In the dim and distant past there was a wee coupe from Ford called the Puma – but it was so tiny, it was more like a regular tabby cat capable of a meow, rather than a roar.

It did look the part, but lacked the claws to race to the top of the tree. So, it didn't last that long and it's a name that's been missing from the blue oval's cattery for more than 20 years.

But now, the name has been resurrected for another paw at the market and this time it looks like it might get a claw hold – especially now that it comes with one of those ever so green mild PHEV configurations.

At least it's now the size of a Puma – not quite a lion-sized Edge – but a handy-sized SUV-style none-the-less. That makes it a four door, rather than the two-door coupe it once was.

It's quite an indication of how engine technology has come along as it is now the much used and vaunted one-litre Ecoboost turbo petrol that lies under the hood producing the purring noises. That comes in two guises, either a 125 or 153 bhp (as tested) motor and both have the 48-volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technology built in to add some extra bite.

Don't expect electricity to operate it on its own, though, but it does cut the tax bill down.

It's also clear that Ford is putting a bit of muscle into producing the Puma – spending €200m in a production facility in Romania to make it – and it already has a fair following, with more than 7000 sold this year.

The model on test was the ST-Line X with a six-speed auto box, but more recently a new seven-speed dual-clutch auto transmission can be had carrying Ford's luxury Vignale nomenclature.

The tested model was fairly nifty, doing the timed 0-62mph run in 8.9 seconds and it was very able at handling that performance. It's not a bad performance considering owning one of these starts at just around £20,000, though with options tagged on to the test car and its X spec' meant that it was more than £27k that would stream out of your bank account.

Ford has made much of the practicalities of this as a useful family/leisure style vehicle and one of its literal hidden gems is the ‘megabox’-equipped boot. This is built in to where you'd expect the spare wheel to be – remember those!

Total luggage room is 456 litres but the megabox adds an extra 68 litres of space ideal for the wettest of wet weather gear, given that it even has a drain hole in the bottom.

As for how much it costs to run, the book said it would average more than 50 mpg, but as usual the book doesn't live in Scotland and so probably mid-40s is a better assumption to make.

For the driver, there's not too much to scare you in the way of fussiness in the dash and as is usual, there is also a fuss-free hook-up for telephones using the touch-screen. This vehicle also had the optional panoramic roof (add £950 just for that) and it's great for when the weather is good (again, if you can remember that!) plus a 10-speaker Band and Olufsen stereo to drown out any rain thundering on the roof!

All in all and enjoyable little SUV that sits well just below Ford's Kuga, but above the EcoSport in that sector of the market.