You’ve probably read the news of Ford working to bring the all-new Endeavour to India by the end of 2015. While that’s something worth waiting for, it’s also a fairly long time for the outdated current model to hold fort in a segment populated by newer and, well, more accomplished rivals such as the Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and SsangYong Rexton. To keep interest alive in its large SUV, Ford has brought out this, the facelifted Endeavour.
The focus of the restyle seems to have been to bring the Endeavour’s styling in line with Ford’s latest design language. So now there’s a slimmer grille, the headlights are mildly tweaked and the new front bumper features a hexagonal surround for the air dam. There is a new design for the 16-inch alloy wheels too. These changes do help freshen up styling to an extent, but still can’t hide the Endeavour’s vintage.
Inside the cabin too, there’s nothing that highlights that this is the updated car. Even those familiar with the Endeavour will have to refer to the brochure to figure out what’s new. Steering column-mounted audio controls are now part of standard kit but, oddly, these are not offered on the range-topping 3-litre diesel 4x4 version. Ford says the seats are new too, but as on earlier Endys, we found them positioned a tad low and correspondingly lacking in thigh support across all three rows.
The Endeavour continues to sell with a 4x2 140bhp 2.5-litre diesel mated to a manual transmission as well as 4x2 and 4x4 versions of the more powerful 153bhp 3-litre diesel with a 5-speed auto ’box. With no mechanical changes to the package, the updated Endy unsurprisingly doesn’t feel any different to drive either. Our brief stint in the 3-litre 4x4 version reacquainted us with the engine’s strong pulling power and responsiveness that continue to make the big Ford feel lighter than it is. However, our drive also reacquainted us with some of the Endy’s poorer bits – a bouncy ride and inconsistent steering. It simply isn’t as nice to drive or be seated in as the newer SUVs on the block.
And that’s what makes it hard to recommend the updated Endeavour to someone looking at an SUV in the Rs 20 lakh plus price bracket. While not bad by any means, in the face of more modern competition, the big Ford feels average and little more. If you must have a big SUV with the Ford badge on the front grille, we’d suggest you hold out till the new one arrives.