This variant here is powered by the 3.2-litre, five cylinder diesel. It only comes mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The drivetrain is identical to the older car. So, when driven with a light foot, it munches miles without noise or bother. Even if you feather the throttle, the Endeavour just picks up its skirt and canters along effortlessly. So much that unless you look at the speedo, you wouldn’t know you have been cruising at three digit speeds.
The engine still produces a little under 200bhp, and it still generates a mountain of torque from a pretty low rpm – 470Nm at 1,750rpm to be exact. This is good enough to propel the Endeavour to 100kmph from a standstill in under 11.5 seconds. But, this heavy footed driving causes a little too much engine noise. And, if you keep that throttle floored, fuel efficiency will take a dive.
On the roads we traversed in Jaisalmer – the straight, the undulating, the broken, and the missing kind – the Endeavour was a dream. Yes, it kicked its rear up a few times when we failed to spot a speed breaker, but otherwise, it smothered almost everything in its path. But then again, the ride was always one of the hallmarks of this generation of the Endeavour.
It’s not all ungainly over winding roads either. For starters, it has a relatively quick steering, and the turn-in into corners isn’t exactly slow either. Sure, it doesn’t feel like a hatchback, but for a body-on-ladder SUV riding on tall profile tyres, it’s impressive.
Then there’s the Endeavour’s off-roading capability. This, the 3.2 comes with Terrain Management System as standard. It has three specific off-road modes barring the auto mode. In Sand mode, throttle response is more direct and the ESP allows more slip. In Snow / Mud, the throttle response is standard but the ESP is more alert. And in Rock mode, the throttle response is dulled while 4x4 Low allows for higher torque multiplication in lower gears to improve tractability over rocky terrains.
We have used Mud and Rock before on the older car during our Off-Road Day tests, and the Ford did really well then. But, Sand was new to us. Firstly, it is soft, and the Endeavour is a heavy car. Then, we had regular road tyres on instead of purpose built ones. But, we did drop the air pressures to give us a larger contact patch to help slow down our sinking.
But, as was the case in the other two modes, the Endeavour nailed the Sand test as well. Whether it be banked turns on the dunes, steep 45 degree drops, or even 30 degree uphill runs, the Ford did it all. Now, I did get the SUV stuck once while negotiating a tight left uphill sweep. Then too, it was my doing – I just turned the steering too much and didn’t floor the power pedal hard enough. But, all I had to do was back up the SUV, and with higher momentum, less steering lock, and full gas, I made it!