The incoming small SUV received top marks from the country's independent vehicle safety authority.
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The 2020 Ford Puma will land in Australia this month with a five-star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) – a score applicable to every variant in the brand's new small SUV line-up.

Ford Australia's latest arrival received scores of 94 per cent for adult occupant protection, 86 per cent for child occupant protection, 77 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 74 per cent for safety assist.

However, it's worth noting the Puma's safety testing was carried out in 2019, meaning the model wasn't subjected to the more stringent testing criteria introduced for 2020.

Instead of conducting a more recent local test, ANCAP analysed results obtained during Euro NCAP testing in order to publish a rating for the locally-specified model – a fairly common practice for cars launched in the European market first.

New testing criteria introduced from the start of 2020 rewards more sophisticated systems which can intervene in more complex scenarios, for example turning across the path of another vehicle.

So far, only the 2021 Isuzu D-Max and 2021 Toyota Yaris have been subject to 2020's updated testing criteria (both received five-star ratings).

All Puma variants come standard with six airbags, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, a driver impairment monitor, rear parking sensors and a tyre pressure monitor.

An additional Park Package is available as an option across the range, adding adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and lane-centring capabilities, plus active park assist with front, side and rear sensors and blind spot detection.

According to Rhianne Robson, ANCAP's director of communications and advocacy, the Puma performed well in side impact and oblique pole tests, and likewise in active safety features, where the AEB system's overall performance was rated as 'good'.

A slightly lower score in the vulnerable road user protection category could be partially attributed to the Puma's bonnet providing only 'good' to 'marginal' protection to the head of a pedestrian, with some 'weak' to 'poor' results recorded along the rear of the bonnet and windscreen pillars.

Additionally, the Puma lost points in the Safety Assist category because the car's lane support system "does not intervene in more critical emergency lane keeping (ELK) scenarios and overall performance".

The Ford Puma is set to land in showrooms at the end of this month with introductory national drive-away pricing starting from $31,990.

All Puma models are powered by the same 92kW/170Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.