The Ford Endeavour has won a lot of hearts since its launch in 2015 and not without reason. Its massive dimensions commanded attention and along with that colossal 3.2-litre, five-cylinder engine and a bunch of off-road trickery, it could literally climb walls and at the same time cocoon you in comfort thanks to a bunch of features on offer. And now Ford has finally give it a much needed update to make it even better value.
The Endeavour is probably one of the best looking SUVs in its segment and that’s because Ford hasn’t tried to do anything new with the design. It’s big, it’s boxy and it’s intimidating, just how we like our SUVs. For the facelift, the Endeavour gets ever so minute changes on the outside. First up the, the grille gets a light update along with the front and rear bumpers. On the sides, you now get puddle lamps on the OVRMs and the new multi-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels.
Overall, the changes aren’t big enough to take notice, but the Endeavour wasn’t looking dated in the first place so these minute changes along with the new Diffused Silver paint shade that you see in the pictures just adds to the overall appeal of the Endeavour.
Climbing aboard the new Endeavour, you enter a familiar cabin. Plenty of space along with an overdose of beige which might be easily soiled but nevertheless imparts an airy feel. The dashboard layout remains the same, but it does a few features added. The multimedia screen now gets the latest SYNC 3 update and is a lot more responsive. That apart, it gets a barrage of connectivity options like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with the usual Bluetooth and USB connectivity. According to Ford a lot of customers also demanded keyless entry and push button start and the new Endy gets that too.
Another big update is that the co-driver seat is also power adjustable now as with the third row that folds flat at the touch of a button. The power lift tail gate now gets hands-free operation and operates by just swiping one’s leg under it. The Titanium Plus variant that you see here also gets seven airbags, panoramic sunroof, automatic headlamps and wipers, semi-park assist and then some.
Overall, the interiors are very likeable and livable and pretty quiet on the move too thanks to the active noise cancellation feature, however the quality of plastic could be better in areas like around the gear lever and the aircon controls.
The engine powering the Endeavour made big headlines when it was launched and why wouldn’t it? All of 3.2 litres with five cylinders and almost 200bhp and a mammoth 470Nm of torque available from just 1750 rpm meant it was the most powerful SUV not just in its own segment but also a segment above. The other option is the 2.2-litre diesel which makes 158bhp and 885Nm of torque. While the 3.2 gets 4WD and a six-speed AT, the 2.2 is rear wheel drive only and gets a six-speed auto and a six-speed manual.
We however only drove the bigger 3.2 and realised why we loved it so much. Tap the throttle and one can immediately feel the vast reserves of torque available. Cruising steadily once on the move, the Endeavour feels eerily silent, but when you do bury the throttle, the big SUV gets down on its haunches and whooshes forward. I say whooshes because that’s the kind of sound the engine makes as the rev counter starts climbing higher. The Endy does not like to be hurried up and makes it apparent with the loud engine noises and the buzzing accelerator pedal. In fact its best enjoyed by riding that huge mountain of torque in a relaxed manner.
Driving on the roads of Jaisalmer, the roads were mostly good tarmac and the Endy eats miles with aplomb. Even the odd sweeping corners are dispatched with ease, with the bug SUV feeling extremely confident. Sure it’s not as agile as a hatchback, but for an almost 2400 kg SUV, the Endy belies its weight and girth.
While it munches the good sections, it simply pummels the bad sections into submission. The Endeavour is so well set up that it just glides over the horrible sections. It’s only when you miss spotting a speed breaker that the Endy is found bucking about.
The Endeavour also comes with a Terrain Management System and Ford decided to show how it works best by taking us for some Dune bashing. The TMS gets an auto mode, a rock mode, snow mode and a sand mode. Once we hit the dunes, the tyre pressures were lowered, TPMS helps with the tyre pressure readings, and the car was put into sand mode. In sand mode, the throttle sensitivity is increased and the engine gets a more aggressive map to power out of sinking situations. The Endeavour even with stock road biased tyres sailed through the dunes with ease. Yes we did manage to bog it down at times, but that was thanks to the amateur mistakes we made. A big family SUV, with all the creature comforts going up the dunes like the Endeavour did is just amazing.
The Endeavour was already a well-equipped full-sized family SUV with plenty of capability. Now with the additional features, it’s even better value. The 3.2 Titanium Plus variant offers a bucket-load of features and comes with 4x4 to explore the unknown along with the family. You also have the option of the cheaper 2.2-litre engine if serious off-roading isn’t your thing. The Endeavour goes up against the popular Toyota Fortuner, the Isuzu MU-X and the recently launched Mahindra Alturas G4.
Photography by Ruel Rebello