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2016 Ford Endeavour Review [with MEGA image gallery]

  • Jan 30, 2016
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2016 Ford Endeavour India

I had driven the all-new Endeavour last year in North Thailand (read report) and came back mighty impressed. Here was a product that had changed across all parameters and looked all set to regain its lost territory in the premium SUV market. Ford launched this next generation Endeavour on 20th January 2016 (read our launch story) and took everyone by surprise due to the fantastic pricing and loads of standard features, some of which are segment first.

We again drove the Indian spec version a few weeks back and now that we have the pricing with us, here's our definitive verdict of the new Endeavour.

BACKGROUND

2016 Ford Endeavour India

The original Endeavour was launched in India somewhere in the year 2003 and instantly went on to become a hit. At that time, the Tata Safari was its closet rival but the Endeavour offered premium-mess (at a higher price ofcourse) and soon became the must have SUV among politicians, celebrities and who's who of various industries. Over the year, Ford launched various iterations including special editions but the Toyota Fortuner's popularity meant the Endeavour lost its control over the market.
The last generation model was mainly a hit due to the availability of an automatic version (read our epic expedition with this version) which eventually forced Toyota to launch an automatic Fortuner as well. With the all-new Fortuner still months away from an Indian launch, this new Endeavour will catch the fancy of prospective customers.

THE DESIGN

2016 Ford Endeavour India

SUVs are supposed to be big in size with massive road presence and this is exactly what the Endeavour manages to do. It is slightly shorter in length but is wider and taller in size as compared to the outgoing version and thanks to muscular lines, it manages to turn heads quite easily. Infact, the view of the Endy in your rear view mirror will instantly make you give way for this monster. The raised front end with a huge bonnet and that massive chrome dipped grille takes center stage. The silver skid plate extends around the fog lamp housing and looks premium.

2016 Ford Endeavour India

The side profile is dominated by chunky 18-inch alloy wheels (Thai spec has 20-inch ones) and you can clearly notice the 225mm of ground clearance. The bulging wheel arches look purposeful and the side steps are pretty functional. Indians love chrome and the same is highlighted via the side rear view mirrors, door handles and side steps.

2016 Ford Endeavour India

As much as we love how the new Endy looks from the front and the side, the rear profile leaves a lot to be desired. It is better than the older version though - the skid plate that runs around the rear reflectors, the chrome dipped horizontal plate with Endeavour embossing and the overall clean lines but somehow, given the aggressive front end, designers could have probably spent a few more sleepless nights and come up with something better.
The new Endeavour is 4892mm in length which makes it longer than both the Chevrolet TrailBlazer (read our expert review) and the current Toyota Fortuner. Its also got the longest wheelbase and sits on 265/60 R18 tyres.

Exterior Gallery

[gallery columns="4" size="medium" link="file" ids="19293,19291,19290,19288,19287,19286,19285,19284"]

THE CABIN

2016 Ford Endeavour India

Step inside the big Ford and you will immediately notice the all-new cabin. There is nothing in terms of design that will remind you of the older Endeavour. To start with, you sit pretty high with a bird's-eye view of whats happening around on the road. The color of the cabin is split into two - the upper part being darker with a lighter lower part and seats. The steering feels great to hold but has dozen odd buttons for various functions - takes a while before getting used to them. The big news is the LCD screen behind the steering which had us hooked. It shows an array of information which includes an analogue speed display, gear indicator, average fuel economy (including history), average speed, digital tachometer, tilt and steering angels, entertainment set-up etc. Here's a quick image gallery of the same

LCD display gallery

[gallery columns="4" size="medium" link="file" ids="19302,19301,19300,19299,19298,19295,19296,19297"]

The next thing that impresses you the touch screen interface that is easy to use and has a wealth of information on display. This includes adjusting the dual zone climate control system. The new Endeavour gets the update SYNC 2 feature which apart from the usual functions also allows you to download apps using your phone's internet. The audio system itself sounds great for the price segment and you get as many as two USB slots, one SD slot and Aux in facility too.

2016 Ford Endeavour India

Below the touch screen sits the climate control system. All three rows get their own independent air-con controls as well. The front seats feel very comfortable - there are two cup holders behind the gear lever and the arm rest works well too.

