Note: This is not the driving review of the new Ford Endeavour.
Ford launched the 2015 Ford Everest (what will come to India as the 2015 Ford Endeavour) in Thailand at the 36th Bangkok Motor Show, marking the global launch of the new SUV. The new Endeavour is expected to launch in India by the end of this year, and Indian Autos Blog got to spend sometime checking out the exterior and interior of the Fortuner rival. Here’s what you can expect from Ford India’s new flagship model.
Design wise, the 2015 Endeavour looks butch, and comes with great presence. Designers have given the SUV chunky elements almost everywhere, right from the headlights (which get projector units), the skid guards, the side step, the generous wheel arches, and the thick layer of chrome for the rear registration plate enclosure. The new Endeavour certainly looks as imposing as the Fortuner, and that is job well done by the Blue Oval.
At 4,893 x 1,862 x 1,837 (L x W x H in mm), the new Endeavour is a bit shorter, but wider than the outgoing model (5,060 x 1,788 x 1,826). Even the wheelbase of the new Endeavour is 10 mm shorter at 2,850 mm. However, Ford has upped the ground clearance from 210 to 225 mm.
The model showcased at the Bangkok show was the range-topping 3.2-liter five-cylinder diesel variant, with a 4WD system and a 6-speed automatic transmission. This variant makes its presence felt on the front fenders of the SUV, which get a chrome air-vent with the badging.
Perhaps a highlight of the new Endeavour is its interior, which is a light year ahead of the model it replaces. The well laid-out dual-tone interior lends an air of freshness, injects premium appeal, and finally brings high-end features to this SUV, which will cost in the region of INR 20 lakhs, ex-Showroom.
Certain bits like the door lock/unlock button (available on each door) give you the impression of sitting in a German luxury car, while a few parts (power window switches) are of just acceptable quality. This top-end variant is equipped with features like powered front seats, a sunroof, climate control system, a Land Rover like Terrain Management system, and an 8-inch touchscreen system with 9-speakers and a sub-woofer.
The dashboard appears to be wider than it actually is thanks to the large infotainment display, and the vertically stacked AC vents around it. Other dials and buttons are well laid, and it took us only a few minutes to learn the positioning of them all.
While the new Endeavour may have a smaller wheelbase, rear seat space has actually increased (Ford has not specified by how much). We found the second row to offer a generous amount of legroom, and the seats (which on this top-end variant comes with a leather upholstery) are extremely supportive and well shaped. We also found out that seating three abreast in the second row would actually be rather comfortable thanks to the extra width (the new Endeavour is 74 mm wider in exterior width compared to the older model).
The second row seats have a sliding function, making ingress to the last row a bit easier. The last row seats, like other SUVs in this segment, is best suited for kids, or slim adults over short distances. Nevertheless, comfort levels are on par with other cars like the Fortuner and Santa Fe.
The new Endeavour also comes with an electrically-operated tailgate on the Titanium trim. With all seats in place, the boot is capable to hold a few soft bags, or a large bag positioned sideways. A premium feature seen on the new Endeavour is electric folding and retraction of the third row seats, in a 50:50 split. The buttons are ergonomically located on the side of the boot.
Overall, the new Endeavour seems extremely well packaged, comes with a myriad of features, a properly-luxurious cabin fitting the expected price of the car, and lets not forget the added emphasis on all terrain ability. With capable and powerful engines, the new Endeavour may finally have what it takes to take on the segment heavyweight, the Fortuner, which is also headed for a replacement.
For the Indian market, the Thai plant will be responsible for shipping CKD kits of the new Endeavour. If priced like the current model (which is priced from INR 22.15 to 25.67 lakhs, ex-Showroom, New Delhi), Toyota has a serious problem in the new Ford SUV.