Ford is offering two all-new diesel engines in the Indian market – a 2.2-litre four-cylinder and 3.2-litre five-cylinder. The 2.2 is quite refined and very responsive at low speeds. There’s minimal turbo lag and it feels well suited to the cut and thrust of city driving. In traffic, it feels quite tractable and responses are quite good too. In fact, in our performance test, the smaller motor impressed us with a sprint to 100kph in a scant 12.68sec. That’s really impressive for a vehicle that tips the scales at 2.2 tonnes. Even in-gear timings are impressive with 20-80kph taking just 7.76sec and 40-100kph achieved in 9.57 seconds. However, performance tails off past 140kph, after which it struggles to accelerate any further.
In comparison, the Endeavour with the larger 3.2-litre motor manages to do the 0-100kph run in 11.2sec. The 3.2 feels a lot more effortless on the open roads and achieves its 178kph top speed much quicker than the 2.2. However, the gap opens up only after 120kph; until then, the 3.2’s performance advantage is not actually that significant. There’s also a slight delay before the five-cylinder motor comes to life and there is not much to explore beyond 3,600rpm. This motor is not very quick revving, but it builds up torque in an impressive manner. The resultant in-gear timings are faster, with 20-80kph taking 6.3sec and 40-100kph taking just 8.58sec. All in all, the Endeavour is a good highway cruiser, and at speeds of 100kph, either of the engines will be spinning at a lazy 1,800rpm. It is equally good in the city too, especially the 2.2-litre variant. Overall, while the more powerful 3.2’s brute torque allows it to get a move on with little effort, the 2.2 also offers surprisingly impressive performance.
Both cars use the same 6R80 six-speed automatic gearbox, and interestingly, the gear ratios remain common, resulting in the same maximum speeds in each gear. Even their top speed is identical. This gearbox is quite smooth at slow speeds and at part throttle. In D mode, at part throttle, it shifts up at 2,500rpm, but will instead shift at 3,500rpm when you punch down hard. Shifting the lever into S mode just liberates a few more revs, with the shifts happening at a shade under 4,000rpm. In manual mode, operated only via the gearlever (there are no paddles), the gearbox will hold on to gears, sometimes until as high as 4,800rpm. However, back in automatic mode, we feel it holds each gear for a bit too long at medium throttle inputs during everyday driving. When you demand a quick kick-down downshift, it’s a little too slow to respond, at times eliciting a jerk at slow speeds. Even upshifts aren’t as quick as some of its competitors that use similar gearbox technology.
Off-roading was an area where the old Endeavour wasn’t quite as good as its rivals, but Ford has made sure to address this with a very high-tech solution. The knob on the centre console allows the driver to toggle between various modes – Normal, Snow and Mud, Sand, and Rock. The Snow and Mud and Sand settings adjust the traction settings and either blunt or increase throttle responses. However, the Rock mode works in conjunction with the low-range transfer case to provide maximum traction and precise low-speed control. There’s Hill Descent Control and also Hill Start Assist to help scale up or down steep inclines, and it can also wade through up to 800mm of water.