One look and you know that the only thing linking the previous Endeavour and the new one is the name. Everything is new and better, compared to the old one. It still looks big and bold but has lost some of the bulkiness. A big chrome grill wraps the front of the car, with daytime LEDs and skid plates. Sideboards around the car look good and are useful to get in and out. The rear of the car has wrap around tail-lamps with a chrome strip running across the tail gate. The cars we drove had 20-inch wheels but we should get 18 inchers in India. The SUV looks fresh, modern and well proportioned, something the old Endeavour couldn’t quite strike.
The new Endeavour comes with two new engine options, both diesel. The 2.2-litre Duratorq makes 158.2 bhp with 39.2 kgm of torque while the 3.2-litre Duratorq makes 197 bhp and 47.9 kgm of torque. Both the variants we drove were mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, one which Ford is quite proud of and makes about a million of them every year. They come with a manual tranmission as well but in India, we may not get the 3.2-litre variant with a manual transmission; the base 2.2 variants making do with it.
Get into the new Endeavour and you are pleasantly surprised by how much the interior has improved. This is probably the best interior any Ford car in India has. From the infotainment screen to steering controls to the quality and finish, everything feels premium. Great job by Ford on this bit!
As with all new Fords, there is no lack of technology on the car. The new Endeavour comes with SYNC 2, the latest generation of Ford’s in-car connectivity solution. There is an eight-inch touchscreen with colour-coded corners, which is fairly easy to use. There is an entertainment system with a 10-speaker sound system with an integrated subwoofer.
The well designed cabin also has a dual-panel moon roof, more than 30 cleverly designed stowage spaces, multiple power outlets and a flexible seating and cargo arrangements. The third row comes with power fold option (in the Titanuium variant only), which along with powered tail-gate is a segment first. With the seats folded, the boot space is a substantial 2,010 litres. With the seats up, only a couple of bags is what you can manage.
We started the drive with the 2.2-litre 4×2 AT variant and a couple of kilometres into the drive, we realised this is not the one enthusiasts will choose. If you are a city driver who values efficiency, refinement and have little highway use, this is probably the variant for you. A couple of things; it lacks outright power delivery at higher revs and the torque spread combined with the somewhat slow auto-box doesn’t really aid matters. But the build up aided by how good the car looks on the outside isn’t maintained while driving this variant. While driving around town, it feels refined with overall NVH of a pretty high order, thanks to the relaxed gearbox. But on the highway you could feel it complaining a bit, struggling to keep up deep into three digits, a sign that this is primarily a large, premium urban SUV.
The 3.2-litre 4×4 AT was the other option we drove and that is almost the opposite of the 2.2L. This one craves for open roads and is at home when high speeds are called for. The torque spread is flatter, there’s more of it available at high revs and the gearbox feels less strained, though it’s still a bit dim-witted here, when compared to auto-boxes on other premium cars. In town, there is a distant whine from the motor that can be heard in the very well insulated cabin, though that’s. Until you engage the Terrain Management System (TMS) and change from Normal to Snow/Mud/Grass or Sand or Rock. The TMS alter the vehicle’s throttle response, transmission, intelligent four-wheel drive system and traction control to help you be on sure footing irrespective of the surface you are on. Here the 3.2L is happy even when the 4×4 is engaged and you crawling at 10 kph.
The new Endeavour is really geared up to go off road. We wonder how many of its owners will actually take it off road, but from whatever little we experienced today they will not be disappointed. The new Endeavour has true body-on-frame design with an intelligent four-wheel drive system, an active transfer case with Torque on Demand, Terrain Management System, a water-wading capability of 800 mm, 225 mm of ground clearance – the works to go off road.
The Endeavour also comes with Roll Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, Hill Assist, Curve Control and an Electronic Stability Program that works with traction control to help you drive better.
The new Endeavour is still about six months away and we are hoping to spend more time with it in India to give you a more detailed review. Till then, if you are looking for a good looking, capable off-roader without compromising on the comforts for you and your family – this could be the one for you.
Displacement: 2.2L I-4/3.2L I-5
Max power: 158.5 bhp at 3200 rpm/197 bhp at 3000 rpm
Max torque: 39 kgm at 1600-2500 rpm/ 47.6 kgm at 1750-2500 rpm
Type: Electronic Power Assisted Steering
(F/R): Double wishbone/ Live Axle
(F/R): Ventilated Disc / Solid Disc
(F/R): 265/65/R17 / 265/50/R20
L/W/H (mm): 4893/1862 /1836
Wheelbase: 2850 mm
Kerb weight: 2100-2300 kg
PRICE: Rs 20-25L (expected)