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Ford Endeavour TDCi 3.0 Thunder+ (Old)

15th Sep 2009 7:00 am

Ford's new 3.0-litre engine has massive power, torque and performance and this is a genuinely fast SUV with little or no fuel penalty.


  • Make : Ford
  • Model : Endeavour

The Endeavour Thunder+ can be distinguished from the standard 2.5L Endeavour by the decals on the side and the ladder on the tailgate. There’s no messing around with the square-jawed Endeavour; its blocky lines, large cowl and outsized wheel arches result in an ominous presence.

The Thunder is built on a ladder chassis, with double wishbones, torsion bar front suspensions, four- wheel drive, a low range gearbox, Limited Slip Differential at the rear axle and a lockable central differential. Still, it is based on a pick-up truck (the Ranger) and so comes with a body on ladder frame chassis and leaf springs at the rear.

The interiors are unchanged, which is good and bad news. Good, because the insides are well-built, spacious and feel nice. Bad, because some flaws like the handbrake sprouting from the dash and the unusable third row of seats remain. Nothing much has been changed on the inside of the Thunder+, but the freshened-up insides offered on the car when the 2.5 motor was launched are comfortable and well-built for the most part.

There’s not much changed on the insides of the Even really tall drivers can find a good seating position. The dash looks more the part after the upgrade, there is plenty of storage space and there is a solid, tough-wearing feel to the insides. The large front seats are very comfortable and even long stints are ache-free.

The rear bench seats are supportive and comfortable too, especially as they are slightly raised and you can also recline them. But, because of the high floor, you sit in the knees up position which can get quite uncomfortable, a problem which is only worsened when you move to the third row.

Refinement at idle is pretty good and the motor is very smooth when cruising. But the car’s handling is nowhere closed to being polished.The handling is identical to the 2.5 Endeavour which is quite impressive for its size. The steering is pretty direct and weights up nicely, and there is minimal body roll for a car that is so tall and sits on a rudimentary ladder chassis with leaf-springs at the rear. Steering feel is decent and grip is good, but the Ford is sometimes reluctant to turn into a corner, needing another quarter-turn of the steering lock. And a lot of the blame falls on that leaf spring rear suspension. When Ford launched the Endeavour in India, it came with a much stiffer set-up. The handling and driving manners were very good, but the ride was hard. Now on this softer setting, it’s much more comfortable, but some of the agility has been lost.

However, these underpinings are betrayed by the ride, which as before is pretty bumpy on bad roads, especially for the third-row passengers, whose experience is akin to being astride a bucking bronco. But all this is just in keeping with the tough-as-nails nature of the Endeavour which comes with a 4x4 transmission.

The Ford is the really nice car to drive off-road though. Much more torque and the greater clearance means you can clamber up pretty much anything.

Ford Endeavour TDCi 3.0 Thunder+ (Old)
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