Priced at Rs 31.17 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai) it is on the expensive side and will more often than not be purchased by those wanting something large, luxurious, fashionable, comfortable and have the ability to go to most places without much hesitation. It is this last feature that we wanted to explore as we wanted to know what it would be like to muscle such a huge vehicle on an off-road expedition for the average buyer. It would also give us a chance to fiddle with all the kit that Ford has fitted into the car with regard to making it a capable off-roader.
Our first step to discovering this was to try out all the modes of the Terrain Management System. There are four mode- normal, snow/mud, sand and rock climbing. We used normal on the road while switching to snow/mud mode dulled the response of the throttle in view of the rough terrain. Through every pit, rut and water body that we forced the Endeavour, it manged to come out unscathed and we only had to back off after a certain point due to narrowness of the path and in some cases the degree of incline.
Impressed so far with the ability of this massive creature, we decided to give the rock mode a try and went and found ourselves a rocky path. This would give us an idea of its ability to articulate over uneven surfaces. Now doing something like this is a bit extreme and as is the case with anything extreme, you have to prepare yourself. To activate the rock climbing mode, the four low has to be engaged and only then you can enter the rock climbing mode. The Endeavour is derived from the same platform as the Ranger pickup truck. This means you get some massive suspension travel, a boon when it comes to climbing over obstacles but a lot of effort when it came to us wanting to show it in the photographs. The rock mode can be combined with the hill descent control to help you climb down a steep slope in a controlled manner. It is another matter that size and weight of the vehicle will intimidate you when upon lurch forward to make the descent.
If its sensation and a bit of theatricality that you are looking for then this car does quite a good job as you can feel the weight shift around when you move in any direction. You can also feel the electronic differential shift torque between the wheels when the SUV is struggling for grip. Oh and when you have to force the car out of a slushy pit/ waterbody, you can feel the rear dance around behind you. There is a bit of visual element too as you get a compass, angle readouts, altitude as well as barometer as a part of the package.