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    Ford Endeavour 4x4 AT vs Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT: Comparison Review

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    Vikrant Singh

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    Toyota Fortuner [2012-2016] Front View

    Introduction

    I can totally see the charm in buying a Toyota Fortuner. I am driving one that has done over 25,000km; and hard ones at that since this is a media car. But, there isn’t a rattle, a squeak, or any issue whatsoever that I can point out marking its age. It’s almost like a new car minus the glow on the outside but enough and more on the well-used steering wheel. And that myth about other road users moving out of your way when in a Fortuner? Well, that’s true. No wonder, Toyota has been shipping over 1000 units a month of this mammoth, full sized SUV for years now.
    However, last two months have seen a dent in its popularity. The reason? Launch of the all-new Ford Endeavour. And by all-new, we actually do mean all-new. From the chassis to the body to the suspension to the engines and even the interiors, have all been improved by leaps and bounds. This new Endeavor then, is in the truest sense, a generation upgrade.
    So how do these towering SUVs compare? To find out we have both the SUVs in 4x4 automatic trims, the ultimate expression of capability and convenience.

    Hulking good looks?

    Hulking, yes. Intimidating even. But good? Maybe not. These are old-school body-on-ladder frame SUVs. So, winning beauty contests isn’t on top of their agenda. Between the two, the Fortuner is the older car and it looks a little jaded. The metal work, the stance and even the various design elements have ‘aged’, but not in a good way.

    The Endeavour with its lower roofline, curvier panels, more bling all round and those 18-inch wheels, looks more up-to-date.

    More so, when you step inside. The new Endeavour uses leather, metal inserts, and plastic that looks more expensive than one used on the Fortuner. Even the design of the Endeavours’s interior is significantly more modern and pleasing (and it looks like it’s inspired by Land Rovers). The Ford also gets more equipment.

    There’s a nice touchscreen multi media system with everything from Bluetooth to a reversing camera and navigation. Plus, it gets three-zone climate control, a more info-rich part-TFT-part-analogue instrumentation, a panoramic sunroof, electric tailgate and electric fold for the last row of seats.

    That’s not all. It also gets seven airbags, multi driving modes for better off-roading (again Land Rover inspired) and a self-park feature. All of this is missing on the Fortuner.

    What’s also missing on the Toyota is similar amount of interior space. The Endeavour is longer and it sits on a longer wheelbase as well. It is also wider. No wonder when it comes to shoulder and knee room in the second row, the Ford scores higher.

    It also has more room upfront. As for the last row of seats, these are equally useless for full sized adults on both cars. It is however easier to access the last row on the Fortuner.

    Another plus for the Toyota is the flexibility its second row seat offers. Not only does it split and fold 60:40 like on the Endeavour, but it also reclines all the way back to produce a bed of sorts; something you don’t get in cars twice the price.

    Easy to drive?

    Not really. Not with that size. But, the Endeavour is the lesser of the two evils. There’s nothing to choose between the two when it comes to visibility – these are tall, wide and equally cumbersome. The Endeavour though has a lighter steering and it feels lighter on the throttle and under braking.

    It also has a self park feature which picks a spot between parked cars and then steers into it without the driver having to constantly look left and right, watch the mirrors and then ask his co-occupants to step out and help. To call it convenient would be an understatement.

    On the highway though both SUVs are more or less similar. They track fine in a straight line, don’t mind changing lanes in a hurry and shed speed with no drama at all. Take them up on a hilly road though and the Fortuner seems more up to the task. Now both the Endeavour and the Fortuner have no real steering feel, but the Toyota’s unit is better weighed giving the driver a hint more confidence in the SUV’s capabilities. It’s also easier to modulate the Fortuner’s all wheel drive system to return neutral turn in and handling The Endeavour just loves to understeer.

    The Toyota is also stiffer of the two in terms of suspension setup. So, at slow speeds over undulating roads, broken surfaces and even road joints one can feel and hear everything that is happening underneath. And because the Fortuner is a ladder based SUV, there’s no getting away from the jiggly ride either.

