Isuzu MU-X vs Ford Endeavour
- Published On: 8 June 2017
- 7 min read
Can Isuzu’s behemoth take on the able bodied Ford Endeavour?
The Endeavour is big and tough seven-seat premium SUV. It’s a capable rival that betters its popular Toyota’s Fortuner in many areas. When you compare the MU-X 4x4 automatic and the Ford spec-for-spec, the top-spec Endeavour Titanium trim costs a hefty ₹31.50 lakh. That means the Isuzu is a whole ₹5.5 lakh less. So, which SUV makes more sense?
On the outside
The Endeavour looks slightly larger, while the Isuzu looks far more compact when you put the two together. The Isuzu looks the more aggressive of the two - its dark-coloured 17-inch alloy wheels look very attractive hanging below the huge wheel arches.
The Endeavour’s design uses neat lines and details and its aggressive presence is thanks to its sheer size and upright proportions. There’s lots of chrome bits around the Ford - on the grille, on the tailgate, and on the 18-inch wheels.
On the inside
The Isuzu’s dash is impressive, but its hard plastics don't feel rich enough. The all-black colour scheme doesn’t help lift the air much either. The Isuzu’s dash sports a stylish round climate control dial though.
The Endeavour feels much more premium – its horizontally segmented dash, whose top segment is wrapped in brown faux leather with a gunmetal grey plastic insert in the middle and beige around the bottom, add to that rich feel.
The MU-X has a lot of tech on offer, but the Endeavour in Titanium spec offers a bit more. Both have touchscreens - the Isuzu's is a simple, monochrome while the Endeavour has Ford's latest Sync 3 system with a high-res colour screen, voice commands, smartphone integration. The MU-X comes with keyless entry and go and a 10-inch roof-mounted entertainment screen for rear passengers. The Ford additionally gets semi-auto parking assist, navigation, an electric tailgate, electric-folding third row seats, a panoramic sunroof and five more airbags.
The MU-X seats, however, are much more comfortable than the Endeavour, irrespective of where you sit in the cabin. Cushioning at the front is very comfortable, space in the middle row is immense and there’s enough head and kneeroom in the spacious third row. The seating position here is decent too.
The Ford's front seats are comfortable, but are a bit flat, and cushioning all round is on the firmer side. In the middle row, there’s not as much knee room or thigh support, while the third row is cramped and quite uncomfortable.
Also, the middle row doesn't flip forward, so access to the third row is tricky, but the Isuzu’s seats tumble forward with just one lever pull to allow easy access.
Under their hoods
The MU-X is powered by a 177hp, 380Nm, 3.0-litre motor, which doesn’t feel nearly as peppy as the Endeavour's 200hp, 470Nm 3.2-litre unit. The Isuzu motor tends to feel strained on the road, but the figures don’t show this reality - the MU-X is only 1.35sec slower to 100kph. While both SUVs use pick-up-truck-sourced engines, the Isuzu makes the most noise.
Ford's noise-cancelling tech is to thank here. The Endeavour's motor is a lot more responsive – it leaps forward when you put your foot down. In the Isuzu, however, there’s a bit of hesitation, followed by strain and noise initially. The gearboxes are largely why - Ford's six-speed unit works better at finding the right gear than the MU-X's five-speeder.
From behind the wheel
The electric power steering of the Ford helps takes the bulk away from the car, making it easier to drive in the city. The Isuzu’s steering suffers from a lot of steering shock, which doesn’t occur on the Ford.
Not that you should be attempting corners with these cars, but the Ford corners with much better poise thanks to a better calibrated suspension and that superb steering. The MU-X's rolls a lot and the steering, though well-weighted, doesn’t inspire confidence. Move even slightly quickly over bumps and the MU-X tends to bounce around. But drive carefully, and slow down for potholes and bad roads, and the Isuzu treats you with its plush, pillow-like ride.
Which one should you buy?
Both cars are quite practical. And while the only real shortcoming of the Ford is space and seat comfort in comparison to the Isuzu, in every other area, it's better than the Isuzu. It feels more luxurious inside, all the controls and equipment are more modern, it rides better overall, it handles better and it's much easier to drive. The engine is much stronger and far more refined. So, while the Isuzu appears to be value for money, if you’re willing to stretch for a better all-round experience, you should.