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The Ford Endeavour is one of those vehicles that makes a lasting impression on you. It is one of the few cars that announces your arrival irrespective of where you arrive. Be it pulling into the driveway of a seven-star hotel, or in the rear view mirror of the cars in front of it, the Ford Endeavour does it well.
However, it is a butch SUV with lots of off-road potential. The top-spec 3.2L Ford Endeavour comes with 4-wheel-drive and off-road driving modes. So this variant should tackle rough terrain with equal drama right?
Well that is what we wanted to find out at ‘The Great Ford Endeavour Drive'. The Great Ford Endeavour Drive is an off-road event that was conducted at Dirt Mania Outdoor Adventures on 27 July, 2019.
It was in essence an event to showcase the Ford Endeavour's off-road capabilities to potential and existing customers. Participants were allowed to drive the Ford Endeavour over several obstacles that required brilliant off-road capability.
Well, good news is, the Ford Endeavour is very capable, as we experienced. Before we get to the drive experience, take a look at what the Ford Endeavour has to offer. The Ford Endeavour is a big brute of an SUV. It measures 4,903mm in length, 1,869mm in width and 1,837mm in height.
Make no mistake, it is a mammoth. However, it still performs well while off-the-road. It boasts of a ramp-over angle of 21-degrees, an approach angle of 30-degrees and a departure angle of 25-degrees.
When it was first launched in 2003, the Ford Endeavour was boxy and square. Over the years though, this changed and it now has curves and design lines all over the car. However, it is still an old-school SUV and that does mean that it is still has straight muscular lines all over. The Ford Endeavour is available with two diesel engines.
The lower variants are powered by a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with a maximum power output of 158bhp and a peak torque output of 385Nm. This variant comes with a 6-speed manual transmission and drive is sent to the rear wheels only.
The top-spec Titanium+ 4x4 variant is powered by a 3.2-litre, five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with a maximum power output of 197bhp and 470Nm. At The Great Ford Endeavour Drive, we drove the 3.2-litre Titanium+ variant as it is the only variant with 4WD.
It comes loaded with features like traction control, low ratio gearbox, locking centre and rear differentials, hill descent control, and terrain management system. The terrain management system consists of four drive modes - Normal, Snow/Mud, Sand and Rock modes.
These modes adjust engine and transmission settings according to the chosen mode. All these features make the SUV very capable and we put these features to the test. The drive experience was conducted on a specially-made course and professional driving instructors were seated in the passenger seat of every car to instruct the drivers.
We started off on a small incline turning towards the left. After driving a small distance, we came to the point wherein we were asked to turn the wheel completely to the left and slowly let the vehicle go down a steep slope.
The angle of the slope was such that the rear left wheel of the SUV was at least four feet up in the air. Once the Endeavour had aced that, we hit the suspension test section which as the name suggests, put the suspension through its paces as it had deep ruts.
The entire SUV shook violently as we drove on. Up next were two inclines and declines, the second one steeper than the first. The first one allowed us to test the climbing capabilities of the SUV in 4WD Low.
The low ratio gearbox was engaged through a button on the centre console and at the slightest throttle input, the Ford Endeavour climbed up a huge mound like it was nothing. A quick U-turn later, we were ready for the next obstacle which involved a small climb and then a steep decent.
The descent was into a pit that could almost swallow the entire SUV. We were asked to engage hill descent control and let go off the control pedals while the endeavour gently went down the steep slope at a constant 4km/h.
The hill descent control in the Ford Endeavour is adjustable, up to 8km/h. The system uses the ABS and EBD systems to brake the wheels whenever it exceeded the set speed. To climb out of the ditch, we used the hill-hold function.
This holds the SUV in place on a slope for three seconds, giving the driver ample time to get onto the throttle after letting go of the brake pedal. Yet another u-turn later, we hit the the articulation section.
It was here that we got all four wheels up in the air one by one, and we made use of the rear differential lock. The rear differential lock is engaged using one of the buttons on the centre console. This allows the SUV to move forward even if there is no traction on one of the rear wheels. This allows the Ford Endeavour to climb out of any situation it finds itself in.
Soon after, it was time to test the water-wading capabilities. Ford claims that the Endeavour has a water wading capability of 800mm. At the event though, the water wading trough had only about 300mm of slushy water. The Ford Endeavour did it without flinching.
Up next was the tilt angle test. Ford claims the Endeavour can safely do a 30-degree tilt. However, to be on the safer side, we took it only till 25-degrees. Finally, we did a bigger articulation test, again in 4WD low with the rear diff locked. And then it was time to let the next participant take the wheel.
The entire course took only about 10 minutes to drive through, but it was designed in a way that all the capabilities of the Ford Endeavour are showcased. It was a brief but brilliant experience, pushing the Endeavour to its limits.
Thoughts On Taking The Ford Endeavour Off-Road: The Great Ford Endeavour Drive In Bangalore
The event format was one that allowed potential customers to experience the Ford Endeavour showing off its off-road prowess in a safe and controlled environment. For an experience, this was brilliant.
To have more fun though, and to test the true off-road capabilities we might have to drive out of the safe and controlled environment into mother nature's lap. But that's a story for another day, when we actually do it. If you are looking for a full-size SUV that is powerful, has great road presence and can handle off-road situations like a boss, the Ford Endeavour is the one to go for.