Ford Endeavour Facelift Review & First Drive

OVERVIEW ;

The new SUV no longer has the manual variants, 2.2-litre 4×4 MT, 3.2-litre AT Trend. The Ford Endeavour 2017 now gets SYNC3, which means it now has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is a more advanced system with more features. Unfortunately there is a hike in price and the updated prices are below. What is the exact increase? We aren’t certain, we have asked Ford about it. So there has been a price hike for addition of a new feature, which is somewhat common even in smaller cars like Maruti Ignis, Volkswagen Polo. Want to buy the new Ford Endeavour 2017? Read further about it.

DESIGN ;

The USP of the new Ford Endeavour is its clean yet butch design. It has a full-blown, no nonsense SUV stance that scares the hell out of fellow road users. People actually give way if they see it coming in their rear-view mirrors. That huge Ford grille dipped in chrome along with angular projector headlamps and a wide skid plate make the front look complete and confident. The side profile gets clean lines and a tall profile along with those massive 18-inch alloys. The rear gets a neat set of tail lamps integrated well into the boot, there is a fancy roof spoiler along with a shiny skid plate. There is no visual difference between the 2.2 and 3.2 variants apart from the badging on the front fenders

CABIN ;

The big change in the new Endeavour is in the cabin – the amount of new features and new tech that the vehicle now comes loaded with. Many of them like the semi-auto parallel park assist and the panoramic sunroof are just the things needed to woo Indian buyers. They will be the key differentiators from the competition in this price segment. The perceived quality of the new Endeavour’s cabin is the other feature that is most likely to be appreciated by buyers. There is double-stitched leather on top of the dashboard and the seats are wide, plush and covered in leather. The dashboard itself is very upright and simplistic, with some plastic parts that seem ordinary, but the feel of luxury is still there, especially in the top-trim 3.2L 6 Auto we test drove.

One of the benefits of the 4.8-metre length of the new Endeavour and the fact that the axles are positioned with very short overhangs at the front and rear is the amount of space it affords inside the cabin. There is sufficient legroom even in the third row seats for young adults or kids to sit comfortably, though the lack of thigh support could make it uncomfortable over long journeys. The second row can be adjusted for more legroom and the seats are all wide and comfy. Dedicated air-conditioner vents for all rows means that the cabin should be a cool place to stay in. Power folding third row seats and a power closing tailgate means making more room and using it at the rear is super easy. But getting in and out of the new Endeavour may be a problem for older passengers who might find the seat height tall and typically SUV like. Stepping on the floor boards and heaving oneself in is inevitable if one is even an inch shorter than six feet.

Touchscreen infotainment system, rotary mode selector for the 4X4 system, the leather wrapped steering wheel with multiple controls and the active noise cancellation feature in the audio system that keeps the in-cabin engine noise levels to a minimum are some of the features we liked. The engine is quite noisy on the outside though, with the typical diesel engine clatter being prominent.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

This Endeavour is powered by Ford’s 2.2-litre, four cylinder motor that it has had internationally for a while now. The fact that the motor has been refined and tweaked further for its duty in the new Endeavour is certainly welcome. In this guise it makes a rather impressive 160PS at 3200rpm, along with 385Nm of torque available from as low as 1600rpm.

Despite a kerb weight of over 2200kg the engine does its job fairly well, hauling the massive brute to speeds quickly. Performance is obviously not as brisk as the 3.2 but doesn’t let you complain. Be it taking off from standstill or accelerating through the gears, the engine offers good grunt. Above all, it’s the refinement of the motor that shines though, as there’s barely any engine noise creeping into the cabin at any point of time. That’s also courtesy Ford’s ‘Active Noise Cancellation’ technology. It ensures the cabin is quiet by using three microphones that emit a low frequency sound inside.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

Ford has mastered the ride and handling balance of the new Endeavour. It might feel slightly stiff at lower speeds because of its ladder frame chassis but the overall ride comfort is supreme. Bumps, potholes, craters, rough roads, you name it and the beast takes all in its stride without breaking a sweat. The suspension is very well damped and the high profile tyres also contribute for good comfort. We were mighty impressed with the way it handles corners being a heavy duty SUV. The Endeavour turns its nose briskly on your command with well controlled body roll. The handling is very predictable and not floaty at all, big credit goes to the electric steering as well. It is feather light to manoeuvre at parking speeds and congested situations while it weighs up adequately at high speeds providing good confidence around the bends. Braking performance is impressive too, it has good amount of stopping power and the brake pedal bite is ideal for you to judge the desired distance to stop the hulk.

Despite having the rear-wheel drive 4×2 version, we tried some off-roading and remember, it wasn’t a mild off-road session, it had big obstacles. The Endeavour with its fantastic articulation, high ground clearance and wide tyres managed to tackle steep climbs. It provides good low-end torque to crawl up steep inclines. Taking such inclines with 4×2 saw some slippage but it managed to conquer the obstacle easily. If there was AWD with Terrain Management System, you just had to sit back and take such obstacles like speed breakers. The new Endeavour is without doubt an entertaining SUV to drive be it on the road or off it.

SAFETY AND FEATURES ;

The feature-packed new Ford Endeavour 2016 comes with first time features in its class. The Sync infotainment has voice enabled interface and the audio system has USB, AUX and SD card inputs. Power windows get anti-pinch feature with auto up/down. Powered mirrors with auto -folding, tilt steering, leather upholstery, rear parking sensors, dual zone climate control, cruise control, auto headlamps and rain-sensing wipers are some other features.

There is a powered tailgate on the Ford Endeavour 2016. It opens and closes at the touch of a button, another segment-first feature. In terms of safety, it comes with seven airbags, ABS with EBD, reverse camera with park assist, hill launch assist and hill descent control. The 3.2-litre version additionally has a panoramic sunroof as well. There are 2 trim levels in the 2.2-litre version, which are Trend and Titanium, whereas the 3.2-litre version comes only in the top-end Titanium trim.

The driver seat on the Ford Endeavour 2016 has a eight-way electric adjustment and has a lumbar adjustment as well. front and 2nd row seats are comfortable and there is adequate space here, however the third row is cumbersome to reach for adults and also being seated comfortably. It is clearly best suited for children. The second row seats of the Ford Endeavour 2016 have a 60:40 split and the third row has a 50:50 split. The AC vents for the rear passengers are embedded into the roof

CONCLUSSION ;

A long time coming but well worth the wait. The Endeavour is a huge step in the right direction for Ford in terms of engineering and technology. It feels like a premium car on the inside as much as it’s a true-blue tough SUV from the outside. Ford has also ensured that it ticks all the right boxes when it comes to off-roading capability. Performance could have been better, it’s extremely heavy, the gearbox has its flaws and it’s quite thirsty too. However, with a starting price of Rs 23.64 lakh, it undercuts the segment-leading Toyota Fortuner whilst the more powerful and far better equipped 3.2-litre variant costs only a lakh more. All things considered, then, the Endeavour’s shortcomings can be overlooked for the strong package of style, technology, equipment and premium feel that it offers. One of the first SUVs in this segment has now leapfrogged the others, and how.

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