    The Endeavour’s ride is suppler, quieter, and more absorbent. There’s a hint of jiggle to its ride as well but it’s less intrusive compared to the Toyota. However, it’s the less pronounced side-to-side movement over poor roads, which really makes the Ford the more comfortable of the two.

    Torque monsters?

    Well, these are both diesels. Both displace over 3-litre in capacity. And both churn out almost 350Nm of peak torque. Okay, the Endeavour puts out a lot more. So, yes, these are torquey machines. But, these also weigh in excess of two tonnes; the Endeavour most certainly does while the Fortuner is a fence sitter here. Little wonder both the Endeavour and the Fortuner take over 11 seconds to hit 100kmph.

    Between the two, even though the Ford is heavier, it is also the quicker SUV. It takes 11.3 seconds to hit 100kmph while the Fortuner takes 12.1 seconds. But then you’d expect that given that its 3.2-litre diesel engine pumps out 197bhp and a handsome 470Nm of peak torque. The Ford isn’t just quicker under flat out acceleration but in terms of driveability too.

    It takes lesser time to complete both the 20-80kmph and the 40-100kmph runs in kickdown. The Endeavour completes the 20-80kmph run in 6.8s while the Toyota takes a second longer. In the 40-100kmph kickdown the difference is nearly two seconds with the Ford wrapping this up in 8.6s. What’s more, it takes lesser distance to come to stop from 80kmph as well!

    But, the Ford diesel unit is loud. It has a grainy texture to its note that is more noise than sound. And it is mated to a 6-speed slush ‘box which works like an on/off switch. So, you are either at 3,000rpm making a lot of noise or at idle freewheeling listlessly. It’s a little better in Sport mode but nothing that deserves praise.

    More so when you consider that the Ford comes with this while noise cancellation thing, which is supposed to significantly improve NVH. It certainly doesn’t do its job well at high engine rpm, but, when cruising at low revs, yes, the Endeavour is a serene place to be in.



    The Fortuner’s gearbox is equally annoying. And it doesn’t even get Sport mode. And it only has five speeds. But, as a saving grace the engine –3-litre, 171bhp, 343Nm four-cylinder diesel – is only as noisy as the Ford; actually it is a little less at full clip. It also feels a little more refined than the Endeavour.

    So, as you can tell, neither the Ford nor the Fortuner are great drives with their average auto ‘boxes. And though the Ford is a little quicker, the two are pretty evenly matched otherwise.

    Verdict

    Ford Endeavour 4x4 AT: Rank 1

    Final Score: 376/600
    Price: Rs 34.5 lakh, OTR, Mumbai
    The all-new Endeavour has rewritten the rules in its class; a class that also has vehicles like the Chevrolet Trailblazer, the Ssangyong Rexton and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport in addition to the Toyota Fortuner. The Endeavour is younger, better specced, more comfortable, safer (in equipment terms), and the easiest to drive. It is also the only SUV in its segment that can actually be termed as a ‘value-buy’ given the amount of stuff one gets as standard for this price. And it can off-road too. So, if you are still wondering which Rs 30 lakh full sized SUV should you be buying…well, the Endeavour it is.

    Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT: Rank 2

    Final Score: 348/600
    Price: Rs 33.3 lakh, OTR, Mumbai
    The Fortuner was never going to win this contest. It is after all, for all means and purposes, a decade old car. And it shows compared to the new Endeavour. It doesn’t have the quality, the ergonomics, the space or even the premium feel of the Ford. It can’t match the latter on equipment either, be it for comfort and convenience, or safety. And, it is not a whole lot cheaper to buy either; these are only priced a lakh apart. How does one justify that? The one thing that still works in the Fortuner’s favour, nonetheless, is a proven track record.

