The vehicles in question, namely the Puma, Stonic, and Crossland, possess a rugged design with rough-treaded MT (Mud-Terrain) tires, allowing them to navigate challenging paths covered in loose rocks. These vehicles are equipped with reduction gears, enabling them to ascend slopes that would pose difficulties even for pedestrians. They are capable of traversing through water, mud, and sand, causing splashing, mud slinging, and sand swirling.
However, despite their cross and cool appearance, these vehicles bear little resemblance to true off-road vehicles. They are categorized as SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles), implying a combination of sportiness and utility. Choosing the most suitable option among the three is a task we leave to you, as you can explore their configurations through the respective online tools. On our part, we are ready to conduct thorough testing, which includes evaluating the interiors, measuring braking distances, examining the drivetrain, determining fuel consumption, and calculating costs. Let’s proceed with the evaluation process.
When opting for the Ford, which has a length of approximately 4.19 meters, you will find yourself seated in the front at a height of just under 58 cm above the road surface. The seats are comfortable and do not protrude excessively, offering a long leg rest with moderate contouring. The vehicle’s functions are primarily controlled through analog buttons and rotary controls, spread across a wide area within the cockpit.
However, the positioning of these controls may not always be optimal within the driver’s field of vision. Occasionally, you may need to reach for the prominently placed touchscreen, mounted high on the dashboard, as it proves quicker than relying on voice-controlled assistance. Adjusting the air conditioning, dimming the instrument lighting, or increasing the radio volume can be slightly more complicated in the context of modern cars.
Little space in the rear, a lot in the trunk
When the backrest of the car is folded down, it results in a nearly flat loading floor. The front of the car offers sufficient space, but the back should not be expected to provide more space than what is typical for a small car. Upon entering the back seat, the roof extension and C-pillar obstruct the headroom, making it more comfortable for children than adults. Due to the limited space, sitting in the back seat feels cramped, requiring occupants to crouch with their legs bent.
However, the luggage compartment offers ample space, as Ford has chosen not to occupy the area previously designated for the spare wheel with subwoofers. Instead, they have installed a plastic tub (81 liters) with a drain under the fold-up loading floor, which is suitable for storing travel bags, plants, or muddy boots. Additionally, the Puma provides storage compartments for items such as drinks bottles, keys, wallets, and sunglasses, though they are equipped with unattractive hard plastic panels. The interior is well-constructed, featuring a few covered and foam-padded surfaces. Fortunately, there are no unpleasant creaking or crackling noises while driving on uneven roads.
Despite its sporty nature, the Puma’s suspension is on the firm side and seems overly dampened. The chassis only provides moderate filtering of bumps, particularly in sharp and angular terrain. Does this make it a true athlete? Not entirely, as the steering lacks precise feedback and feels disconnected, akin to a rubber band-like sensation when returning to the center position. The Puma’s character is better suited to the mildly hybridized three-cylinder turbo engine, which boasts 125 horsepower. This engine is well-insulated and exhibits refined performance.
Especially when utilizing the power boost feature, the 1,276 kg SUV accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in less than ten seconds. It also employs a cylinder deactivation system under partial load, recovers energy during deceleration, and stores it in a small battery for future acceleration. The overall fuel consumption stands at 6.5 liters of Super gasoline per 100 km. If the double-clutch transmission allowed manual gear selection, it would enhance the driving experience, though it wouldn’t solve all the issues, it would greatly improve them.
Kia is frugal but tough
Driving fun possible
Despite the robust powertrain, which is paired with a manual six-speed gearbox, the Crossland exhibits a noticeable lack of responsiveness.
If you choose the Opel variant, you have the option to add a two-stage height-adjustable loading floor for an additional cost of 420 euros starting from the Elegance trim level. This feature proves to be practical as it eliminates any step between the loading sill and the ground when set to the upper position. Additionally, the Crossland is equipped with a sliding rear seat that offers adjustable backrests and a through-loading option.
While Crossland excels in terms of versatility, it falls short compared to many other criteria. However, its clarity is commendable, thanks to the steep rear window and large side windows. The only hindrance to visibility is the wide A-pillar, which obstructs the diagonal forward view. For added assistance, one can choose to include a reversing camera and parking aid for an extra cost of 150 euros.
In the front row, occupants are seated at an elevated position, higher than that of the Puma. However, the seats in Crossland provide limited support and can be adjusted in multiple ways. The driver’s view encompasses easily readable analog instruments with a digital display nestled in between, and for an additional 300 euros, a head-up display can be added to the windshield. The integrated touchscreen, positioned slightly farther away from the driver’s seat on the dashboard, is comparably lower, accompanied by well-labeled direct selection buttons and a rotary volume control. The climate panel also sits low, but overall operation is straightforward and minimally distracting.
Long braking distance
The statement suggests that the Crossland, despite its powerful drive and manual six-speed gearbox (only available with automatic), lacks responsiveness and feels sluggish. This lack of responsiveness may be attributed to the vehicle’s control systems, which intervene early and restrict the dynamics, ultimately distancing the driver from the road. As a result, the Crossland’s handling is less engaging for the driver, and the vehicle’s suspension, particularly at the rear axle, is relatively stiff, transmitting less detailed information about the road surface to the passengers.
In terms of passenger comfort, sitting in the rear of the Crossland is described as less enjoyable due to the narrow door opening and the presence of a short, flat bench. However, the car is equipped with easily accessible Isofix anchorages for child seats, which is a positive feature for families with young children.
In terms of braking performance, the Crossland’s relatively heavy weight of 1,252 kg requires a considerable distance of 40 meters to come to a complete stop from a speed of 100 km/h when the brakes are cold. This distance is compared to the Stonic, another vehicle, which is already stationary when the Crossland is still traveling at a speed of 28 km/h. The statement suggests that a chunky MT tire, likely referring to a rugged off-road tire, might require a similar or slightly shorter braking distance and would be suitable for off-road adventures.
Furthermore, the Crossland is powered by a three-cylinder turbo engine without mild hybridization, producing 130 horsepower. Its fuel consumption is described as ordinary, at 6.8 liters. Overall, the statement highlights Crossland’s less engaging driving experience, sluggishness, and relatively long braking distance.
|Ford Puma 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid Titanium X||Kia Stonic 1.0 T-GDI 120 Spirit||Opel Crossland 1.2 DI Turbo Business Elegance|
|Trunk volume||456 to 1216L||352 to 1155L||410 to 1255L|
|Displacement / engine||999 cm³ / 3 cylinder||998 cm³ / 3-cylinder||1199 cm³ / 3-cylinder|
|Performance||92 kW / 125 hp at 6000 rpm||88 kW / 120 hp at 6000 rpm||96 kW / 130 hp at 5500 rpm|
Show all technical data