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2015 New Ford Endeavour Road Test Review

  • Aug 12, 2015
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New Ford Endeavour India

Ford is all set to launch the all-new Endeavour in the Indian market by the end of this year. The Rs 25-30 lac rupee SUV segment has been dominated by the Toyota Fortuner since its launch in the Indian market 6 years back and Ford is clearly aiming to regain its lost territory. We drove the Thai-spec version in North Thailand and here’s our quick first drive impression

Looks like a proper SUV


New Ford Endeavour India

Dimensionally the new Endeavour is slightly less enormous than the outgoing version but yet, in flesh, it looks so much better. A fully grown SUV is supposed to be intimidating and this one is no different. Big, brawny and muscular, there is simply no similarity with the current Endeavour.

New Ford Endeavour India

Front end of the new Endeavour is dominated by a huge grille that seems to have been dipped in tons in chrome. The narrow swept back headlamps look nice and the front bumper is crafted well with integrated skid plate that also houses the fog lamps. Look at the side profile of the Endeavour and you realise the sheer length of the vehicle. The massive 20-inch alloys look great and are certainly one of the best we have seen on any SUV in India.

New Ford Endeavour India

The side profile of the Endeavour also shows the overdose of chrome on ORVMs, door handles, side step and on the nicely crafted little air-intake grille below the A-pillar. Move your eyes to the back and what catches your fancy are the silver skid plates and the horizontal chrome strip with lovely ‘Everest’ embossing. This ofcourse will be changed to “Endeavour” for India.

New Ford Endeavour India

Overall, the new Endeavour will be the most striking SUV in its segment and this factor will be a deal maker for many.

Feels modern!

New Ford Endeavour Interiors India

Climb inside the Endeavour and you can’t help but notice the sea of change in the cabin. It’s an all-new design with top notch quality and a long list of standard features. For starters, the view from the driver’s seat is great though when you drive the car around tight bends, you have to raise your head and look out for obstructions around the SUV.

New Ford Endeavour Interiors India

Seats are massive (driver’s seat will be powered for India) and comfortable and everything falls into your hands nicely. The steering is slightly on the larger side and comes with an array of buttons and the lovely semi digital console behind it looks great. The LCD on the right side of the console shows displays for various things – from a tachometer to driver info display, it also shows driver assist settings, terrain management system modes etc.

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Then there is a touch-screen infotainment system that also houses display for a two-zone climate control system. Under the infotainment system is the climate control system and you also get independent 12V charging points. And finally you notice the rotary knob for the terrain management system that works a lot like the one found in Land Rover offerings. This hi-tech system allows the driver to drive the Endeavour into and out of almost any kind of terrain – more on this later.

New Ford Endeavour Interiors India

Move to the back you are greeted with more space (and better comfort) as compared to the current model. Air-vents are positioned in the roof carpeting and you are amazed with the overall visibility that is offered for passengers seated in the 2nd row seats. You can slide the row forward (or backwards) and recline the seats as well. You also get a proper laptop charging point along with a massive panoramic sunroof that might not make it to India.

New Ford Endeavour Interiors India

The last row of seats is a bit difficult to access but offers good comfort for short trips. They can be folded flat at a touch of a button – the same goes for the tail gate that can be closed without physically pulling it down.
Overall, the new Endeavour gets more space, offers better comfort, has more features and most importantly, feels very premium.

There are two engine options

New Ford Endeavour India

The current Endeavour comes with a choice of two engine options: a 2.5-litre and a 3.0-litre. The new Endeavour will continue to come with two motors but these are all-new for India. The four cylinder 2.2-litre unit puts out 5% more power and 16% higher torque as compared to the current 2.5. Likewise, the new five-cylinder 3.2 puts out as much as 28% more power and 23% higher torque than the current 3.0-litre unit.
We drove both the units in Thailand and these were mated to 6-speed auto boxes. For India, Ford might offer the 2.2 with a 6-speed manual and the 3.2 with both a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed auto.

New Ford Endeavour interior

The smaller engine impressed us a lot. Inspite of a lower capacity, the motor felt peppy enough during part throttle inputs. It does not push you back into the seat during spirited driving but rewards you with excellent NVH levels and impressive fuel economy figures. Ford claims this 2.2-litre unit will probably have segment best fuel economy.
The bigger 3.2-litre motor is rather interesting. It will be the cheapest diesel SUV in India to crack the 200 Bhp mark and also offers tarmac tearing torque of 470Nm. While we were a bit disappointed with the punch when going down hard on the accelerator pedal, the way this engine makes the Endy pick up speeds over 100km/h is remarkable. The 6-speed auto ‘box however takes its own sweet time responding to your inputs. Even while changing gears manually, there is a considerable lag in shifts. Fuel economy will be around 20% less than the 2.2-litre motor.

And it drives well too!

New Ford Endeavour India

The initial part of our drive route was inside the city of Chiang Rai in North Thailand. At low speeds, the new Endeavour felt comfortable and a bit on the softer side. There was a bit of roll (even at low speeds) but I didn’t find a reason to complain because she felt really cosy and comfortable. As we hit the flowing highway leading us to Canary National Park and increased our speeds, the Endeavour seemed to shed its weight and started feeling like a compact SUV. Suspension firmed up and corners were taken at good speeds – this vehicle was beginning to impress me a lot. While this big Ford drove over typical Thailand roads easily, sharp undulations made their presence felt easily, hinting at a bit of firmness in the set-up.

New Ford Endeavour India

Soon we left tarmac and took the Endeavour into its natural territory. This is where we were left speechless. Steep descents, muddy up-hill bends, stream crossings and the works, the Endeavour took it all in its stride and seemed unruffled. I am sure we had not even utilized 50% of its capabilities and drove around the semi-forest area cocooned in the comforts of leather seats and a perfectly working air-con system.

New Ford Endeavour India

This also brings us to the new Terrain Management System which will be a segment first and has various modes. This system gives the driver various modes – Normal, Snow/Mud/Grass, Sand and Rock and these are claimed to change the way engine, gearbox and electronics work together to get you out of a sticky situation.

New Ford Endeavour India

Then there is ample ground clearance, electronic locking rear differential and a low ratio transfer box to make this one of the most capable SUVs in India. Further, the new Endeavour also gets as much as 800mm of water wading capacity, departure and approach angles of 25 and 21 degrees respectively and a ramp-over angle of 21 degrees. Ford has also given it a new Watt’s linkage that allows the axle to move up and own with very little lateral movement – very beneficial both on and off the road.

Will it sell?

New Ford Endeavour India

The new Endeavour is a much improved SUV. Looks better, feels good, drives well and can take a family of seven across continents. But it will be slightly expensive with the top end versions kissing the Rs 27-28 lakh mark easily. There is a lot going in its favour – I for one love the way it looks. Simply fantastic! It will definitely up the game in the segment and Toyota will have to re-do their homework of getting the all-new Fortuner to India sooner than they had planned. ‘nuf said!

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