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Ford’s Endeavour has always been one of those huge, tough and brawny SUVs to look at from the outside, making it scare most cars that come in its way, given its terrific road presence. This particular SUV has been quite popular in our market and makes the most of its share in its segment; in fact, it outsells its contenders in certain overseas markets – and achieving this feat has been no easy task. Toyota’s Fortuner has been one of its long-standing rivals and has proved to be hugely competitive in the Indian market. Isuzu’s MU-X had showed up at one point but somehow never managed to have the same impact on our market. Ford has been prompt in giving its SUV updates; the most recent of which got a BS6-compliant update for its diesel engine in 2019. Making a massive, body-on-ladder-frame SUV in this modern day and age can never be easy, particularly when it has to meet stringent emission norms – and this is exactly why it now comes with a more efficient and stronger engine under the bonnet. Also, with a recent entrant like the MG Gloster, the Endeavour will have to deliver, and how. So we take the Endeavour 2.0-litre for a drive to see if it still has what to takes to be the king of SUVs in its segment.

Those brawny looks

There isn’t so much that is new on the outside since Ford Cars still think it has the modern appeal to stand out in the market. It still looks tall and wide, just like a typical American SUV, but there are some noticeable updates, like the new all-LED, twin-lamp headlights which consist of individual elements, making the clusters look modern. What you will notice is the vertically-stacked faux vents on the fenders, where the ‘Endeavour’ badging replaces the engine capacity badging. The rest of the SUV remains the same with its huge chrome grille, high bonnet, muscular wheel arches and that thick chrome bar that runs the width of the tail gate.

The Ford Endeavour Sport, on the other hand, features smoked-out headlights up-front, a new gloss black grille with a honeycomb pattern and skid plate that gets a black finish too. Even the side profile consists of black alloy wheels, wing mirrors, roof rails and fender vents. At the rear, you get smoked-out bits too and there’s even a Sport badge that is visible. The Sport model comes in three colours: Diamond White, Absolute Black and Diffused Silver.

What’s inside?

The Ford Endeavour now features Ford’s connected-car app, called Ford Pass. The car can be started remotely, the AC can be switched on for cooling and you can locate your SUV as well. With the help of 55 new features, various vehicle data can be used as you wish. All that’s new on the inside is the gear lever. The design of the dashboard remains untouched, while quality is top-notch and the leather upholstery feels better than what you get on some of its rivals. As for comfort and space, occupants are pampered.

The new engine & gearbox

Under the bonnet of the Ford Endeavour, you will find a new engine, paired to a new transmission. The ‘Panther’ 2.0-litre diesel engine is manufactured in India and is being exported to overseas markets. It features a common-rail direct-injection system and a Selective Catalytic Reduction exhaust system. The motor produces 167bhp and 420Nm of torque, paired to a 10-speed automatic gearbox that helps you make the most of the engine’s torque. Progressive Range Selection allows you to lock-out gears, stopping the gearbox from shifting up when unnecessary. When started, the engine feels so much more refined, and the moment you floor it, diesel clatter isn’t too prominent. Acceleration is instant and power is delivered seamlessly. It’s still an effortless SUV to drive and picks up speed at a gradual pace. Post 3,500rpm, the engine gets vocal and feels stressed upon. The 10-speed auto ‘box is, by and large, a good match for the engine.

Now while the engine may be vocal at high speeds, it isn’t sluggish in any way. There’s a switch on top of the gear lever that allows you select gears manually. Ride quality has gotten better and feels supple over the rough stuff. The Endeavour will simply steam-roll bad roads, meaning the suspension absorb undulations well. High-speed stability is good and the brakes provide lots of confidence. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars, only at autoX.

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