Three years after the new generation of Ford Endeavour was launched in the market the SUV has been able to garner a loyal set of followers; some who want a comfortable drive on the road and many who like to have an exciting time off the road. Now the American car maker has decided to give the 7-seater SUV a mid-life facelift in order to take on the competition in a much better way.

Looks

The updated Endeavour gets quite a few changes on the front. There’s a new grille and the bumper too is redesigned. The fog lamps down below have been integrated nicely into the skid plates. On the profile what you get are new 18-inch alloy wheels which make the car look different. The door handles on the front get keyless entry functions. Of course the roof rails and the footboard are signature characteristics that make the SUV look very muscular. On the rear the look pretty much remains the same but now it complements the front better than before.

Interiors

The changes inside the cabin include 8-way electrically adjustable front seats and the addition of a start/stop button. The famed Sync 3.0 system that comes with emergency assistance is also compatible with apple car play and Android auto. The car also comes with semi-automatic parallel park assist, a feature that comes in very handy in the tight urban spaces. And it also gets automatic headlamps and automatic wipers. The nice panoramic sunroof covers more than half of the roof and despite that the roof mounted AC vents on the second row are placed nicely. The second row itself gets good space but a big transmission tunnel might affect the comfort of the middle passenger though especially on those long drives. The SUV now gets a powered tailgate which can be opened by swiping your leg under the car and the third row seats can be folded at the press of a button. The SUV can hold up to more than 2,000 litres of cargo with both the rear rows folded.

Engine

The engine options on the Ford Endeavour remain the same. The 4 cylinder 2.2 litre diesel engine churns out 160 PS of maximum power and 385 NM of peak torque. And the 5 cylinder 3.2 litre diesel is there too which gives a good power of 200 PS and an impressive peak torque of 470 Nm. And these figures come in handy in almost all road and traffic conditions. With the re-introduction of a manual transmission, the 2.2L engine now delivers a best-in-segment 14.2 Km/L fuel economy. The Automatic transmission will continue delivering a fuel economy of 12.62 Km/L. The 3.2 litre avatar comes with just an all-wheel drive automatic option.

Handling

Looking for a superior control and stability even at high speeds, the Ford Endeavour does the job pretty well. The SUV dimensions don’t really hamper the fun drive you can have in this machine. Ride quality was never an issue with the Endeavour but on this facelift it feels even better. The suspension does a stellar job here to provide you a comfortable rid experience. Introduction of first-in-class Active Noise Cancellation, a technology used in noise-cancelling headphones to help reduce low-frequency engine sounds from entering the cabin also helps.

Off-roading

The Sam sand dunes near Jaisalmer were an ideal place to test out the capabilities of the car. The Advanced Terrain Management System on the Endeavour allows drivers to choose from four preset modes—Normal, Snow/Mud/Grass, Sand and Rock. These modes alter the vehicle’s throttle response, transmission, four-wheel drive system and traction control to confidently tackle any situation. Here of course we were in sand mode all through. And not once did our Endeavour get stuck despite some challenges conditions. The hill launch assist and hill descent control was a boon and never once we felt the need to engage 4by4 low or differential lock. The car also comes with a whopping 800 mm of water wading capacity; a little difficult to test than in the desert though.

Verdict

The new Endeavour has come at a price that makes it cheaper than before.  It starts at Rs. 28.19 lakh for the 4 cylinder 2.2 L manual variant and tops at Rs. 33.31 lakh for the top 3.2 litre variant. For every 1 lakh kms Ford is also promising an affordable service cost of 68 paisa per km for the 2.2 litre variants and 72 paise per km for the 3.2 litre variant. And it also comes with class-leading safety with up to seven airbags including other things. All these make the SUV more value for money than before while it remains as capable as ever.

Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars       

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