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Ford Endeavour Size does matter! news
19 February 2008

New engines, new exteriors, new interiors Ford Motors could very well have given the new Endeavour a whole new name. The latest version of this bestselling premium SUV is not just a revision of its ancestry, but a different vision in itself. By Sourya Biswas.

Ford EndeavourAmerican car manufacturers have, since time immemorial, had the dodgy practice of naming the same vehicle differently in different markets. General Motors leads the way, with so many of its products having so many different names in so many different countries (the so many 'so many's' were intentional), that there is a high probability of the next GM car suffering from an identity crisis. The other American behemoth Ford is no different the Ford Ikon in India was actually a modified Fiesta hatchback, while the premium SUV Endeavour is known as the Ford Escape elsewhere in the world.

The Ford Endeavour was launched in India as far back as 2001, and did reasonably well in the hallowed world of premium SUVs. So, one may well ask the reason behind reviewing a vehicle seven years old, irrespective of any new bells and whistles that may have been added. The reason, simply, is that this is a brand new vehicle. Not only has it had a change of heart, literally, by incorporating a new 2.5L Duratorq TDCi engine, it has also got itself a new wardrobe. The result is a vehicle, which in the words of Ford's marketing team retains ''only 25 per cent'' of its predecessor's features.

In the season of makeovers of the more popular and cheaper SUVs like the Mahindra Scorpio and the Tata Safari, it is easy to overlook the action on the premium front. The ball actually started rolling with the launch of the new Hyundai Tucson, and this was closely followed by the revamped Honda CR-V and Suzuki Grand Vitara. The new Ford Endeavour only completes that pretty picture.

The new engine is definitely the USP of this new vehicle, but it is not the only SP. The exteriors have undergone a change too, though not substantial. The Endeavour has been based on the Ford Ranger pickup platform, and its lineage shows through just as distinctly as before. What have changed are the body cladding which is gone, wheels which are larger, headlamps that are bigger, a nose that is higher, a swell on the hood (stylishly called a 'power dome') which wasn't there, and an underbody cover which is a welcome addition. Some things like the leaf springs and prominent tailgate-mounted spare wheel of old still remain, but no complaints!

The two-tone exterior and cladding which defined the earlier Endeavour are now gone, and with it, a part of the machismo. But one can't really blame Ford for the clean lines now in vogue, considering that the Endeavour still retains a distinct SUV feel unlike the Tucson and CR-V which have taken their urban commute roles a bit too seriously. Thank heaven for small mercies!

While the exteriors have undergone only cosmetic surgery, the interiors have been subjected to a major bariatric procedure. They now fully justify the Endeavour's million-and-half tag and resemble that of a premium sedan. In a marked contrast to the earlier plastics of questionable quality, the new two-tone silver and black dashboard embedded with hooded dials and luminescent green needles lend a touch of futuristic class to the inner sanctum. The plush camel-brown leather upholstery and flip-and-fold adjustable seats, further reinforce the metamorphosis of the Endeavour's interiors.

The AC has always been one of the best features of the old Endeavour, and the new one is no exception. There are vents for all three rows, although that's the only comfort that the third row passengers will find in the vehicle, considering the limited space that precludes anyone but children and seriously vertically challenged people from occupying that space for long. Climate control is a feature that is lacking in many premium vehicles in India, and the Endeavour is also guilty of this folly. It comes with the usual accessories of its class like a six-CD changer, power windows and remote entry.

Now we come to the really, really exciting part the new engine. The old 111 bhp single-cam 2.5L turbo-diesel was nowhere near to being competent enough to power this gargantuan SUV, and just about managed to drag the two tons of metal around. Not anymore. The new direct-injection 16-valve double overhead-cam powerhouse delivers an impressive 143 bhp at 3500 rpm and an even more impressive torque of 330 N-m at 1800 rpm enough to not only move the SUV but easily drag along a trailer as well. The engine manages to power the vehicle from standing to the 100 kmph mark within 14 seconds, a considerable feat by SUV standards. It also includes a Variable Geometry Turbocharger that cuts the turbo lag so evident in the earlier generation.

The transmission has been upgraded keeping in mind the increased torque, and now features a dual-mass flywheel with tri-cone synchronisers for a more refined driving experience. Although the suspension layout remains unchanged, the details certainly have, with softer front torsion bars, wider rear leaf length and shock absorbers producing a smoother ride. Although body roll is evident, it is markedly less than the Scorpio or Safari.

Ford EndeavourAn article on the Endeavour would be incomplete without a discussion on its on-road capabilities. The Endeavour has always been a respectable off-roader with its ladder-frame chassis construction and generous ground clearance. The experience just got a bit sweeter with the larger tyres and a torque sensing limited-slip differential (LSD) which distributes the torque evenly between the two sides and enables better handling. However, this comes only with the 4X4 variant, along with remote-lockable wheel hubs. However, the manually operated shift to four-wheel drive is a trifle hard to use.

