2016 Ford Endeavour Review
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Ford Endeavour Review

Car Tested: 2016 Ford Endeavour 3.2; Road Test No. 650

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 29.04 – Rs. 34.54 lakhs

The Ford Endeavour is back to kill the mundane with its new persona and a very desirable premium SUV package that makes a lot of sense

It was the previous generation Ford Endeavour that made the full-size premium SUV segment quite popular in India. The American SUV had some serious presence on our roads with its huge dimensions and intimidating raw styling. Initially the butch SUV gathered good response but eventually this segment saw new entrants that took away buyers’ attention from Ford. However, the blue oval is back with a bang! The new generation Ford Endeavour not only looks mesmerising but also makes the competition appear lifeless. The Indian buyers have been eagerly waiting for this SUV to come and we find out if it’s actually worth the wait or not.

Motor Quest: The first and second generation models of the Ford Endeavour were based on the old Mazda developed platforms that were more pick-up truck oriented chassis layouts. The latest generation Endeavour is based on a relatively new platform of the Ford Ranger. The new Endeavour has nothing in common with its predecessor.

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The Endeavour looks muscular and butch from this angle

Exteriors – The new Endeavour has been redesigned from the ground up and there’s not even a hint of previous gen Endeavour in the new styling. The front profile is dominated by a huge chrome dipped grille embracing the blue oval in the middle. The projector headlamps blend in quite well with their angular finish. The lower half of the muscular bumper gets a huge silver skid plate integrating the fog lamps neatly. The new Endeavour looks broad-shouldered thanks to the pronounced front fenders and the ripped bonnet. Having said that, Ford has worked on the aerodynamics of the giant SUV and has come up with a drag coefficient of 0.389.

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The sizeable dimensions of the 7-seater are evident from the side profile

There’s not a single angle from where the new Endeavour looks bad

With 4892 mm of length and 1860 mm of width, it is much longer (187 mm) and wider (20 mm) than its immediate rival Toyota Fortuner but a tad shorter (13 mm) in height at 1837 mm. It has also got a long wheelbase of 2850 mm, which is 100 mm more than the Fortuner but the 225 mm of ground clearance is identical. So these are the numbers to give you a perspective of the size, which is quite humongous when you see it in person. This is apparent from the rugged side profile. The 18-inch alloys with chunky pattern look great, wrapped in sizeable 265/60 section tyres.

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The smartly designed tail lamps make the rear look complete

The front fenders integrate chrome embellishments highlighting the engine details and in our case it was the 3.2-litre powered variant with 6-speed auto. The side steps are designed tastefully and there is a bold crease running on the lower half of the body connecting the brawny front and rear fenders. The rear continues to get the no-nonsense styling having a similar silver skid plate integrating rear fog lamps. The wraparound tail lights blend perfectly with the tailgate and are connected with a thick slat of chrome engraving ENDEAVOUR badging. The roof mounted spoiler makes the rear styling look complete. All in all, the new Endeavour gets a very confident stance and looks well proportioned from all angles.

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The quality feels great and the design is well put together

Interiors – With the new Endeavour’s tall structure and high ground clearance, you have to climb inside the cabin using the side stepper that gives you a proper SUV feeling. Once you get inside, get ready to be surprised by the next level styling of the interiors as compared to the outgoing Endeavour. The triple-tone layered finish of the dashboard looks very premium that gets three different materials. The top brown layer is finished in soft leatherette material which gets double stitching while the gloss dark grey plastic panel in the middle feels like metal and finally the lower half is finished in beige using soft touch plastic materials. The fit and finish is excellent for a car in this segment and the buttons and switches too feel top notch to use.

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Driving position is commanding, all controls are within reach

The fresh interiors are well put together in terms of design and quality both

The centre console design reminds me of the Mercedes GL-Class, the way the display is tucked in neatly and the vertically designed aircons. Speaking of the aircons, the air conditioning works well in the Endeavour having dual-zone climate control system and dedicated air vents for the second and third rows. On the lower half of the dashboard, there are controls for the semi-auto parallel park assist and the four-wheel drive system including the Land Rover inspired rotary knob with different modes. The four-spoke steering wheel feels rich to hold having all the buttons you need for the infotainment as well as cruise control and the MID. The dual-tone manly horn suits the Endeavour’s character. Good thing is that the stalks are designed for Indian driving conditions with indicator stalk on the right and wiper controls on the left. The instrument cluster is neatly designed having digital displays on either side and analogue speedometer in the middle. The screen on the left keeps you updated with the infotainment system while the right screen gives you car info including tachometer, mileage, distance to empty, inclinometers, etc.

