Ford Endeavour Sport Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the Ford Endeavour Sport.
Car Tested: Ford Endeavour Sport; Road Test No. 1225; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 36.31 – 41.77 Lakhs
Savage design, feature-loaded cabin and outstanding off-road capabilities make the Endeavour Sport the ideal SUV
Looks like black is the theme of the season with so many automakers launching black/dark versions of their vehicles. Ford has come out with the Endeavour Sport which is a cosmetically enhanced version of the standard Endeavour. The Endeavour has quite a decent fanbase in India, yes people love it for its road presence and sheer size more than anything so this Sport variant is probably aimed at those customers who want their Endy to look a bit more rugged, or rather, more gangsta. What this Endeavour Sport also has is a 2.0-litre BS6 diesel engine, something that we haven’t sampled in the past.
Exteriors – The Ford Endeavour is a huge SUV and bigger than the Toyota Fortuner in every dimension. The current generation was launched more than 4 years back and it still looks the same because this SUV hasn’t really got any major cosmetic changes. Ford had revamped the variant line-up a couple of times in the past and the vehicle also got a very mild update in early-2019. The Endeavour still looks classy and brute. With the Sport variant, Ford has basically added dashes of Ebony Black all across the car. So you get black bumper cladding, black side-steps, black roof rails, black ORVMs with puddle lamps, black trunk garnish and even black alloys with a new design. Also, the headlamps have also been smoked out now.
The black grille also gets a design that’s different from the standard Endeavour. There’s almost no chrome on the body now and the only places you’ll find it are the door handles and on the small 4WD badge at the rear. This version also gets Sport stickers on both the rear doors and a small Sport badge on the tailgate. I must say, the blacked-out treatment looks properly nice on the Endeavour and it screams road presence. But, I’m unsure about how this treatment will look on the Diffused Silver shade that’s also offered with this SUV though.
Interiors – Absolutely no changes have been made to the cabin of the Ford Endeavour Sport. You get the same dual-tone colour theme and the same set of features as before. A black colour theme for the cabin was expected but that’s not the case. The Endeavour is nicely loaded with equipment and you get 7 airbags, ABS with EBD, Traction Control, ESP, front and rear parking sensors, semi-auto parallel park assist, active noise cancellation, powered 3rd-row seat, 8-way powered front seats, ambient lighting, cruise control with ASLD, tilt+telescopic steering and dual-zone climate control. The 8-inch SYNC3 touchscreen infotainment system has a neat UI while also offering pretty good sound quality from the stock speakers. The seats offer good comfort and support but yes the third row isn’t the most spacious out there. The Endeavour also gets Ford Pass which basically lends connected car features to the vehicle.
Performance – The Ford Endeavour was earlier offered with 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre diesel engines, with the latter being a 5-cylinder unit. With the arrival of BS6 norms, both the engines got phased out and Ford introduced a new 2.0-litre, 4-cyl, EcoBlue engine making 170 PS at 3500 RPM and 420 Nm from 2000-2500 RPM. In comparison, the older 3.2-litre unit used to churn out 200 PS and 470 Nm. The India-spec Endeavour gets a single turbo while internationally Ford is offering a twin-turbo engine. This oil-burner is matched to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. The new engine is ahead of the older unit in terms of refinement and that is evident at idle as well as while driving. At higher RPMs is where the engine feels vocal.
The turbocharged engine while not as torquey as the 3.2-litre motor, feels much more refined and offers pretty good driveability
Performance is actually good even though the engine has a lesser cubic capacity than before. You can feel some lag below 1700-1800 RPM and after that, the torque is dished out in a very nice and mature manner. The Endeavour gains pace rapidly in the mid-range but the power delivery gets limited towards the higher RPMs and there’s not much juice left after 4000 RPM. Acceleration is quick enough and while we couldn’t do a proper VBOX test owing to the rains, I reckon the Endy 2.0 will do the 0-100 km/hr sprint in about 13 seconds.
The 10-speed automatic gearbox is a big improvement over the older 6-speed unit too. It smartly upshifts and downshifts gears whenever required in a way that you can extract the maximum juice from the engine if you’re pushing the car hard or extract the maximum fuel efficiency if you’re just cruising down the highway. For example, if you’re cruising in the 8th gear and want to overtake a couple of vehicles, for which you pin the throttle, the gearbox will downshift to, say, the 4th gear to build up pace quickly, and once you’re back to cruising, it’ll upshift a few gears. Yes, the AT doesn’t always go through every gear in the upshift and downshift cycle and it can skip gears.
The gearbox doesn’t get paddle-shifters but you do get a Sport mode and also a manual mode which consists of two small buttons placed on the side of the gear lever through which you can change cogs. Overall, the performance of the 2.0-litre engine is quite good and a heavy SUV like the Endeavour doesn’t really feel underpowered. Yes, you do miss the extra punch the 3.2 offered but otherwise, there are no issues with the performance at all. All in all, the Ford Endeavour feels quite effortless to drive around, really. The ARAI-claimed fuel efficiency figure stands at 12.4 km/l for the 4×4 AT variant but actual figures hover between 7-8 km/l.
Driving Dynamics – The ride quality seems to have improved over the 2019 model and the suspension just continues to impress. The ride is supple and craters on our roads do not unsettle this SUV in any manner. It feels poised all the time and maintains composure from low to high speeds. Compared to the Fortuner which feels quite bumpy, the Endeavour is a lot more comfortable. Even when you take it off the road, sharp bumps do make their presence felt inside the cabin but the suspension manages to mask most of the irregularities of the surface quite well. The steering is very light and this lends a lot of ease to the overall manoeuvrability of such a hefty vehicle. It weighs up well on the highways but more than that, it is extremely useful while driving in congested areas or while off-roading and doesn’t give your arms a workout. But, compared to the 2019 model, the steering now feels a little less direct.
Off-Road – The Ford Endeavour has very good off-road prowess. It comes with a Terrain Management System with different modes like Normal, Snow, Sand, Mud and Rock. The SUV also gets 4×4 Low, rear differential lock, rollover stability, Hill Launch Assist and Hill Descent Control. We managed to take the vehicle on an off-road trail and I wouldn’t call it very hard-core but it was quite challenging and a 2WD vehicle wouldn’t probably come out of it clean. The different off-road modes work well though we made use of only the Mud and Rock modes. The ground clearance is sufficient for most part but the SUV did scrape slightly on some of the steeper obstacles with uneven surfaces. The excellent all-round visibility is a huge boon because it lets you drive the car through tight paths quite easily. The Endeavour gets disc brakes at the front and rear and the stopping power is indeed confidence-inspiring.
Verdict – The Ford Endeavour is a great SUV and it offers a lot for the price. It has immense street cred, gets a good quality cabin with tons of features and has potent mechanicals, which is why it has such a good fan following. Now, the Sport variant only gets cosmetic tweaks while the mechanicals and the interiors remain completely unchanged. This variant can be a good choice for someone who doesn’t really fancy all that chrome on the outside. The Endeavour Sport directly rivals the Toyota Fortuner TRD Sportivo, which is again a cosmetically-enhanced variant but is priced at a premium.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Toyota Fortuner, Mahindra Alturas G4, Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
Further Reading –