EcoSport, which measures 4017mm, and the Kuga at 4613mm. But what about the design? Well, we think Ford's is much better, which is usually the case. The T-Roc's problem is not being dull, like a Golf, but having no flowing lines or nice facial features.

As the L'argus French review points out, the Puma looks a bit like a Porsche Macan or Jaguar E-Pace, with teardrop headlights placed high over the hood. It's a similar story around the back, though Ford may have compromised a little bit of practicality in the boot opening department and rear legroom.

Inside, the Puma borrows most of its dash from the Fiesta hatchback on which it's based. This now includes a digital dashboard and SYNC3 infotainment. With fake carbon trim, it looks sportier than the T-Roc, which compensates by being more colorful thanks to optional orange inserts.

There are two Puma models to choose from with 125 hp and 155 hp. Both use a 1.0-liter EcoBoost petrol engine that can be boosted by a small electric motor that’s hooked up to a 48V power supply. Pretty soon, we should have a 1.5 diesel, followed by the 200 HP Puma ST model.

Volkswagen, on the other hand, has a wider variety of powerplants. The T-Roc has a base 1-liter as well, followed by the 1.6 TDI, the 1.5 TSI and 2-liter engines with up to 190 HP. The R version has just been launched, offering the same turbo setup and AWD as a Golf R.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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