2016 Ford Endeavour SYNC2016 Ford Endeavour Instrument Cluster

The SYNC system and the tech loaded instrument console provide a ton of information

The infotainment system is an 8-inch touchscreen unit that comes with 10-speaker system and integrated subwoofer that churns out good quality music. It has radio, AUX, two USB ports, CD and Bluetooth connectivity along with Ford SYNC system and voice control. The Endeavour comes with a unique noise cancellation system in the cabin which cuts out external noise and enriches the sound quality from the speakers. The touch sensitivity is good and the user interface is quite easy having large and well explained buttons for all the functions. You can operate the climate control system from the screen as well and it doubles up as a display for the rear parking camera with dynamic guidelines. The semi-auto parallel park feature is quite a fancy feature to have in this segment that steers the car in the parking on its own while you just need to brake and accelerate. It works well if you find good space but gets a bit confused in tight spots.

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Rear seats are very comfortable and spacious for long trips

In terms of comfort, the new Endeavour is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor. With the 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with manual tilt adjustable steering (not reach adjustable), you can find a perfect driving position no matter how short or tall you are. The view of the road is commanding as you sit high up. Such is the height that you look down on the Innovas and the XUV500s, forget about tiny hatchbacks. Though it is equivalent to the Safari and Fortuner. Cabin feels quite airy and spacious thanks to the light colour tones and dual panel moon roof which is quite big. The seats are very supportive on the front two rows. The middle row has decent headroom, shoulder room and ample legroom as well to stretch your legs, which is adjustable since the second row has a sliding function. There are no roof mounted handle bars for second row passengers but B-pillar mounted ones. There are individual lock/unlock buttons for all the doors, which is a neat touch. The third row is quite practical for children but for adults they are good for only short trips due to the lack of under thigh support as is the case with all third rows.

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The third and second row fold flat which makes a generous cargo capacity of 2010-litres

The Ford Endeavour comes with power tailgate which is a feature you see in luxury cars. Even with the third row up, you have enough space to keep essentials. The 50/50 split third row seats can be folded individually with a click of a button electrically and they fold down flat. You get a whooping 2010 litres of cargo space if you fold the 60/40 split second row, which also fold flat and you can make a cosy bed out of it. The spare wheel is placed underneath. All in all, the new Endeavour has got a very appealing yet practical cabin, which can be used for multiple purpose. Some of the nifty features include auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, front parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, etc. The only thing we feel is missing on the new Endeavour is the keyless entry and go system with push button start. Otherwise, you get more than what you would have expected in this latest offering by Ford.

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The low-end grunt is very strong for good city drivability

Performance – Powering the new Ford Endeavour are two diesel engine options – 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre. We drove the range topping 3198cc version that churns out 200 PS at 3000 RPM and 470 Nm of torque that peaks at 1750-2500 RPM. The turbo lag is minimal and the initial grunt is quite strong, making this giant SUV feel effortless to accelerate in city conditions. It picks up pace quite rapidly off the line as the oil burner pulls very strongly until the mid-range with meaty power delivery but the thrust tapers off sharply near the redline. NVH levels are quite refined and due to the noise cancelling tech, the engine isn’t very audible inside but quite vocal on the outside.

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The Endeavour is a great cruiser for highways having a strong mid-range

The mid-range is rocking but power tapers off near the redline mark

Mated to this engine is a 6-speed automatic transmission, which is the conventional torque converter and as expected the shifts are smooth when driven sedately but give it the beans and it takes some time to shuffle the gearbox. Since the real punch lies in the mid-range, you would want to shift early for seamless progression while highway overtaking needs clever throttle inputs or you can select gears manually by flicking the gear lever to the manual mode. Redline comes up at 4500 RPM where the engine feels out of steam. The Endeavour is not the most powerful SUV in its segment but it doesn’t feel underpowered either. It is best driven with gentle throttle inputs like an SUV should be driven and the American SUV cruises like a boss as it is relaxed doing 100 km/hr in the top gear at 1700 RPM. You can expect an average fuel efficiency of 8-9 km/l in real world conditions, while Ford claims 10.91 km/l.

