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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ford's SUV Endeavour 2.5 XLT MT review

After a month long overdose of driving a Tata Nano, Ford Endeavor was the first car I got behind the wheels of. When I sat in the driver’s seat of Endeavor outside the Avis counter in Trident Hotel, Chennai, all I could see was miles and miles of bonnet in front of me… For a moment I felt I’m in a truck or a train.

Its not everyday that we get SUVs like Ford Endeavor on rent, at an affordable rate. Last year when checked, Avis had said they don’t give Ford Endeavor to individuals (they’re lent out only on corporate contact) Recently, either due to a change of policy/addition of new cars/non availability of business from corporate clients, Avis is renting out Ford Endeavor and Tata Safari to individuals on self drive. The rent was about 3300 per day. When I learnt about this availability booked it for couple of weekends, though had no specific plans what to do or where to go.

Ford-Endeavor-in-action
Endeavor is one big vehicle, the biggest I’ve driven till date (if I exclude the tractor-trailer [details here] and the bus (used for HTV driving license test), but takes just a few moments to get used to. Interiors has nothing special, but all standard controls and displays, in a slightly bigger size. The controls are a bit odd from other ford vehicles- the lever to adjust seat positioning is on right hand side of the seat (unlike other cars that have it at left hand side), the handbrake is of a different kind-parallel  to steering wheel, similar to one found in Tavera and Qualis (how am I supposed to do drifting with such handbrake?) Turn indicator control would be on left and wiper controls would be on right side in normal ford cars, but in Endeavour these are positioned vice versa. No steering mounted audio control.

The one we got was the 2009 model, XLT 2.5 4by2 TDCi variant, complete with 2CD changer, video player and more (USB drive was missing though). The horn was very week- a mild type (makes only keem keem sound) not good enough to draw enough attention. A louder one (that makes Pom Pom sound ;)  ) could have been better. Suspension was very hard- impact of all speed breakers and potholes would be promptly transferred to the passengers inside. Hard suspension is good for ruggedness of the vehicle and its SUV capabilities, but for city ride, it spoils the fun. (A specially hardened suspension even saved the life of lead character in Fredrick Forsyth novel, the Odessa File, ) Of course these are not factors worth complaining, because if you’re indeed buying one you can always get horn and suspension customized to your preferences. Ground clearance is better than Scorpio and Safari.
endeavor-in-actionFord-endeavor-cabin

Couldn’t test its top speed. Touched 150 easily but didn’t have a straight road and enough visibility to beyond that. Not so experienced drivers might get scared to drive this due to its sheer dimension and power, but once tamed, this one is as easy as any other car to drive. It has a massive road presence and commands respect. Got a fuel economy of just 8.8kmpl overall (city+highway+offroading). This is a bit less compared to Innova or Scorpio. 3L 6 speed automatic variant might be delivering even lesser mileage
DSC01002DSC01003

While its good to have big vehicles like Ford Endeavor, their poor fuel economy and excess dimension often form a disadvantage for normal day to day usage. I often think of certain types of baggage-which has couple of lines of zipper at its bottom-if you unzip it, the bag can be expanded to accommodate more luggage. Wish something similar happens with automobiles- a small city car could be expanded into SUV on demand…Adventure done with Ford Endeavor commands another post. About that, some other time.

First Photo courtesy: Ramasubramaniyan K

Similar posts: Toyota Landcruiser Prado and 200* 2010 Ford Figo review * Mahindra Scorpio mHawk 2.2 Vls review * Wayanad in a Scorpio * Mahindra Xylo vs Innova * Self Drive cars in India * Tata jaguar and Landrover * Brief date with Mercedes benz * 4x4 Himalayan Jeep Safari-mission aborted * Mitsubishi great driving challenge * Toyota Fortuner trapped in Mud * Tata Aria Review *

Sep 14 Update: Ford has unveiled a new variant of Endeavour today, a 3.0L 4x2 AT at Bangalore...

Ford india is also organizing a 200+km drive in several ford endeavours, termed Ford Endeavour Media drive at Goa, for a group of select bloggers and media people.

December 2010 update: Drove an even older ford endeavour... This one didn't have the speed and pick compared to the above [Details]
endeavour

Also read other SUV stories: Toyota Fortuner stuck in mudToyota Landcruiser Prado and 200* 2010 Ford Figo review * Mahindra Scorpio mHawk 2.2 Vls review * Wayanad in a Scorpio * Mahindra Xylo vs Innova * Self Drive cars in India * Tata jaguar and Landrover * Brief date with Mercedes benz * 4x4 Himalayan Jeep Safari-mission aborted * Mitsubishi great driving challengeFord Endeavour XLT review * Aria 4x4 review * Aria photoshoot Set 1Set 2 * Aria in Mullayanagiri * 

12 comments :

Logesh TamilSelvan said...

did the vehicle u drove had GPS communicator? if yes how was it?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

No GPS, No reverse camera/sensors.

Subsequent releases of Ford Endeavor had GPS as an option.

Rajesh said...

Nano to Endeavor, what a difference.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Rajesh, that's advantage of not owning a car- rent one on demand...

Raviraj said...

Is this what u been talking about???
http://www.popsci.com/cars/article/2002-06/incredible-shrinking-car

Raviraj said...

Is this what u been talking about???
http://www.popsci.com/cars/article/2002-06/incredible-shrinking-car

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Ravi, Good one.. yes, something similar

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I am so enjoying these interesting to read these blog and provide some tips and strategy for improving the business and provide new way for thinking ideas.It can causes the traffic at your website. Tata Safari

Omair Alam said...

Plz suggest innova or endeavour I have to take anyone of them.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Both belong to two different categories, with considerable difference in price, mileage, ground clearance etc...

If I had the option, I would pick endeavor (assuming for personal use)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Both belong to two different categories, with considerable difference in price, mileage, ground clearance etc...

If I had the option, I would pick endeavor (assuming for personal use)