Ford Endeavour: Off-Road Review of India's Most Premium SUV
- Published On: 23 April 2019
- 6 min read
As Ford launches first major facelift of Endeavour, Droom takes the new SUV for a spin to test its off-roading credentials.
Ford had launched the current generation Endeavour in 2016 and this was a completely all-new vehicle from the grounds up. It looked better, had a bigger cabin with more features and came with two engine options including a massive 3.2-litre unit. Sales went up North and the Endeavour soon created its own niche in the segment. Fast forward to 2019 and the company launched the first major facelift of the current generation model. It looks better, has more features and carries forward the same, unbeatable powertrain combination.
While we brought a detailed readiest of this new version a few months back on the site, this time around we will discuss our off-roading experience with the same vehicle. We got a chance to participate in the GFED or the Great Ford Endeavour Drive event that has been conducted across as many as 14 cities till now. This event is open to customers to come and explore the off-road capabilities of this mammoth SUV.
The images showcased on this page more than depict what this SUV is capable of. This is the 3.2 version that comes with a 3198cc engine capable of churning out 200 PS of power and 470 Nm of torque. Do note that ford offers a 4x4 with this engine option and not the smaller 2.2 model. And we aren’t complaining as the amount of power and torque on avail from the bigger engine is more than ample to get the Endeavour out of the trickiest of situations, even with driven with a full load of passengers. A 6-speed automatic gearbox comes standard and this makes driving the Endeavour so much easier in such situations. No more fiddling with the clutch manually while getting out of tricky situations, right?
The Endeavour gets a full-time 4x4 drivetrain and this system automatically transfers the power to various wheels depending on the traction available. We drove to our off-roading location in normal 4x2 mode and only selected 4x4 Low when the course started. This low range (2.48:1) transfer case is a much have for heavy SUVs and can be used till speeds of 65 km/h. This low ratio mode is also required to enter the rock mode - more on this later.
The 225mm of ‘true’ ground clearance is the most crucial aspect here. Driving through any off-road situation requires the vehicle to have all its wheels on the ground without touching the underbelly. This prevents damage to the vehicle and traction at all times. Next, thanks to not so generous front and rear overhands, the Endeavour comes with an approach and departure angles of 30 and 25 degrees respectively. Even the ramp over angle is certified at 21 degrees.
In terms of the Endeavour on-board electronic tech, we managed to utilize the terrain management system properly. This is something its chief rival, the Toyota Fortuner doesn't offer. The TMS offers various modes like sand, snow/mud and rock. The last one is critical when driving at crawling speeds and should only be used when the vehicle is in 4x4 Low mode. We could also lock the rear differential - this prevents unwanted rear wheel spin. The snow/mud mode offers enhanced torque for more control on slippery surfaces while the sand mode gets in aggressive torque transfers while allowing rear differential lock at higher speeds.
But more than the jargons above, what impressed us a lot was how calm and composed the Endeavour remained no matter how much we pushed it. It kept us cocooned in the comforts and luxury while we had shivers going down our spine at the off-road course. This is a perfect example of a vehicle that you can drive to work on weekdays and explore the wilderness like this on weekends. All this without any modifications!
We even subjected the car to the famous ‘tilt test’: it looks scary from inside the cabin but given the dynamics of the Endeavour, none of the cars toppled over in spite of us driving it on the extreme side of the sand bank. Likewise, some of the cars undertook a water wading test, crossing a stream with knee deep waters easily. All this was done on the stock tyres without any modification to the vehicle.
The company has so much confidence in the product, it calls forward owners to come and experience all this in their own vehicles or the ones provided by Ford without any prior briefing or theoretical classes! Speaks volumes about the vehicle’s off-road credentials, doesn't it?