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Not a corner carving SUV but offers pliant ride quality

Driving Dynamics – The new Ford Endeavour is based on a new ladder frame chassis and the dynamics are totally opposite the previous model. It gets an electronic power steering, which feels feather light at low speeds making it a very easy SUV to drive in congested situations. The steering weighs up as the speed increases and offers confidence inspiring feedback at high speeds. There is some body roll which is expected from an SUV this size but the balanced suspension makes it feel chuckable enough for cutting through traffic gaps and around corners. No, it is not a car to push hard around corners but feels comfortable around the twists while the positive steering holds the line well.

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Extremely capable off-roader with new Terrain Management System

The suspension is well calibrated and offers balanced ride and handling

Gone are the bouncy leaf springs from the rear and instead it gets a poised setup of coil springs that offer splendid ride quality when compared to its immediate rivals. There’s no bounciness at the rear whatsoever and it takes the bumps and potholes in its stride confidently. Brakes are strong enough to stop this beast of an SUV with ease and the pedal bite is soft but offers good feedback. The Endeavour gets an advanced Terrain Management System that comes with four different modes – Normal, Snow Mud Grass, Sand and Rock. There’s Hill Descent Control that helps in maintaining speed to tackle steep descents. It also gets electronic locking rear differential for increasing traction. All this and strong low-end grunt means effortless off-roading. It’s quite capable in flooded conditions too with a water wading ability of 800 mm. So you get a well balanced car for both on and off-road prowess.

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The Endeavour scores high on safety and is loaded with equipment

Safety and After Sales Service – Ford is offering the new Endeavour with seven airbags including dual front airbags, side airbags, curtain airbags and driver knee airbag. ABS with EBD is offered as standard along with electronic stability programme and traction control system that makes you feel well protected. The American automaker is offering the Endeavour with 2 year/1,00,000 km warranty and 24×7 roadside assistance. You can also opt for extended warranty. The sales and service network has been ramped up by Ford over the years now and hence the after sales is much better than before.

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Priced under Rs. 30 lakhs, it is the best SUV out there

Verdict – After a long time, Indian buyers have got a viable SUV to choose in this segment now. The new Ford Endeavour ticks all the right boxes for being a proper SUV and at the same time it offers premium features like no other rival. Interiors look fresh and are comfortable to be in with the flexible seating and practical layout. The contemporary and uncluttered styling makes it look very appealing and it has a big size to boast which all of us Indians like. Yes the engine needs a bit more grunt at the top-end but the overall performance for an SUV is good enough. You get a long list of variants to choose from with different options of engine, transmission, 4×4 or 4×2 layout. Even if it feels priced at a premium, the new Endeavour is worth the extra penny spent.

The Toyota Fortuner has had an almost peerless journey all these years in the Indian auto industry. Now is the time for the Fortuner to feel the heat since the new generation model has made its global debut and is yet to hit Indian shores (expected in 2017). Until then, the new Endeavour has enough room to grab some market share and who knows it might become the new king of this segment.

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Offers great confidence while off-road or in the urban mess of traffic

What’s Cool

* Masculine and modern styling makes it look fresh on Indian roads
* Well designed interiors with high quality materials and long list of features
* Comfortable seating which is flexible for excellent cargo space
* Good balance of ride quality and handling for an SUV
* Extensive electronic equipment and gadgetry for hassle-free off-roading
* Priced attractively considering the features on offer

What’s Not So Cool

* Doesn’t get keyless entry and go with push button start/stop
* Engine lacks top-end power and isn’t very frugal

Alternatives: Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, SsangYong Rexton, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

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The Ford Endeavour now comes with a more competitive package

2016 Ford Endeavour Specifications

* Engine: 3198cc, Duratorq TDCI, 5-cylinder, Turbocharged, DOHC
* Power: 198 HP @ 3000 RPM
* Torque: 470 Nm @ 1750-2500 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed automatic
* 0-100 km/hr: 13 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 10 km/l
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: Independent coil springs (Front), Coil springs (Rear)
* Tyres: 265/60/18
* Brakes: Discs (Front & Rear)
* Safety: Seven Airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP, TCS

2016 Ford Endeavour Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 4892 mm X 1860 mm X 1837 mm
* Wheelbase: 2850 mm
* Ground clearance: 225 mm
* Turning radius: 5.8-metres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 80-litres
* Kerb Weight: 2000 kgs (est.)

Further Reading

2016 Ford Endeavour First Drive Review