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The full-size SUV segment has plenty of offerings vying for attention with body soft and hard roader vehicles available. The two most popular SUVs which have been battling it out with each other since a really long time are the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour, both models being in their second generation. Now Ford has given the Endeavour a facelift, to make it an even better proposition than before.
Exteriors - Ford has given minor cosmetic changes to the Endeavour with the front seeing the biggest updates. The twin-slate grille has been replaced by a three-slat trapezoidal grille and the front skid plate has been integrated with the fog-lamp housing. The headlight now gets the black treatment which is easy to miss while at the sides, there are new alloy wheels which gather polarising opinion, some love it, others don't. The car also gets puddle lamps on the outside rearview mirrors but that's about it.
Interiors - Ford has added a few features like passive entry with a request sensor on both the front doors along with push-button start. The front co-passenger seat also gets power adjust now while the infotainment system gets an updated software. Ford has removed the line-in, SD card slot and one of the two 12V charging sockets in the centre console, moving the USB port there. The vehicle also gets a smart boot opening function wherein you just have to wave your foot below the rear bumper to open the boot.
Performance - Ford hasn't made any changes to the mechanicals of the Endeavour, it continues to draw power from the same 2.2-litre 4-cylinder and 3.2-litre 5-cylinder diesel engines. However, the 2.2-litre also gets the option of a 6-speed manual gearbox while a 6-speed automatic is offered on both the engines. The 3.2-litre is the one we tested, it produces a class-leading 200 HP of power and 470 Nm of torque, enough for it to sprint from standstill to the ton in around 11 seconds.
The engine is very refined and the active noise cancellation feature plays low-frequency sounds in reverse to ensure excellent NVH. There is some lag lower down but the motor pulls strongly in the mid-range but lacks a top-end, redlining between 4000 to 4500 RPM, depending on the mode on the gearbox as it has a Sports mode along with a tiptronic function for manual shifts. The gearbox tends to let the engine rev a bit too much and isn't the fastest with shifts but is a smooth operator. The Endeavour 3.2 returns a mileage between 8-10 km/l and has an 80-litre fuel tank.
Driving Dynamics - Underpinned by a ladder frame, the Endeavour is a heavy car which tips the scales at 2400 odd kgs but simply doesn't feel its weight. The steering is light at low speeds but weighs up brilliantly at high speeds with handling being very good by SUV standards. There is body roll but it's the most contained amongst its peers. The ride feels a bit jiggly at low speeds but flattens out as you increase speed to offer a great ride quality. The brakes offer good stopping power. We drove the Endeavour on sand dunes and the car excelled (4WD is solely available on the 3.2 and is standard). It comes with Terrain management mode with a low-ratio gearbox and an electronic rear locking differential.
Verdict - The Ford Endeavour has always been the best SUV in its segment and with the updates, it has received, it has become even better. Offering an imposing stance, comfortable and feature loaded interiors, excellent dynamic balance and just 72 paise per km cost of service, the Ford Endeavour facelift reaffirms its position as the best-engineered package.
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