2019 Ford Endeavour Review
Car Tested: 2019 Ford Endeavour; Road Test No. 1064; Test Location: Jaisalmer
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 31.50 - 41 lakhs
The Ford Endeavour is a brilliant SUV offering everything a buyer would want!
The Ford Endeavour has always impressed us and we have had the opportunity to drive this mammoth across different terrains over the last couple of years. It has been the pick of the segment by a considerable margin offering indestructible presence, exceptional capability and unmatched comfort. Now, Ford has put the Endeavour through a mid-life facelift and we have come down to the dunes of Jaisalmer to test Ford's flagship SUV in some tricky sandy terrain.
Exteriors - The Endeavour has always dominated the road and the new one does that with a little more shine. The changes are subtle and we like it that way. The front grille now gets 3 slats against the previous 2 slat one. The headlamps get a smoked effect and the front skid plates now incorporate the fog lamps. However, Ford has taken out the headlamp-washers which used to be quite handy when you are into some serious mud-plugging. Dimensionally everything is the same and the Endeavour has the typical big and brawny American SUV look. The new wheels also look more rugged than before and we love the new 'Diffused Silver' colour we had on our car.From the rear, the Endeavour looks smart and athletic with a large strip of chrome with the name engraved on it. The changes are hardly any but why fix what isn't broken? Overall the Ford looks as brash as ever and the small yet effective design touches go some way in making it look more premium.
Interiors - You have to haul yourself in the Endeavour's high cabin but once inside, the cabin is properly upmarket. The beige theme works well and you instantly appreciate the high driving position. The dashboard leather colour has now gone to black from the previous maroon. The cabin also feels airy, thanks to generous sized windows and a large panoramic sunroof. The infotainment system comes with Ford's brilliant updated SYNC 3 infotainment screen which is a joy to use and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Comfort and convenience is well taken care of with features like auto-dimming rear-view mirror, electric seat adjust, dual-done climate control and electrically foldable third-row seats. Ford has missed on a charging socket and an SD-card slot. But in this wireless world, we doubt if you’d really miss the latter.
The cabin feels very appealing with good quality materials all around
The steering wheel is the right size and cluttered with many buttons but it is not very difficult to navigate once you get used to it. The quality of materials all round is is quite premium. The interiors remain largely unchanged and remain functional with the only major additions being push button start, request sensors on both the front doors and an electronically adjustable front passenger seat. With large bottle holders, a massive glovebox and huge space in the centre armrest, this cabin scores big on practicality too. Space, as you'd expect, is generous. You have ample headroom and legroom and the wide seats mean a person of any frame can sit comfortably. The second-row space is good too but the seats could've done with more thigh support. The third-row offers average space and will be mainly suited for children.
Space, as you'd expect, is generous. You have ample headroom and legroom and the wide seats mean a person of any frame can sit comfortably. The second-row space is good too but the seats could've done with more thigh support. The addition of AC vents on all the rows is a nice touch. The third-row offers average space and will be suited for full-grown adults for short distances.
Mention must be made of the excellent instrument cluster which gives a host of information via its part-digital layout. You get the usual info like distance to empty along with something more complex like approach and departure angles for the all-wheel-drive model. We also love the ambient lighting feature that goes the distance in making the cabin a soothing experience.
Performance - Mechanically there is absolutely no change with this facelift. Ford has continued with the same 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre engines. Both these engines deliver brilliantly and thats the main reason why Ford didn't need to change anything. Ford has also done away with too many variants, currently there are only 3 variants on sale. The 3.2-litre car comes only in the top of the line Titanium + variant which comes paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and in a 4WD layout. Coming to the 2.2-litre engined car, there is something here for the enthusiasts. Ford is bringing back its 6-speed manual and this will appeal to those who love to extract every ounce from the gearbox. It will also be available in the same 6-speed automatic guise and this lower capacity engine will come in a 2WD layout.
If performance is what you crave, get yourself the 3.2-litre variant
We sampled the 3.2-litre powered car and this engine packs so much punch that you dont really feel the massive weight of this car. Producing a segment best power & torque of 200 PS & 470 Nm respectively, this engine has a huge load of performance under its belt. There is a miniscule lag at the lower end of the rev band but the midrange is so strong that you don't practically feel any hesitstion. Moreover, the midrange is spread out over such a wide band that you are practically in the peak performance band most of the times.
Like most diesel motors, power fades out as you rev into the higher end of the rev band. The 6-speed automatic box is extremely slick and refined but it tends to hold onto a gear a tad bit longer. In the Sports mode, it will not upshift on hitting the rev-limiter which makes it so much more fun to drive enthusiastically. This engine truly shines on the highway and we expect it to return around 8-10 km/l in the average city and highway driving cycle. The 2.2-litre engine produces 160 PS & 385 Nm and will be the car of choice for those mainly driving in the city. One can expect a fuel economy of approximately 10-12 km/l from the smaller engine.
Driving Dynamics - This is where the Endeavour truly shines. Weighing close to 2400 kgs, this SUV has a ladder frame layout which gives it some great off road prowess but this comes at the cost of fuel economy and handling (one would imagine). But, you will be surprised how beautifully this car handles, the highlight being a perfectly calibrated steering wheel. This steering wheel is light at low speeds, weighs up amazingly at high speeds and gives you the confidence to push it harder. Even at high speeds, the Endeavour stays well planted to the road, yes, being a ladder frame, there is a fair amount of bodyroll but it is well contained. Clearly the Endeavour is the best handling SUV out there by ladder frame standards.
It is easy to say that this SUV has the best off-road performance in its segment
NVH levels are well contained. There is barely any noise creeping into the cabin thanks to Fords Active Noise Cancellation Technology. Ride quality is a little lumpy at slow speeds (owning to the ladder frame layout) but once you gather some pace, the Endeavour precisely filters out every little bump from entering the cabin. Ford has managed to find the perfect balance between ride and handling. The real benefits of the ladder frame layout were reaped when we went dune bashing. You have to actually be in the car to believe what the Endeavour is capable off. Part of the off-road magic comes with the hardware this car offers, right from the low range gearbox to electronically locking rear differentials and Terrain Management System. Brakes offer tremendous bite and braking is progressive and predictable.
Safety - The Ford Endeavour is a massive vehicle so it has that inherent safety advantage over the other small cars. Ford has also upped the game by offering 7-airbags as standard across all the variants which we think is a responsible move. You also get a host of other safety kits including traction control, ESP, ABS with EBD along with a very intuitive Park Assist feature.
Verdict - The Endeavour has always been the best SUV in the segment and now with this minor update, it has become even better. It offers segment best performance, tons of practicality and oodles of comfort. Yet, it is very economical when it comes to routine maintenance (72 paise/km) which is undercutting its rivals by a huge margin. Even with the extra goodies which come with this Facelift, it is still very competitively priced making it the pick of the segment, yet again.
* Styling is awesome, looks very bold
* Interior is loaded with segment-best features
* Both the engines are very good in terms of performance
* Off-road capabilities are impressive
What's Not So Cool
* Resale value might not be as good as the Fortuner
* Significantly pricier than Alturas
Further Reading -
2019 Ford Endeavour
2019 Ford Endeavour Review
Not much can go wrong with the Ford Endeavour because it is a brilliant SUV and offers so much! It boasts of excellent road presence, has premium interiors loaded to the brim with features, both the engines are good and it does off-roading without skipping a beat. Hard to find any major fault with the Endeavour, this SUV shines overs its rivals in this segment.