The big boy among all of India’s beefy SUVs has grown into a fine gentleman.
There are large SUVs, and then there is the Endeavour. This big, beefy flagship SUV by Ford India is the biggest in its segment and has the longest wheelbase, giving it an imposing stance and a spacious cabin. The new 2019 model range is available in three variants (Titanium with 2.2-litre diesel engine and manual transmission; Titanium+ with 2.2-litre diesel engine and automatic transmission; and Titanium+ with 3.2-litre diesel engine and automatic transmission).
The exterior design is all about the bulk. The big front bumper and the chrome-plated bold trapezoidal grille give it a massive road presence, as do the large 18-inch wheels. Both rear and front bumpers have integrated skid plates to help protect the underbody in off-road driving conditions. The ORVMs get puddle lamps. And for sunroof lovers, 50% of the roof space is sunroof.
The cabin is not only spacious, but quite opulent, too. For one, it’s very quiet—diesel engine clatter, tyre noise, traffic sounds … almost nothing enters the cabin. The seats are like a sofa, and the ambience like a lounge in a five-star hotel. There are practical features, too. For example, the third-row flattens at the touch of a button and can hold massive amounts of cargo with rear-seats folded, and you can open the boot simply by moving your foot left or right under the body.
Modern cars need to be equipped with technology. The Endeavour gets the company’s in-car connectivity system called SYNC 3, using which you can control the entertainment system with your voice. SYNC 3 is paired to an eight-inch touchscreen (relatively small for a large cabin), and the system is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.
Big cars are a pain to park. To ease that pain a bit, the Endeavour has the Semi-Auto Parallel Park Assist system that can locate the right-sized parking spot and can steer the SUV into that slot at the touch of a button.
Then there are ‘smart’ features such as push-button engine start, keyless entry, rear and front parking sensors, rear parking camera, automatic headlamps, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, hill launch assist, hill descent control, etc.
There are two engine options: 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel (158bhp, 385Nm, 14.2kpl, 4×2) and 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel (197bhp, 470Nm, 10.6kpl, 4×4). While the latter is monstrous as far as power and off-road abilities are concerned, it is a guzzler of fuel—the maximum I could achieve was 10kpl; and as far as off-roading is concerned, we have to accept that owners, usually, don’t take such expensive SUVs off the road.
The big boy among all of India’s beefy SUVs has grown into a fine gentleman. It looks massive, is a capable off-roader with features such as the terrain management system that allows drivers to choose from four modes (normal, snow/mud/grass, sand and rock), but guzzles a lot of fuel.
Priced from Rs 28.19 lakh onwards
(Rs 32.97 lakh for the 3.2-litre diesel), the Endeavour competes with traditional rival Toyota Fortuner (Rs 29.84 lakh onwards; also available in petrol for Rs27.83 lakh). Other choices are Honda CR-V (`30.67 lakh onwards; also in petrol for Rs 28.27 lakh), Mahindra Alturas G4 (Rs 27.7 lakh onwards, only in diesel), Skoda Kodiaq (Rs 35.37 lakh onwards, only in diesel) and Volkswagen Tiguan (`28.07 lakh onwards, only in diesel). The first four are seven-seaters, while the latter two are five-seaters.
*Prices are ex-showroom.
(Before you buy big cars, ask yourself do you really need one, especially if you’ll be the only one using it most of the time—as compared to small cars, they are expensive to maintain, difficult to park and leave a bigger carbon footprint. Decide wisely.)