Ford Puma (1997 – 2001) Review

Ford Puma (1997 – 2001) At A Glance


+Terrific, involving, sports-biased drive. Based on proven Fiesta mechanics. Now selling for a more affordable price.

-Front suspension alignment is crucial and can easily be put out if you kerb a wheel.

From the second the covers came off Ford’s baby sports coupe in 1997, it was clear that the Blue Oval had a winner on its hands. And while its looks may have faded, the Puma is still a fantastic-handling car – and one of those future classics that remains under the radar.

Based on the Mk4 Ford Fiesta, the Puma was available with four engines. The entry-level was a 1.4-litre until 2000, when it was replaced with a 1.6-litre. There was a 1.7-litre VCT, and a Tickford tuned version of the engine, which was used in the Racing Puma.

While many remember the Puma fondly for its fine handling, it’s perhaps best known for the advertising campaign that promoted it. This featured clips of Steve McQueen from the film Bullitt appearing to drive a Puma through the streets of San Francisco.

Ask Honest John

What's the best small SUV?

"Can you tell me which models are the best small SUVs or crossovers?"
The best small SUVs are SEAT Arona 1.0 TSI petrol, Toyota C-HR 1.8 hybrid, Ford Puma 1.0 EcoBoost and Honda HR-V 1.5-petrol.
Answered by Dan Powell

Is a Ford Puma Black a future classic?

"I own a year 2000 Ford Puma Black Special Edition with 53500 miles on the clock which has been a much-loved family owned second car for around 14 years. I've had the car serviced annually by a Ford trained and reputable one-man-band mechanic, (who loves the car!) and regardless of annual mileage. The car is pretty much original, but we've added cruise control, DAB radio converter and rear parking sensors. According to the DVLA there are 171 currently registered. In your opinion, when is it likely that this model might begin to qualify as a 'modern classic' and perhaps start to increase in value? I've recently seen two similar cars advertised at £1900. I'm at a crossroads at the moment? Do we keep it or sell it as we no longer really need to run two cars? "
Sounds like a lovely car. The Puma is already starting to garner interest as a modern classic. Its fortunes could be given a boost by Ford's decision to revive the name for its latest SUV - which should remind people of what a great car the original Puma was. And, let's face it - classic sporty Fords normally do very well in the UK. We've already covered the Puma in a review on our site ( so we'd urge you to stick with it or find an enthusiastic buyer. Your car sounds like it's near the top of the tree when it comes to values so you may be able to price it slightly higher than the average example - especially if you're in no hurry to get rid.
Answered by Keith Moody

Where can I get parts for a Ford Puma?

"I inherited my father-in-law's 1998 Ford Puma. It turned out to be very rusty throughout. Eventually, with welding and new front sub-frame, everything was fixed. However, I have noticed a hydraulic fluid leak. I tried in vain to get a replacement hydraulic pipe - steering rack to steering pump. The mechanic was able to do a temporary repair on the existing rusty pipe. However, I would like to replace it with a new pipe. Where can I get one?"
Parts supply can often be an issue with cars this age - too old to be looked after by the dealer but hasn't quite got the support of specialists and club members yet. That said, if you ask around you're bound to find someone with a shed full of spares. Have a look on some Ford-based forums or join one of the (many) Ford clubs. Alternatively, you could ask your local dealer if they having anything on the shelf... sometimes the part gets reused (e.g in the next generation Fiesta). Why not have a look on eBay or try suppliers like Euro Car Parts? How temporary was the repair? As long as it isn't held together by gaffer tape and hairy string it should be ok.
Answered by Keith Moody
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