Monday, 27 July 2015

Porsche 911 vs Ford Puma

Ford Puma or Porsche 911 - Best Daily Driver?

On the face of it there seems to be no comparison between the humble Ford Puma and a supercar Porsche 911 but having owned both cars it’s a closer race between them than the 0-60 figures would show.


Ford Puma or Porsche 911 - Best Daily Driver
Ford Puma or Porsche 911 - Best Daily Driver
Of course the Porsche 911 is a legendary supercar and can reach top speeds of over 170mph as well as hitting 60 in around 5 seconds but how often can you drive at 170mph outside of Germany without losing your licence.

The Porsche 911 in this comparison is the 996 variant from 2001 with a 3.4 litre engine and 300bhp and the Ford Puma from 2000 with a lowly 1.7 litre engine pushing out 125bhp.  The interior of the Porsche 996 looks dated but the Ford Puma seems more modern despite hailing from the same period.

 Behind the wheel the Porsche 996 is immediately responsive to the throttle with a fly by wire design connecting the pedal to the engine. The Golf has a mechanical connection that is far less responsive. Push the pedal to the floor and the Porsche 911 will take off with incredible urgency and with a change of gear into second will be hitting 60mph in 5 seconds. Do the same with the Puma and the car starts to pick up but at a more leisurely pace and far less feeling of being thrown back into your seat despite only being some two seconds behind the Porsche to 60mph.

 The details above might make you think I preferred the Porsche 911 but while it was an amazing car to drive, in normal day to day driving situations the clutch felt too hard, the gear change was too stiff and the sports suspension was too hard and jarring. The Ford Puma might be older, slower and less overtly sporting but in practical terms for daily use it was far more straightforward to drive with easier controls that were slicker and took less effort to use.  

Finally in terms of cost the Porsche 911 cost me £11,000 and the Ford Puma £500. Even for a basic service the Puma was £34 for parts which wouldn't even buy the oil for the Porsche 911. The fuel economy for daily use is also a consideration. The fuel consumption of the Porsche 911/996 averaged around 25mpg with best figure of 30mpg. The first tank for the Ford Puma gave a fuel consumption of 39mpg so far better fuel economy but hardly surprising as it has half the engine capacity, 1.7 litres compared to 3.4 litres for the Porsche 996.

If driving was defined as “fun per pound spent on the car” then the Ford Puma would be one of the most highly rated cars out there.  

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