2016 Ford Endeavour India

At the back, passengers get a central arm-rest that also opens up to provide two cup holders. While there is ample space here in the 2nd row, headroom for tall individuals will surely be an issue. Even the central transmission tunnel is pretty high and will obstruct with a middle 3rd passenger. That said, visibility from here is good and the windows roll down completely. The seats have a 60:40 split ratio and you can recline the seats for added comfort on long trips.

2016 Ford Endeavour India

The last row is best suited for small adults and getting in is a task but the USP here is the electric function to operate the 3rd row - all you need to do is press a button the seats fold flat or open up. Likewise, even the boot is electronically operated - both these features are standard across the range.

2016 Ford Endeavour India

Even with all the three rows in place, boot space stands at a respectable 450 litres. With the last row down, it increases to an impressive 750 litres. Want more space? Fold the 2nd row flat and you have as much as 2010 litres of space - that's seven times the boot space of the Hyundai Elite i20! And finally, the top end Endeavour comes with a massive panoramic sunroof which is a great and a must have feature in the segment. It also features an electric sunshade too.

Interior Gallery

[gallery size="medium" link="file" ids="19328,19327,19318,19317,19316,19315,19314,19312,19311,19310,19308,19307,19304,19303"]

THE ENGINE

2016 Ford Endeavour India

The new Endeavour comes with a choice of two new diesel engine options. The first is a four cylinder 2.2-litre unit that puts out 5% more power and 16% higher torque as compared to the older 2.5. This one is available with a 6-speed manual as well as a 6-speed automatic. 4x4 is optional with the manual gearbox version. 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 and is offered with a 6-speed automatic - 4x4 is optional.

2016 Ford Endeavour India

We drove the top end 3.2 AT in and around Delhi NCR and similar to my drive experience in Thailand, I came back impressed. The 3.2 will not push you into the seat every time you go down hard on the accelerator pedal but you will be surprised with the way it picks up speeds. Part throttle response is excellent and though the engine gets a bit noisy at high revs, triple digit speeds are attached without a fuss. The gearbox works well in most cases but dont expect it to respond immediately when you want to close in on a gap.

2016 Ford Endeavour India
The new engine is a delight for highway usage - there is more than enough torque in reserve even while cruising at 110-120km/h with 5 people on board and this is very encouraging for the driver. I didnt sample the smaller 2.2 in India but you can read my brief experience here.

COMFORT AND HANDLING

2016 Ford Endeavour India

The Indian Endeavour comes with 18-inch alloy wheels as opposed to 20-inch for the international version. This instantly means that the suspension is geared towards comfort and it shows the moment you drive this. The drive to our shoot location had more than ample stretches that didnt have a trace of tarmac and the Endy came out in flying colors. This is exactly we Indians want in our big SUVs - they should be comfortable without throwing you around when the road disappears. Slow speed ride is miles ahead of the current Fortuner and will be appreciated by buyers.

2016 Ford Endeavour India
Due to its weight and suspension set-up, there is body roll in the Endeavour but nothing that will alarm you. Keep in mind its a big vehicle, be a little cautious while cornering and you can throw this thing like a small vehicle into tight curves. The stability control kicks in pretty early and keeps things under check.
Another thing that will impress city drivers is the light steering - the electric set-up helps though one should not expect a fairly 'connected' feel at high speeds. But then again, we usually spend our time driving around in slow traffic and the light set-up helps immensely during rush hour commutes.

2016 Ford Endeavour India
What also helps in terms of overall comfort are the tiny noise cancellation tiny speakers that the Endeavour has on the inside - they help reduce noise levels and on the move, the Endy feels pretty silent on the inside - but more on this later when we get to review the car for a longer duration.
One grouse is the brake feel - the Endy stops well within the required distance but the brake feel isnt positive and doesnt inspire confidence.

OFF THE ROAD

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.

2016 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.

PRICING AND VERDICT

The new Endeavour starts at Rs 23.64 lakh for 2.2 MT 4x2 version which is lower than the Santa Fe, Fortuner, TrailBlazer and Pajero Sport. The top end version retails for Rs 28.15 lakh and comes with all the bells and whistles which are missing in other SUVs. Seven airbags, massive sunroof, Terrain management system, funky LCD display, dual zone air-con, SYNC 2 set-up, electric 3rd row and tailgate et al, the Endeavour is the most loaded SUV you can buy at this price point. And it looks fantastic and drives like a grown up premium sedan.
What more do you want? That answer might come in the form of the all-new Fortuner that will hit our shores later this year. But till then, the new Endeavour seems to be the pick of the lot easily.

 
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