The Ford Endeavour has been a strong contender in its segment for a long time now that's mostly down to its muscular styling and the fact that it's the most feature-loaded and powerful SUV in its segment. That said, it has been a while since the Endeavour got an update so Ford India found this time apt to do give its flagship SUV a slight nip and tuck job. The changes in the new Endeavour add slightly to an already strong package but don't make a significant change in any area. So why make the effort of going all the way down to Jaisalmer and driving the updated model in the desert? The answer is quite simple – the Ford Endeavour is widely known for its off-road capabilities but we never got a chance to push it to the limit in the past. Hence, when we got this chance to go dune bashing in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, there was no hesitation from our end. However, did the new Ford Endeavour manage to prove its off-road credentials and what difference can you expect from the new updates? Read on to find out.
The Changes First
Changes in the 2019 Ford Endeavour are mild and will need a keen eye to spot most of them, especially on the exterior. The first change is the chrome grille, which now gets the trapezoidal design in line with Ford's family design. The amount of chrome is pretty much the same but the bolder design does add a bit to the dynamic design. The other change is that the fog lamps are now integrated into the front skid plate and the third and last change is the inclusion of new 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels. The new wheel design is striking and goes well with the overall butch appeal of the Endeavour but I personally prefer the older design.
Moving to the cabin, changes are again few and not instantly visible. An important update is the inclusion of a start/stop button, which adds a bit of modern appeal to the cabin as one no longer needs to use the key to crank the engine. The gear lever selector is all new and features more chrome, which most people associate with premium appeal. The leather upholstery on the seats has also been updated but this isn't something one would notice unless told. The most important change in the cabin is the addition of eight-way electrically adjustable power seats for the co-passenger seat. The older model had it only for the driver seat. One more new inclusion is the addition of a boot lid mechanism that now opens by the kick or swipe motion of the foot under the rear bumper. The tailgate will close as well using the same gesture but that is pretty much of no use since once you've placed heavy stuff from your hands into the boot why would you want to look funny doing the kick thing when your hands are free!
Mechanically, the Ford Endeavour remains unchanged except for the fact that the 2.2-litre version will once again be available with the option of a six-speed manual gearbox in addition to a six-speed automatic. No changes might sound disappointing but it isn't since the Endeavour with its 3.2-litre engine developing 200 ps and 470 Nm of torque is already the most powerful SUV in its segment. It is also a refined vehicle to drive and will never let you feel short on power irrespective of the environment you're driving in.
Equipped with Active Noise Cancellation, similar to the ones found in premium headphones, the cabin feels refined as well, adding to the comfort and premium appeal. We drove the 3.2-litre version only during the drive, which is available with a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission. The gearbox is paired well to the engine and helps extract the ability of the torquey engine.
Conquering the Desert
The real reason for this drive was to drive the new 2019 Ford Endeavour in the desert around the beautiful city of Jaisalmer. Once at the starting point of the dunes, the first thing we did was to deflate the tyres to 22 psi all around. The reason for this is that a lower air pressure allows for the sidewalls to expand, thereby increasing the contact patch, which in turn decreases the chances of the tyre sinking in the sand.
Thereon, it was all up to the drivers and the off-road capabilities of the Endeavour. The SUV comes with the famed Terrain Management System, which allows one to choose between different driving modes that alter engine, throttle and gearbox response in conjunction with the surface. For us, all that mattered was the Sand mode so having selected that through the rotary selector and switching the traction control off, we were ready to take on the Thar Desert.
We started off with small inclines and mild dunes to get a hang of the SUV's handling in the sand. Here, the Endeavour showed no problems as its four-wheel drive system easily provided enough grip to keep sailing over the loose surface. The SUV also comes with a 4x4 low and Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Assist but none of that was required here in the desert.
Moving on to the larger dunes the drive became both challenging and immensely fun. Reaching the crest of large dunes required generous usage of throttle and at the same time, the steering too had to be handled with care as sharp and sudden movements would only send the wheels digging into the sand. Once at the crest with the view out of the windshield only being the sky, it was imperative to shed speed before the bonnet went down vertically in the direction of gravity. With that handled it felt at times the Endeavour would simply slide to the bottom of the dune despite the brakes being applied but the SUV didn't flinch for once and handles all that was thrown at it with ease.
The updates to the 2019 Ford Endeavour are few and mild but I don't see that as a disappointment. I say that because the Endeavour was any way the most feature-rich SUV in its segment apart from being most spacious, most powerful and most refined as well. So a major upgrade was never a requirement to start with. The recent updates then do manage to mildly improve the premium and upmarket appeal of the SUV, making it a better package than earlier. The cherry on the top is the fact that the Ford Endeavour is also arguably the best SUV in its segment when the going gets rough. Add to it the fact that the new 2019 Ford Endeavour with more features comes with a lower price tag than earlier and you have a win-win situation all the way!
New 2019 Ford Endeavour Specifications
Length - 4903 mm
Width - 1869 mm
Height - 1837 mm
Wheelbase – 2850 mm
Engine - 2.2 L TDCi/ 3.2 L TDCi
Power - 160 PS/ 200 PS
Torque - 385 Nm/ 470 Nm
Safety - 6/7 Airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, Emergency Assistance, Tyre pressure monitoring system
Infotainment - 8-inch screen with SYNC 3
2019 Ford Endeavour Variant-wise Price List
NEW FORD ENDEAVOUR - VARIANTS AND PRICES
INR 28.19 Lakh
INR 30.60 Lakh
INR 32.97 Lakh
INR 31.07 Lakh
INR 33.31 Lakh