|Performance||5.0 of 5.0|
|Comfort||4.0 of 5.0|
|Interior||4.0 of 5.0|
|Exterior||5.0 of 5.0|
Ford is a brand that manufactures TOUGH and fun to drive cars. Ever since the debut of the Ikon, Fiesta, driving enthusiasts have always been impressed with the ride and handling of every Ford car. Ford had introduced the Ecosport, thereby creating a fresh new segment known as the Sub-4m compact SUV segment and that too has been impressive to drive despite being a tall vehicle.
The first generation Ford Endeavour was based on the Ford Ranger pick up truck and was launched in India in 2003. Though it was tough and brawny, it wasn’t so impressive in overall comfort and dynamics. Being a massive ladder-frame based SUV also meant that it was heavy in the city. This generation Endeavour received couple facelifts during its lifetime before being discontinued in 2015.
In 2015, the new second gen Endeavour was launched, claiming segment besting performance, safety and features. With the increasing competition from the new gen Fortuner, Ford was aggressive with the Endeavour in grabbing a big share of sales in the full size 7 seat SUV segment. Two diesel engine options were available, a 2.2L and 3.2L with 4WD available only on the larger engine. In 2020, with the kick-in of the BS6 regulations, a new 2.0L Ecoblue turbo diesel engine was introduced, replacing the old larger engines this engine was mated to a brand new 10-speed Torque converter Automatic gearbox only, without any other transmission option on any of the 3 variants.
The Endeavour provided the following unique features on the top spec Titanium plus 4WD variant:
Electric panoramic sunroof
Terrain management modes
4WD diff lock with low range
8 way Power adjustable front seats.
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Rear AC vents with controls
18” alloy wheels
All-wheel disc brakes
3-point seatbelt for rear middle-seat passenger
Auto dimming IRVM
Front parking sensors
Engine Start-stop system
Dual Color Instrument cluster displays
Smart Powered tailgate
Power folding 3rd row seats
All these features and characteristics make up the strengths of the Endeavour which are as follows:
The Looks: The Ford Endeavour stays true to the SUV image by providing a wide & muscular stance with the typical simplistic design elements at the front, dominated by the big octagonal grille. There are new LED DRLs with HID headlamp units and chrome detailing on the front grille. On the sides too, the Endeavour looks muscular and strong with 18” alloy wheels and the massive tyres filling up the large wheel arches. The LED tail-lamps are simple, yet unique to look at when they are turned on. Both, the front and rear bumpers receive proper robust-looking skid-plates. If you are not a fan of chrome, the Endeavour is also available with a Sport variant, which gets piano Black finish on the grille, the faux vents on the fenders, tailgate applique and alloy wheels replacing the Chrome.
Interior quality & ergonomics: The cabin of the Endeavour provides a simplistic layout with a boxy dashboard and premium materials. All variants come with a Dual tone interior theme with impressive quality materials. However only the top-spec Titanium plus variants get the soft touch leather wrap dashboard top & panoramic sunroof. Almost all the Buttons and switchgear are located where you would expect them to be. The Sunroof adds to the cabin’s airiness.
Space & Comfort: The Endeavour is a large SUV and it's hugely spacious on the inside. The front seats are accommodating while the rear seats are spacious with ample knee and headroom. Seating three people abreast is not an issue with the middle seat headrest and 3-point seatbelt available as standard. 8 Way Power adjustable driver seat is available as standard whereas only the Titanium plus Variant gets an 8 way Power adjustable front passenger seat. The third row seats too get dedicated AC vents on the roof and the middle row has got ample level of adjustment.
Practicality: While the boot space may not be great at around 180L with all seats up, the third row seats can be folded at a press of a button to release a good 450L capacity with a flat floor. Folding the second row seats creates an even larger space with 1050l capacity. The 3rd row seats can be Power retracted too. The Endeavour offers a smart powered tailgate as standard too. Apart from luggage, there are more than enough storage bins and cubby holes in the cabin to store Knick knacks.
Safety & build quality: The Endeavour has been awarded with a 5-star ASEANNCAP rating for all variants. Following are the standard safety features across all variants:
Pretensioner seatbelts for 7 passengers
All-wheel disc brakes
ABS with EBD
ESP with traction control
Hill hold control
Roll over mitigation
ISOFIX child seat mounts
Collapsible steering column
Smart key access
Ford pass connectivity
Geofencing & tracking
Rear parking sensors
The Titanium plus variant offers the following additional features over the standard features:
Driver knee airbag
Front parking sensors
Hill descent control
Ride & Handling: The Endeavour is impressive in the Ride & handling department. The Suspension at the rear being a Coil-spring setup is very pliant and absorbent at low speeds and keeps the car planted with good stability at higher speeds. The Electronic Power steering system is as easy as a small car to twirl at city speed while being greatly confidence-inspiring at higher speeds. The speed is so well masked that you have to keep an eye on the Speedometer regularly.
Powertrain: The BS6 Endeavour comes with a strong 2.0L Eco Blue Turbo-diesel engine. The 4cylinder engine produces 170PS and a great 420NM of torque! The Endeavour has been tuned with focus on performance and the midrange acceleration is really strong & linear with a wide powerband. The 10-speed Automatic is smooth and adequately quick too. However it responds best in Sports mode and manual mode. 4WD is available only on the top spec Titanium plus variant and the availability of Low range and Differential lock makes this big SUV, hugely capable off road. The Terrain management system alters the traction control system according to the mode selected.
While the Endeavour has its strong list of positives, it also has a few weaknesses, just like any other car.
Rear seat comfort: Though the rear seat is wide enough to easily accommodate 3 passengers, the seat itself lacks under-thigh support due to a short seat squab. The suspension also has a tendency to feel a bit hard on sharp edges at lower speeds.
Missing features: Though the Endeavour offers almost all the features required by a premium SUV buyer, the absence of a few obvious features is clearly felt. The missing features in the Ford Endeavour include:
Telescopic adjustable steering wheel
A fully digital instrument cluster
Service: Like any brand, Ford also have their fair share of good customer-friendly dealers and not-so-good ones. We can clearly see Ford tightening up their sleeves when it comes to service by introducing Service Price Promise & Dial-A-Ford doorstep service. https://www.fordservicepricepromise.com/
Conclusion: The Endeavour is the flagship model for Ford India and is hugely popular among the SUV crazy Indians. However, despite its long list of features and capabilities, the Endeavour still is some way off the sales figures and popularity of the Toyota Fortuner. The main reason for this is the shoddy marketing and misconceptions on service costs. Prices for the 2WD Automatic range starts from Rs.29.99L for the Titanium and goes upto Rs.32.75L for the Titanium plus whereas the 4WD Titanium plus is priced at Rs.34.45L. (All prices ex-showroom)
At this price, the Endeavour seems like the best value for money option among all full size 7 seat SUVs with its butch and intimidating looks, comfy cabin, strong engine and long list of features.
When it comes to service, you can see more than a few dealerships improving drastically with stricter norms and on the whole, Ford cars are cheaper to maintain and service than even Maruti Suzuki cars while also providing genuine quality. Ford has also introduced Service Price Promise and Dial-A-Ford services to instill confidence for customers. Find a good dealer with good customer reviews and experienced personnel and you will be happy for years. As for the Endeavour, it is easily the best SUV in its category. -