Ford believes in E85 superethanol. Building on the great success of the previous generation Kuga Flexifuel, which can run on lead-free or bioethanol, the American manufacturer announced at the beginning of the year that it wants to convert a large part of the models in its range. While we waited to be able to try the similarly powered Fiesta, Focus and Kuga hybrids, we’re already behind the wheel of the 125 hp Puma Flexifuel. So, is this variant really interesting financially? Decision!
Very low cost of use
Originally adapted to E85 (fuel circuit designed for this more corrosive fuel, reinforced valves and valve seats, increased flow injectors), This 3-cylinder 1.0 125 hp naturally retains the manufacturer’s warranty that models equipped with the E85 adapter box lose. The added benefit of this Puma: It is offered for exactly the same price as the classic variant (starting at €23,300), which still benefits from a 48V micro-hybridization abandoned by Flexifuel. Enough to lose a few crucial seconds while overtaking completely safely, but nothing dramatic. First of all, the possibility of operating on this E85 allows for a record fuel budget, in addition to CO2 emissions reduced by about 40% thanks to what the plant captures as it grows. Since E85 is taxed very little due to its ecological aspect (12 cents per liter instead of 73 cents/l for SP 95 E10), the price of this biofuel is the lowest on the market: on average €0.71/l/l unleaded compared to €1.57 for. Admittedly, this Puma consumes 25% more when burning E85, a bioethanol with less energy per liter than SP95 (ie 7.7 l/100 km versus 6.2 l/100 km of unleaded fuel). But the cost per hundred kilometers is incomparably low: €5.47/100 km compared to 9.73/100 km for the super. Even a diesel of this level cannot compete!
Perfect is not far
On the road, this small SUV stays true to Ford tradition in terms of chassis, boasting a sharp and efficient front end, as well as steering assistance that’s a little too strong to really feel the grip…it’s loud nonetheless. The only difference compared to the Puma 125 hp equipped with micro-hybridization, as mentioned above, lies in less tonic reminders. Here, whether super or ethanol, Lacking the support of the alternator starter, the 3-cylinder lost its sparkly side that we know in the Puma 1.0 mHEV.. Times decreased: 18 s on 6th and 13.5 s on 5 to accelerate from 80 to 120 km/h, versus 12.7 s and 10.3 s respectively. But if you downshift a gear or two, you’ll still get through calmly. We regret that the transmission control doesn’t shine with its softness and the clutch pedal is stiff and lacks the gradualness that has led to lower approval, especially in the city. Moreover, very dry damping on all the minor imperfections of the road, frankly jarring the passengers. Too bad for the family because the rear seating of this 4.19m SUV is not huge, but it’s enough for two people. With her luggageequipped with a large plastic box under its floor, washable and with drain plug, holds a good amount of luggage. In short, with a little softer, this Puma Flexifuel’s picture could have been almost perfect!