Ford India organized its marquee Great Ford Endeavour Drive off-roading event in Bangalore recently. The event was held primarily to showcase the driving prowess of the full fledged SUV of this American manufacturer, the Endeavour.
The experiential drive, set on the outskirts of Bangalore, simulated challenging off-roading conditions including sharp turns, steep hill climbs and hill descents, wading through slush, driving on uneven surfaces, and driving at a 30 degree tilt, amongst others. The premium SUV offers two engine options: the 2.2 litre, 4 cylinder, Duratorq TDCi and the 3.2 litre, turbocharged V6 diesel engines, which are mated to 6 speed automatic or manual transmissions depending on the variant.
The 3.2 litre version, which I drove, was sublime to drive even on the worst of surfaces. Also worth mentioning is the massive torque that is delivered in such a linear manner that the Endeavour had no trouble at all setting off even with all 4 wheels bogged down in a slush pit. At one point in the drive, the instructor from Ford asked me to park the SUV halfway up a 40 degree incline and then set off. The Endeavour is no lightweight but, it had no trouble in climbing up that slope either. The agility with which the vehicle deals with inclines and super-tight turns at times almost tricks you into disbelieving that you are in fact in a big SUV.
While the previous generation was considered a bit of an ugly duckling due to its boxy looks, the current generation Endeavour is one of the best looking SUVs that you can buy in India today. Buyers also get to play with a ton of gadgetry that include the latest Sync 3 infotainment system with an 8 inch display, semi-automatic parallel parking assist, a panoramic sunroof, dual zone automatic climate control with a dedicated secondary AC, and much more.
The Endeavour also features all wheel drive, an active transfer case with torque on demand, a first-in-segment Terrain Management System, water-wading capacity up to a depth of 800mm along with a gigantic 225mm of ground clearance that enables this SUV to breeze over almost any sort of terrain. Another feature that really helps is the Terrain Management system which comes in 4 modes: normal, snow/mud/grass, sand and rock. The vehicle also has a low range transfer box and locking differentials, to further enhance its off-roading abilities. The Ford Endeavour range starts from a price of INR 23.78 lakhs and goes up to INR 30.89 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the top-of-the-line trim level.