Ford Endeavour gets a change of heart in the 2020 upgrade. Is it good enough to win our hearts?

Ford Endeavour has been the go-to vehicle for people with diverse requirements. There are many who love the big muscular looks, while others like it because it can transport their big families with ease. That’s not all, the SUV also comes with a long list of connectivity options and usable features. But the owners who love their Endeavours probably the most are the ones who like to get a feel of its capabilities. And that is exactly what we got to do with the updated 2020 BS6 version of the SUV on the challenging sand dunes of Jaisalmer.

Looks & Features

The Endeavour got a facelift just last year, so in terms of design and features not too much has changed on the car. The exteriors look almost similar barring one major change, it now features all-LED headlamps, encased in new square design lamp cluster. Ford says these LED lamps for both low and high-beam provide up to 20% greater lighting penetration for enhanced night-time visibility. Their renowned voice-enabled, in-car connectivity technology SYNC 3 with 8-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay, Google Auto compatibility is also present in the car. It also gets a rear parking camera, automatic headlamps, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control and 8-way power-adjustable driver & front passenger seats. A panoramic sunroof covers up to 50% of the roof and the cabin also offers flexible seating and cargo arrangements — including fold-flat second row and first-in-class power-fold third row that can hold up to 2,010 litres of cargo.

Engine

The biggest change on the new Endeavour though is its heart. A 2.0 litre BS6 compliant EcoBlue diesel engine replaces the earlier 2.2 litre and 3.2 litre Diesel engines on the car. It delivers an impressive 170 PS maximum power and 420 Nm peak torque which means the fun to drive character is retained in this new mill. Ford also says the motor is more fuel efficient, with reduced emissions. In 4×2 avatar it will return segment best 13.90 Kmpl while 4×4 variant will deliver 12.4 Kmpl, which according to company is a 14% improvement. More importantly this engine offers a 20% improvement in low-end torque to tackle different driving conditions. A highlight is that the 2020 Endeavour becomes the only vehicle in India to offer a 10-speed automatic transmission, the first-of-its-kind anywhere in the world. Ford says the 10-speed architecture reduces the gaps in available power & acceleration between gears providing smoother acceleration response. By optimizing durability and weight, the new age transmission translates to better acceleration, responsiveness and performance, thanks to a wide-ratio span and optimized gear spacing. Ford also says the EcoBlue engine is more refined and quieter with a 4-decibel reduction in idle noise. This coupled with first-in-class Active Noise Cancellation, a technology used in noise-cancelling headphones makes the cabin a relatively quieter place.

Off-roading

If there were any apprehensions about the off-roading capabilities of the updated Endeavour the Sam sand dunes outside Jaisalmer were an ideal place to quell them. The SUV comes with a clever four-wheel-drive system, an active transfer case with Torque on demand that ensures great momentum even on soft surfaces. The car also gets a first-in-segment Terrain Management System (TMS) with four preset modes – Normal, Snow/Mud/Grass, Sand and Rock – that alter the vehicle’s throttle response, transmission, four-wheel-drive system and traction control to confidently tackle any situation. The Sand mode really comes in handy on these dunes as the car feels much lighter the moment you switch to it. What also really comes to your aid is the Progressive Range Select or SelectShift, a feature that gives drivers the ability to lock gears in the desired range to deliver an engaging and more controlled drive experience specially on challenging surfaces. Not that it would help on these dunes the SUV also gets an impressive water-wading capacity of 800 mm.

Safety & Connectivity

The new Endeavour gets up to seven airbags, including a driver knee airbag. Features like hill launch assist and hill descent control also make this a safer car more so while off-roading. The company is also offering its mobility and connectivity solution FordPass at no additional cost with the car. Owners will be able to perform several vehicle operations like starting, stopping, locking or unlocking the vehicle, know remaining fuel levels and distance to empty, and locating their vehicle remotely, via an application.

Price

For all its technological advancements and impressive abilities, the 2020 model has been priced lower than the outgoing vehicle. It now starts at Rs. 29.55 lakh (ex-showroom) for the 2-wheel drive variant, while the all-wheel drive will set you back by Rs. 33.25 lakh (ex-showroom).  But these are introductory prices and will only be valid till end of April, post which the ex-showroom prices will see an upward revision of Rs. 70,000. The SUV comes with standard 3-year or 100,000 KM factory warranty, and if Ford is to be believed its scheduled maintenance cost can be as low as 73 paise per kilometre.

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