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Auto(mated) Endeavour

Auto(mated) Endeavour

Automobile manufacturers in India have been quite intrigued by the way people have started changing their view about the SUV segment in India. The SUV segment has suddenly grown and the people in the country are not only taking their beloved cars to their respective offices but they also enjoy taking the car with their family to the beach or an off-road excursion into the forests. Ford, which has been known for its R&D capabilities, have found out the large untapped potential of this segment in India and already have the 3.0 L 4x4 Automatic (AT) and the 2.5 L 4x2 Manual Transmission (MT) version of the SUV in the Indian car market.

With this lifestyle where too many people don’t need the SUV for real off-road use, Ford India have completed this equation and unveiled the 3.0 L engine in the Rear wheel drive (4x2) on the 14th of September 2010. Naturally, the Endeavour caters to a niche crowd and as Ford said that majority of them are entrepreneurs, actors or politicians. Ford said that the 4x4 version of the car is not only an urban car but a great off-roader and the 4x2 on the other hand would be a great urban car for all those who wanted a powerful engine and that extra oomph! factor while driving within city limits. We got a chance to drive this beast and we tell you exactly how the car is.

The Endeavour sports a front design with a three-bar chrome grille with the company badging in the Centre and detailing on the chrome. The front looks sophisticated and adds to the overall robust look of the car. The 4x2 also gets fog lamps which are housed in silver wing-shaped bezels. A new three-piece body-coloured bumper unit incorporates rear reflectors and reversing lamps. As compared to the earlier look of the car, the new design gives the Endeavour a confident stance and the chrome grille just adds up to the appeal of the car. The 245/70 R16 standard six-spoked alloy wheels have always looked good and it finds its way on the 4x2 as well.

The 4x2 earlier featured a 2.5 L engine and a five-speed manual transmission. The Endeavour now features a five-speed automatic transmission which adds to the comfort of driving a large SUV in the city. The 3.0 L TDCi common-rail turbo-diesel engines with Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) engine delivers maximum power of 156 PS @ 3200 rpm and a torque of 380 Nm @ 2500 rpm. The gear change in the auto transmission is smooth and the engine roars once you press the accelerator to set things rolling.

The engine, though, takes time to react to the commands of the accelerator and is a bit sluggish when it comes to overtaking. When the turbo spools at around 2000 rpm mark and the Endeavour is then its beastly self. We will of course give you the specifics of this when we performance test the car and hope that is very soon. The car is surefooted when it comes to taking curves and its handling capabilities. We had in fact, made note of the great driving dynamics of this car(for its size) in the road test of the 4x4 version and this is the reason why it won our off-roaders favourite award.    

Auto(mated) Endeavour contd...

This large seven-seater also gets some new touches when it comes to the interior. The new rear wheel drive retains the same space as its earlier version and boasts of the same second and third row flip seats for more space. The SUV has beige and black interiors and the wooden panelling on the door of the car extends to the dashboard. The leather seats add not only to the comfort but also to the overall look of the interiors.

The instrument panel at the centre now gets a six-CD changer and an AUX input jack which is located just above a small stowage space. There is no problem when it comes to connecting those Mp3 players and listening to music on the go. The car also comes with ABS and EBD. The new variant also offers dual-stage front air bags for the driver and passenger. The air bags work in conjunction with three-point safety belts and pre-tensioners and load limiter features.

The knobs to work the air conditioning function are placed on the centre console and the 4x2 gets overhead air vents to both the second and the third row seats that had featured earlier in the all-wheel drive. If there is no one seated behind, the air-con can switched off with a simple button which exists to the left of the steering wheel. The rear seat occupants too get knobs to adjust the speed of the blower.

The air conditioning does take its own time to comfort its occupants from the heat. The Goa heat did take a toll on the performance of the air-con in the car and the large glass area, we feel, in the car could have had something to do with it as well. However, we have never faced a problem with the Endeavour in the past. The in-car entertainment also includes a roof-mounted DVD player. According to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) the 4x2 Automatic with the DuraTorq engine delivers fuel efficiency of 10.7 kpl but we will get you the test figures as soon as Ford gives us a chance to test drive it.

We do miss a lot of things in the car starting from Climate control to a single button for central locking on the driver side door pad or somewhere on the centre console. The car does not have a USB port either which, in the 4x4 version is located in the glove box.  There isn’t a height adjuster for the drivers seat. Also considering that the 4x2 can also do its fair share of off-roading, we noticed that the car cannot be towed away from behind as the tow hook is only provided under the front left wheel which may be useful in off-road recovery situations.

All-in-all the 4x2 AT with its 3.0 L engine is a delight to drive on city roads and though it is a bit sluggish there are absolutely no complaints about the ride and handling of this car. The SUV is available in five colour options - Diamond White, Moondust Silver, Sea Grey, Panther Black and Morello. Priced at Rs. 17,88,760 (ex-showroom, Bengaluru) the Endeavour 4x2 AT will be up for grabs and will surely make the competition in the segment more interesting. The auto transmission with the 3.0 L engine will make the 4x2 a great buy. It does boast of some off-roading capacity but we would not recommend it since its a two wheel drive. If you are looking for an urban SUV which takes off a whole lot of stress from the gear shifting and in which you can cocoon yourself with the entertainment system provided, the auto(mated) Endeavour is your perfect companion.


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