I first saw Ford’s demonstration of their remote App based car connectivity way back in 2016 in Detroit and the concept had me curious and excited back then. Fast forward to 2020 and now 2021, any Ford you buy is getting set to be connected and accessible via your Smartphone using Ford Pass

For my test of this system, I got the keys to a nifty new Ford Puma.

10 years ago this was called a Hatchback. Add some ride height and some muscular design and apparently this is now an SUV – I don’t get that definition at all, but hey, it is what it is.

You’re going to pay between $33,000 and $40,000 for this little car – so you’d want to have an outstanding appreciation for the technology to want in.

Personally, I found it a comfortable ride, a good stance on the road, but just felt every time I was coming off the line, particularly on a hill, or reversing, it felt like I was trying to start in second gear. And with that darn awful engine stop-start function on by default, the Climate Control turns off at the lights – that’s just ridiculous, I don’t need the cooling less just because you’re trying to save fuel.

I can see the appeal though of a vehicle thats easy to get into at any age, has a decent boot for the family shopping, and can carry around four with ease.

I had the car for just over two weeks – no where near long enough to appreciate what’s at your fingertips with the Ford Pass app.

This is an ownership experience, not something you can just see and understand.

Sure it’s cool that from my phone I can start the car. Yep, pretty nice to hit the lock button at night to check you locked the car up.

Great that the app knows any faults the car is displaying and even the speedo reading, heck, it’s great that I can remember where I parked it with the app too.

But you’d really get the benefit owning this for 12-24months+ because the integration with the Ford After-sales is what matters. Service seeing your speedo km reading so you can be booked for the right service.

Alerts about low petrol – brilliant, but with Fuel Economy in the 6’s, I didn’t use half a tank in my two weeks so can’t really speak to how that works.

The key features of Ford Pass are:

  • Remote Start+ – Using the app you can start the car so it’s cooled down on the hottest days and warmed up on the coldest ones.
  • Vehicle Status – check the fuel levels and speedo.
  • Remote Lock and Unlock – touch of a button the car is locked, you can be anywhere in the world. Same with Unlock. Why – I don’t know.
  • Vehicle Locator – Find where you left it, or where the kids left it if they borrowed it.
  • Vehicle Health – Any issues about the car, service needs or even low washer fluid – a notification on your phone!
  • Live Traffic – If you use the Sync 3 on-board navigation, using your phone the system gets live traffic updates to re-route if needed.

The bottom line?

This is amazing technology, that over the 5-10 year ownership life of this car, you’ll grow to love, use and enjoy.

But it’s hardly something that will be tested during a test drive.

More likely you’ll get frustrated by the flashing speed signs on the impressive digital dashboard – they flash at you if you are 1km over the speed limit – great for safety, but bloody annoying as a driver to be honest.

Amazing amount of technology in a single small car. Impressive, and worth comparing on price and feature to those in that market – no doubt.