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Ford Puma

Coming to a showroom near you soon (unless you live on the moon) this good looking motor is Ford’s new compact SUV the Puma.

It’s totally unlike the previous Puma, so I don’t understand why Ford still use words like sporty, athletic and seductive to describe it.

Practical, roomy and fuel efficient works better for people looking for a car rather than romance.

Nor can I fathom out why Ford say the Puma is: “Produced with exceptional craftsmanship and quality at the Craiova Assembly Plant in Romania.”

It’s as if Brit buyers don’t trust a car built in Romania. Why, for any other reason, would Ford say that?

In fact, Romania’s car industry produces half a million cars a year, including offerings from Vauxhall and Dacia as well as Ford. It’s highly successful at building reliable, quality cars at tempting prices.

The new Puma features something that Ford call the MegaBox, and this is likely to be the main reason for its future success, which is guaranteed.

MegaBox is not actually a removable box, but it’s a “flexible rear stowage solution” that’s around 763mm (30in) wide and long and 305mm (1ft) deep.

That makes it big enough, as you can see in the picture below, to hold two upright golf bags.

With a capacity of 80 litres it’s ideal for unstable items up to approximately 115cm (45in) tall – such as houseplants – to be carried in an upright position.

With the lid down it can be used to carry dirty sports equipment or muddy Wellington boots thanks to its synthetic lining, while a drain plug at the bottom makes it easy to clean with water.

Meanwhile, the Puma’s boot floor can be adjusted to one of three positions, using just one hand, to suit load requirements.

In the high position, the area underneath increases to create a cargo floor that is level with the fold-flat second-row seats.

Removed, the floor can be securely stored vertically against the back of the second-row seats for full 456-litre capacity.

The Puma tailgate also features an incorporated parcel shelf – solving the problem of what to do with it when loading, unloading and carrying large items.

It moves in unison with the tailgate and removes the need for side supports, giving easy access to the rear load area. It’s flexible, too, so it simply moulds itself around bulky items.

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Design director George Saridakis said: “From day one we envisioned a vehicle that was immediately recognisable – and as a result we’ve created a compact crossover unlike anything we’ve ever produced before.

“It’s a combination that will delight and surprise customers, fulfilling their needs and desires.”

On the engine side the Puma uses EcoBoost 48-volt mild hybrid 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbos with 125 or 155hp.

The 125hp engine averages 52.3mpg and has CO2 emissions of 124g/km, while the 155hp version, with a bigger turbo, averages 50.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 127g/km.

When the car goes on sale at the end of the year it will also feature a choice of yet to be announced stop/start diesel engines.

If this isn’t a massive hit I don’t know what will be.