As far as safety is concerned, Ford has further reinforced the Endeavour's tank-like construction with door intrusion beams and pillars. A rigid body shell and crumple zones to the front and rear complete the picture. The Endeavour comes with ABS and airbags as standard equipment, only to be expected in a vehicle of its class. While improvements in power and torque have usually led to increased fuel guzzling, the new Endeavour is an honourable exception, managing a 22 per cent increase in fuel efficiency over its earlier generation. All this translates to a very respectable 12.2 kmpl on the highway and 7.5 kmpl in the city.

In fuel efficiency, it outscores its contemporaries like the Honda CR-V and Suzuki Grand Vitara by a mile, and more. Not only does it offer more mileage per litre, it also offers more bang for the buck, considering it consumes the less expensive diesel unlike the other two that run on petrol. With the recent price hike, the difference in prices of the two fuels has increased further. All this makes the Endeavour a good value-for-money buy in the SUV segment.

The Endeavour comes in three variants that can be ordered with either two-wheel or four-wheel drive. The base XLT version carries a host of goodies as standard power steering, power windows, power windows, remote entry, 6-CD MP3 player, alloy wheels, leather seats, front airbags, ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution). The upper variants, the Limited Edition and Club Pack, merely add exterior embellishments at disproportionate prices. The topmost Hurricane edition, however, does include a DVD player.

With the base XLT version priced only at an Rs 70, 000 premium to the older Endeavour at Rs 15.55 lakh, it's definitely worth a second look. However, it faces a lot of competition in this segment from the revamped CR-V and Grand Vitara, and the newly launched Chevrolet Captiva. There are several other contenders just above this price range, like the Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander. In this battle, the Endeavour's old-school SUV looks over the soft-roader appearances of its contemporaries might just turn the tide in its favour.

Here, we present a comparison chart of the new Ford Endeavour vis--vis its two main competitors, the revamped Honda CR-V and the new Suzuki Grand Vitara.
We will be covering another newly launched competitor, the Chevrolet Captiva, in detail soon, and will also compare it with respect to this behemoth.

Parameters Ford Endeavour
TDCi 4x2 XLT
Maruti Grand
Vitara 2.0 MT
Honda CR-V 2.4 MT
Overall length 4998 mm 4470 mm 4530 mm
Overall width 1789 mm 1810 mm 1820 mm
Overall height 1836 mm 1695 mm 1680 mm
Wheelbase 2860 mm 2640 mm 2620 mm
Ground clearance 210 mm 200 mm 185 mm
Front track 1475 mm 1540 mm 1565 mm
Rear track 1470 mm 1560 mm 1565 mm
Front headroom 1000 mm 1000 mm 1035 mm
Front legroom 1170 mm NA NA
Boot space NA 556 litre NA
Kerb weight 1875 kg 1594 kg 1535 kg
Fuel tank capacity 71 litre 66 litre 58 litre
Fuel efficiency      
Mileage (city) 9.7 km/litre 6.7 km/litre 7.9 km/litre
Mileage (highway) 12.0 km/litre 9.5 km/litre 10.6 km/litre
Mileage (overall) 10.7 km/litre 8.0 km/litre 8.3 km/litre
Maximum speed 151 Km/Hour 146 Km/Hour 156 Km/Hour
0-100 kmph 13.2 seconds 14.0 seconds 10.4 seconds
80-0 kmph 30.6 metres NA 27.1 metres
Engine type 2.5L TDCi Diesel 2L 16V DOHC Petrol 2.4L i-VTEC Petrol
Displacement 2499 cc 1995 cc 2354 cc
Power 143bhp@ 3500 rpm 120bhp@ 5500 rpm 161bhp@ 5800 rpm
Torque 330m@1800rpm 170Nm@ 3500 rpm 218Nm@ 4200rpm
No. of cylinders 4 cylinder 4 cylinder 4 cylinder
Transmission type Manual Manual Manual
Gears/Speeds 5 Gears 5 Gears 6 Gears
Front suspension Independent double wishbone with torsion bar spring & stabilizer bar McPherson strut McPherson strut, coil spring, torsion anti-roll bar
Rear suspension Progressive linear rate leaf springs with low friction pads Multi-link Double wishbone, coil spring, torsion anti-roll bar
Front brakes Ventilated discs Disc Ventilated discs
Rear brakes Drum Drum Discs
Wheel type Alloy Alloy Alloy
Wheel size 16inch 16inch 17inch
Tyres 245/70 R16 tubeless 225/70 R16 225/65 R 17 102 T
Price (Mumbai) Rs 15.55 lakh Rs 14.05 lakh Rs 18.98 lakh

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Ford Endeavour Size does matter!