    Photos: Kapil Angane

    Specification

    CAR NAME Ford Eneavour
    Toyota Fortuner
    Variant Titanium 3.2 4X4 AT 3.0-litre 4X4 AT
    ENGINE
    Fuel Diesel Diesel
    Installation Front, longitudinal Front, longitudinal
    Displacement 5 cyls, 3198cc 4 cyls, 2982cc
    Bore/stroke 89.06/100.76mm 96.0/103.0mm
    Valve gear 4 valves per cyl DOHC 4 valves per cyl DOHC
    Power 197bhp at 3000rpm 169bhp at 3600rpm
    Torque 470Nm at 1750rpm 343Nm at 1400rpm
    Power to weight 82.33bhp per tonne 84.5bhp per tonne
    Torque to weight 196.32Nm per tonne 171.5Nm per tonne
    Gearbox 6-speed automatic 5-speed automatic
    CHASSIS & BODY
    Kerb weight 2394kg 2000kg
    Tyres 265/60 R18 265/65 R17
    Spare 265/60 R18 265/65 R17
    STEERING
    Type Rack and pinion Rack and pinion
    Type of assist Electric Hydraulic
    Turning circle 11.7m 11.8m
    BRAKES
    Front Ventilated Discs Ventilated Discs
    Rear Disc Drums
    Anti-lock Yes Yes

    Test Data

    CAR NAME Ford Endeavour
    Toyota Fortuner
    Variant Titanium 3.2 4X4 AT 3.0-litre 4X4 AT
    PERFORMANCE & BRAKING
    0-20kmph 0.78 0.90
    0-40kmph 2.24s 2.52s
    0-60kmph 4.52s 4.75s
    0-80kmph 7.28s 7.87s
    0-100kmph 11.31s 12.14s
    0-120kmph 16.78s 17.47s
    20-80kmph in 3rd gear 6.48s 7.28s
    40-100kmph in 4th gear 8.62s 10.7s
    80-0kmph 26.15m 29.32m
    FUEL ECONOMY
    City 7kmpl 7.5kmpl
    Highway 10.9kmpl 11.8kmpl
    Tank size 80 litres 80 litres
    Range 630km 660km
    INTERIOR MEASUREMENTS
    Front
    Legroom(Max/min) 870/610mm 830/600mm
    Headroom(Max) 990mm 980mm
    Shoulder room 1460mm 1415mm
    Backrest height 630mm 520mm
    Rear
    Headroom 950mm 930mm
    1m kneeroom 760mm 730mm
    Shoulder room 1460mm 950mm
    Knee room 920mm 1405mm
    Seat length 480mm 480mm
    Backrest height 590mm 520mm
    Rear Most
    Headroom 880 870
    Kneeroom 730 660
    Seat length 460 460
    Seat back height 540 480
    Shoulder room 1120 1375
    Boot 510litres(calculated) 732.73litres(calculated)
    Depth/width/height 1090/1110/420mm 1070/1070/640mm
    Loading lip height 820mm 780mm

    Score Sheet

    Parameters Max points Ford Endeavour

    Toyota Fortuner

    DRIVING FEEL
    Steering response 20 11 12
    Directional stability 25 15 15
    Engine characteristics 25 14 13
    Gearbox 20 12 12
    Visibility 10 6 6
    Intermediate results 100 58 58
    SPACE
    Front Space 25 17 14
    Rear space 25 17 15
    Feeling of space 20 15 12
    Boot space/flexibility 20 17 20
    Payload 10 9 9
    Intermediate results 100 75 70
    IN THE CABIN
    Comfort equipment 25 19 14
    Operatibility 15 11 10
    Feel of quality 20 13 12
    Front seats/ingress 20 15 16
    Rear seat/ingress 20 14 14
    Intermediate results 100 72 66
    PERFORMANCE
    Acceleration 25 18 16
    Top speed 10 7 7
    Driveability 30 24 21
    Braking 25 20 17
    Environment 10 4 4
    Intermediate results 100 73 65
    ROAD MANNERS
    Ride quality 30 21 18
    Turning circle 15 12 11
    Handling 20 10 11
    Manoeuvrability 15 10 9
    Safety 20 13 5
    Intermediate results 100 66 54
    PRICE
    Price 45 6 7
    Resale 10 6 8
    Warranty 10 7 7
    Fuel efficiency 35 13 13
    Intermediate results 100 32 35
    Total 600 376 348

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