It’s raining BS6 vehicles and in a bid to upgrade the emission systems, manufacturers are ending up upgrading a lot more. Take the Ford Endeavour for instance. Along with BS6 compliance, it gets an all-new engine and a new gearbox too. So how much better is the new Endy?
Let’s start with the exteriors. As you can see, not much has changed. In fact the Endeavour had got an update just a year ago. Changes now include new LED headlamps that look much better and a new badging on the side which now reads Endeavour instead of the previous 3.2 or 2.2. Other than that, the Endeavour gets no new changes and is still one of the best looking SUVs.
The interiors again haven’t recieved any changes and remain the same. What you will notice is the new gear lever. The dashboard layout is clean and there’s plenty of storage all around. The large seats are one of the best in the segment and there’s plenty of space even for the third row passengers.
Features like the eight-inch infotainment with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, active noise cancellation and more are retained and now you also get connected features in the new Endeavour called the Ford Pass. One can start the car remotely and also have the interiors cooled before you step in. That along with 55 additional features that one can use via the app has really added to the convenience.
Now this is where the biggest changes have happened, under the hood. So the earlier 2.2, four-cylinder and the brilliant 3.2, five-cylinder engine have been discarded and in comes a brand new BS6 compliant, 2.0 litre EcoBlue diesel engine. Now this might not put out the big numbers that the 3.2 did but for a 2.0 litre engine, the numbers are excellent. With 170bhp and 420Nm, the figures are on par with the competition even with a lower displacement engine. According to Ford, fuel efficiency has gone up by 14 per cent and it’s quiter by four decibels during idle. What has also optimised the performance and efficiency is the first of its kind 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Getting off that mark, what is immediately noticeable is the instant torque available. Better availability of low and mid-range torque means the Endeavour now feels quicker in everyday conditions. The 10-speed torque converter gearbox works very effectively and even skips gears to make sure the car is always in the powerband.
On the highways too, the big Endy cruises effortlessly at triple digit speeds and it’s only when you really step on it that you realise that there is a smaller engine up front and both the engine and the gearbox are working overtime to help you with your urgency. The Endy also becomes louder when you really put the foot down but that was also with the earlier cars, however once you settle down, it is a lot quiter than before.
The top end variant is available with 4×4 and comes with all the electronic wizardry that includes Terrain management system, active transfer case and now also gets SelectShift. We got the opportunity to test out the car in the sand dunes in Jaisalmer and boy did it manage to surprise us. Along with the terrain modes, the SelectShift feature allowed us to lock gears in the desired range which meant the car did not try to upshift which reduced the chances of losing momentum and bogging down. In fact the whole suite of 4×4 features worked so well that it made us amateur drivers look like 4×4 experts.
Ford has also tweaked the suspension and the Endeavour pretty much has the best ride quality out there. No matter how bad the roads, the big wheels and long suspension travel manage to smother everything. And despite all that travel, the Endy managed whatever corners we could find quite well. Ford has really done an excellent job with the suspension set-up.
We have always liked the Endeavour and now in its updated Avatar, it’s definitely become a better car to buy. Sure we miss the big engine and the bragging rights that came with it but the new two-litre isn’t a slouch by any means and thanks to the new gearbox and SelectShift feature, it’s more fuel efficient and capable off-road. The additional connected car features mean the Endeavour is now better value too.